The Award Winning Question
One of the most encouraging, and endearing ways that we are able to assert and appreciate the efforts of people in whatever struggle, cause, craft, or by virtue of feats they might have achieved in our organisations, industry or communities are via awards and recognition.
Over the years awards events have stood out as more than just recognition but occupying a symbolic position of heroism, inspiration, hope, excellence and the truth that lies in the fact that every man and woman is created with the capacity to surmount challenges and make a difference that’s worth letting people know about. Nonetheless the greatest award or reward should always be a sense of fulfillment and an understanding of the difference you’ve made, silverware or not. (always remember that).
From the Nobel prizes to the MTV Video Music Awards down to award events in your universities and communities, we are inspired daily by people who have been the difference in their field. By awarding them we encourage them to be better and by honoring them we have placed them in a position of leadership and influence in our societies.
While pondering today on the emergence of various awards and recognition platforms, and the voting processes that precede them, 2 questions came to mind:
- If I were to vote for a potential awardee from a pool of nominees, what would be the basis of my choice?
- Does the best man really ever win?
I’ll go ahead to say that I believe that a lot of award voting systems have been greatly compromised and we need to track back to the essence of why award systems were really built in the first place which was to award the very best performance, recognize great performances and to stir up a desire for excellence in both the awardee and the society.
Ever noticed how if its an Africa-wide award open to the African populace, there is a tendency to vote the/a candidate from your country or in the case of a community based award you’re more moved to vote someone you have relations or are more familiar with, not necessarily considering if they are the most deserving candidate for the award. I know we want to support our own but we should never forget that if someone else has clearly (clearly being a key word here) done a better job, and especially if information has been made available to us in well-presented portfolios or well-written bios, we would only be doing the right thing by giving honor and recognition to whom it is due. Where the facts are absent, look for as much information as you can to base your voting on. By voting objectively we protect our integrity.
Nonetheless, we need to understand that a nomination is a great honor on its own (an undeniable fact), but a nomination doesn’t just state that a person is eligible to win an award, but further implies that this person should win this award if he/she is proven better than the other nominees (all other things being equal and objectivity from the voters and voting process). Some nominees might have achieved less but have been faced with greater challenges whilst others might have achieved more with less challenges or more enabling circumstances. We need to attend to the facts where they are given and be as objective as we can which might not be so easy as our nature tends towards subjective thought.
If we develop this culture, it would also help us in making the best decisions as to who leads us in a democracy. This is very important. Especially in my country Nigeria and in Africa.
Joseph Rain once said “Rewarding others is true success”.
In this light we shouldn’t trade our integrity because of affiliations but give honor to whom its truly due. Maintaining our integrity in voting or nominating might seem like a thing of little significance but remember that its little things like this that shape us and the principles that lead our lives.
Finally, we are called to be exceptional and hence we should strive to be nothing short of it. Work your craft like its your life because the latter does depend on it. You will be rewarded for it, but before you seek for outward recognition, always remember to hold your own award event in your head when you do something great and remember to give a killer speech when you receive it, because true fulfillment can only come from within. Acknowledge thyself today and others too. Cheers!