The Power of Award Nominations and Applications


When you think about awards, you probably picture the actual awards or the public recognition that’s associated with them. But rarely do we think about the award nomination or the application process that’s often required to win an award. Many awards are determined by merit, so they require an initial nomination, usually from a 3rd party or a self-nomination. In some awards programs, nominees must first accept the nomination, then complete an application process to provide relevant details and information. Some nomination applications can be fairly simple, while others can be quite extensive.

Over the years, I’ve completed a few nomination applications myself. Some took a few minutes, others took a few weeks! But it got me to thinking about the whole process of nominations and what we can learn from them. Here are four things that came to mind:

A nomination itself is a form of recognition

The fact that someone has taken the time to nominate you for an award conveys their intention and desire to see you recognized and celebrated! This in itself is important, so if you’re ever been nominated for an award, congratulations, you’re already appreciated by someone in your community! If you’re thinking of nominating someone for an award but are concerned about the effort required, consider this: the energy that you invest in their nomination will be converted into feelings of happiness, gratitude, pride, confidence and reciprocity. Take the time to nominate people you admire and respect - it’s a simple way to show them that they are valued and appreciated. Want to practice? Take a moment and nominate someone you respect and admire for an Awesome Award?

Applying for an award creates time for reflection

It is rare that we take the time to look back at our accomplishments in a thoughtful way.  Too often we get swept up in our day to day activities and never take the time to celebrate or interpret the good work that we’ve done. When you’re nominated for an award, the application process requires you to reflect upon your work and either assign meaning to it, or derive meaning from it. This process of reflection is powerful and in many cases transformative because we are considering the impact and implications of our work. When is the last time you truly stopped and spent focused time reflecting on your work?  Applying for an award obliges you to reflect and consider, an important process regardless of the outcome.

Award nomination applications encourage focus

Reflecting on past work and accomplishments can help you focus your future efforts. Do you want to accomplish more of the same, or do you want to make an impact elsewhere? The process of applying for an award can reinforce that you’re on the right path, or it might nudge you to explore a different path and focus your energies elsewhere.

Award applications generate content

Sure, it might be a bi-product of your efforts, but much of your work in consolidating information and writing down your thoughts can be used in other ways beyond your application. Some of it might be used for company promotional materials or shared through social media. Get creative and find ways to leverage your investment in the application.

So the next time you see a call for nominations, take a moment and think of someone you can help appreciate. And if you’re nominated for an award, challenge yourself to complete the nomination process, reflect on your work, and focus your energies going forward. Regardless of the outcome of the award nomination, you’ll be stronger for having gone through the application process.

Toby Signature

Recognize. Empower. Repeat. 

Toby Barazzuol