I am not an award show watcher and really don’t watch T.V. in general.  I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I watched the academy awards show – I think John Wayne won ‘best actor’ for True Grit.

But even if my T.V. time is very limited, i.e. football and Shark Tank, the commercials let me know that there is a glut of award shows for just about everything in show business and categories that… …various industries and local chambers of commerce appear to invent.

It seems we even now give trophies and certificates for just ‘showing up’.  Is this some weak attempt to build-up self-esteem?  I think the opposite occurs.  If we all get awards for just taking part, why should we try to achieve a higher level?

I read that many schools have abandoned valedictorian recognition and top ten lists of academic achievement.  If achievement doesn’t matter, then how hard should we try?  John Wooden famed UCLA Basketball coach and Adolph Rupp, famed Kentucky basketball coach noted, “If winning isn’t important, why do we bother to keep score?”

This fact ranges in all segments of professions.  In show biz, there has been an outbreak of so-called ‘red carpet’ gala’s, with interviewers, limos, the un-shaven, new hair do’s and designer gowns, which open and close these events.  People I’ve never heard of are collecting a barn-full of awards.

There are literary awards, ethnic awards, design awards, advertising awards, hairdressing awards – I heard there are even awards for directing the best awards show – you get the idea.

As I travel across the country working with clients and speaking at events, my hotel room is always supplied with local and state magazines promoting what to see, what to do, where to eat, and so forth.  This is perfectly fine and acceptable.

But, on a recent trip, one city offered a magazine called ‘Best of…’  It wasn’t simply for the best coffee shop or pizza restaurant, but for the best latté, best calzone, etc. – and not for the overall geographic area, but for the north-side, south-side, by the lake, and so on.  And it wasn’t just food; they promoted dozens of niche’s; best dress shop, best car wash, and a list of ‘best of’ doctors in various specialties.

Soon they’ll be giving awards for opening up in the morning or ‘best’ on the street.  I wonder…did the ‘best of’s’ ad budget contribute to their winning the ‘best of’ award??  They all received a plaque to hang on the wall in their businesses and bragging rights…sort of.

Competition is healthy and creates excellence. Capitalism or ‘free market system’ (for the PC folks), is based on this wonderful and special experience of attempting to provide the finest, fastest, smallest, best products and services that meet market demand or need.

Organizations shouldn’t give awards to non-contributors who just show up every day.  They should fire them.  I’d like to remind everyone that awards to boost self-esteem are obvious to both the giver and receiver.  So, I encourage you to compete and achieve what you deserve by delivering excellent performance and receive your REWARD.

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