Eclipse Awards - celebrating 19 trips around the sun!
by Toby Barazzuol on Tuesday Apr 4, 2017

19th Anniversary
Amazingly, this week marks the 19th anniversary of Eclipse Awards! Since 1998 we’ve helped thousands of organizations to appreciate and celebrate their people, and in the process we’ve gained unique insights and perspective on the power of recognition. Ironically, people think I talk about the power of recognition because I lead an awards company, however the deeper truth is that I started Eclipse Awards because I believe in the power of recognition.


Admittedly, I didn’t understand recognition to the extent that I do today, however, at my first job after school, I had the opportunity to witness many people being recognized and appreciated while receiving awards. I noticed how many of them became overwhelmed by happiness, many of them shedding tears of joy. I realized that there was something happening that was primal, positive and powerful and I wanted to help bring more of it into the world. So Eclipse Awards was born, our tagline was “Happiness Delivered”, and we started to grow and establish ourselves as makers of awesome awards.


As the years passed and we saw example after example of companies that strengthened themselves by cultivating their people. We realized that any organization is essentially a community, and communities thrive best when their members feel valued and appreciated. Along the way, we also won some awards ourselves, and began to understand the transformative power of recognition. When we are recognized for certain qualities by our community, it helps us see ourselves in a new light and it empowers us with the confidence to grow and improve...it transforms how we see ourselves. Though simple, the ability to recognize and appreciate people is indeed a leadership skill, and perhaps the most accessible tool we have to encourage positive social change.


As a company, we’ve devoted ourselves to quality, service and integrity, and we’re committed to the idea of creating value for our clients, consistently over a long period of time. We’ve handcrafted tens of thousands of personalized awards with virtually no errors or complaints. We’ve also seen countless competitors enter the market by offering rock bottom prices, only to watch them disappear a couple of years later, unable to maintain their commitments. Eclipse Awards also embraced sustainability, initially as a way to lighten our footprint and improve our products. Eventually though, we figured out how to harness it as a driver for design, innovation and community building. Today the idea of generating the most value out of the fewest resources, which is the essence of sustainability, is what pushes us forward.


Our hope and vision is to continue creating beautiful things that make people happy and celebrate the human spirit. Together, we’ll encourage and celebrate those who are making the world a better place for all of us. With good fortune, we’ll be doing this for decades to come and we hope you’ll join us for the journey!


PS - with each passing year, I like to reflect on our journey so far and what we’ve learned. In that spirit, here are this year’s 19 tips and insights:

1. Treat everyone with equal respect

We may all have different roles and responsibilities and backgrounds, but in the end, we are all simply people trying to make our way in this world. The love you take really is equal to the love you make.

2. Your people are your greatest asset

Work with great people, let them do their job, and find ways to make sure they feel happy, engaged and appreciated.  These are the people that will work hard, generate ideas, solve problems, and impress your clients...or not. Recognize their efforts and celebrate them as an important members of your community. Build a culture of appreciation and you will be amazed by what follows!

3. Recognition, encouragement, praise...these are just business terms for love

Every organization is made up of people who want to feel love, these are some accepted ways of showing it.

4. Celebrate the human spirit!

Ultimately, recognition is about celebrating the wonderful things that make us human. If we are not building a society that values and celebrates the human spirit, what exactly is the point?

5. Recognition is primal

It speaks to a basic human need that we all have to feel recognized and appreciated and feel valued as a part of our community. We can empower others in our tribe by recognizing and appreciating their strengths, and with stronger members, our tribe itself grows stronger.

6. Your integrity is priceless

Your integrity is a foundation that permeates and adds value to all that you do. Cultivate your integrity, build strong relationships, carry yourself with grace, dignity, and respect and you will attract the same.

7. Community is everything and everything is a community

At Eclipse we talk a lot about community and the importance of building resilient and engaged communities. After all, everyone plays roles in many different communities - your company, your team, your department, your association - these are all communities that you’re are part of.  Recognition can be a powerful way to communicate intention, accelerate change and supercharge a community.  

8. Recognition is transformative

When others recognize or appreciate certain qualities within us, it can boost our confidence and help us to see ourselves in ways we hadn’t before. This feeling of empowerment and new perspective can transform how we see ourselves, helping us to grow into new roles and responsibilities.

9. Energy flows where your attention goes

Recognition is energy and so everything we talk about, think about, and do, is a form of recognition.  What do you want to manifest in the world?  Cultivate that with your energy through the things you choose to recognize.  

10. Be bold and daring

When you dream, go big and bold. If you make a guarantee, make it strong and stand behind it completely. If you embrace technology or sustainability, do it in a way that sets you apart from others. Businesses are amazing vehicles for accomplishing things – think outside the box and unleash your creativity in ways that add value to your community.

11. Embrace awesomeness

At Eclipse, striving for sustainability is not an end itself, it’s simply an extension of our commitment to being awesome. “Going green” or “being awesome” simply means holding ourselves to higher standards when we relate to one another and our planet. How are you embracing awesomeness?

12. Choose simple over complex

Wherever possible, remove excess and make things easier for everyone. Design simple systems and simple policies. Leonardo Da Vinci said it best:  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

13. Believe in magic

In business school, they teach that everything comes down to money.  However in reality, the truly magical and wonderful things happen when we de-prioritize money and focus on other things such as beauty, happiness, integrity, community and creating memorable experiences.  

14. If you make a mistake, take responsibility and fix it (without complaining)

It’s inevitable – at some point a mistake will happen. When it does, we accept responsibility and do our best to fix it, whatever the cost, without complaining. It’s how we carry ourselves when things go wrong that is often the most important. We’ve earned some of our most loyal and longstanding customers because of how we handled something that went wrong.

15. Enjoy yourself!

Have fun with the people you work with and the people you work for! Take care of business and make things happen, but don’t take yourself too seriously :) PS - in 19 years we’ve never worked weekends, a fact that we hold dear to our hearts.

16. Put your clients’ minds at ease

Find out all of the things that might worry your clients, then put systems, policies and guarantees in place to address them. Erase any concerns from their minds.

17. In a world awash with garbage, it’s simple to stand out….

You can be exceptional simply by committing to quality, service and integrity.

18. Collaborate!

It’s hard to do everything alone, and honestly not as much fun. Explore creative new ways to work with your staff, your suppliers, other organizations in your community, even your competitors! All business happens within an ecosystem, and we can accomplish a lot more together than we can alone.

19. Profit comes in many forms

The Eskimo people have dozens of names for snow to describe its subtle variations. Yet in English we have only one word for profit, which is unfortunate because it too comes in many forms. Intergrity, love, trust, respect, compassion, gratitude, reciprocity...these are the currencies of the new economy, pursue them with passion!

So these things to us 19 years to learn, what do you think, any surprises? What role will recognition play at your organization this year? How will you appreciate the people that you admire in your communities? What are the important lessons that you've learned on your journey so far?

We'd love to hear your insights and experiences...the more we share, the more we have.

Onwards good people!


Toby Barazzuol

Vancouver, BC

April 2017




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