Credibility and reputation are intangible yet highly valuable commodities for any leader, male or female, yet they can be so difficult to quantify or communicate. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have an independent voice or ambassador to back up your claims and confirm your status as the best in your field? The good news is that you can.
If you are not self-nominating, or encouraging your colleagues, mentors or team members to nominate you for awards and accolades, you are missing a priceless opportunity to give your reputation a boost, get your name in the media, retain existing clients and attract new ones and create a buzz.
Little makes you stand out like winning an award. An objective, third party opinion of who you are and your personal integrity as well as your skills, success, philanthropic endeavours or achievements can inspire trust and create an instant credibility boost for you and your organisation. It might even get your noticed by senior executives in your company, leading to a promotion, or an offer too good to refuse from outside your organisation. No matter how you look at it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from award nominations, leading to short listing as finalist, and ultimate goal of winning the accolade.
A little online research is all it takes to identify the opportunities in your local area, or your industry. Many awards may require membership of an association or network, but the benefits of such, when chosen well, are greater than just an award nomination. Industry associations, business chambers and high profile networking groups are obvious places to start. When it comes to choosing which award to nominate for, make sure it is relevant and useful to your industry or it won’t be worth the paper it is written on to your target audience. A safety award for a leader in the HR industry could be well regarded, but it probably isn’t relevant if you are a motivational speaker for example. You could also be wasting your time in completing the application if the fit isn’t right.
When the award process is completed, and you’ve won, achieved finalist status, or simply been nominated, leveraging your achievement to create attention and momentum is essential or you won’t achieve the maximum benefit. What a fantastic addition to your email signature the award logo is, and if you don’t produce a special addition newsletter for your database or contacts you are really missing an opportunity. If you win, and why wouldn’t you, hosting an event to celebrate and show off your trophy or certificate is a great way of impressing and connecting with people in your network, and advancing your credibility and reputation.
Awards don’t need to be personal to be valuable to the individual. Employer of Choice or Best Place to Work awards also increase credibility and provide PR opportunities for leaders and executives, and your team also benefits from your award wins as well, increasing positivity, giving them an opportunity to reflect on the team accomplishments and undertake a business health check. With so many benefits, if you’re not nominating for awards it could be time to start.
“For me the best thing about winning an award is when the people cheer for your win. When you can see that the people are really happy that you are winning something, that’s the most reward thing in the world.”
– Busta Rhymes