– Are we giving awards to the wrong people?

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Each year, Hollywood holds its annual love-fest; you know, the Academy Awards which recognizes the entertainers and technicians in the motion picture industry. As a kid, I used to watch the Oscars and pulled for my favorite stars to win, but as I’ve gotten older I have become more jaded about it and pay less attention to the show. One reason for this is because I believe we have too many awards dedicated to entertainers. In addition to the Oscars, we have the People’s Choice Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Tony Awards, the SAG Awards, and I’m sure I’m overlooking at least a dozen more. There are so many entertainment awards now that I believe they have lost their luster. I now see them more as an integral part of the Hollywood publicity machine than anything else. So many people win these prizes now that you would be hard pressed to find anyone working in Hollywood who hasn’t won or been nominated for one thing or another.

There are also awards for athletic competition, such as in baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey and the Olympics, but a lot of these could be construed as entertainment related as well.

There are of course some other noteworthy awards, such as the Nobel Prizes, the Pulitzer Prizes for journalism, and others for courage or some other significant contribution, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star, etc. Back in 1989, the Disney people started to recognize teachers for their vital contribution. This was greatly appreciated by teachers who often feel overlooked and neglected, but interestingly, it seems the public puts more weight in the entertainment awards than these other more important prizes.

People like recognition, some actually crave it as it strokes their ego, but most just like to know their efforts are appreciated by others, be it in their companies or in their industry. I can’t say I’m a big fan of “Employee of the Month” type of awards as I have seen this lead to petty jealousies and affect teamwork in companies. I’m more inclined to favor industry specific awards, of which we have far too few. For example, I think there ought to be a series of awards for outstanding craftsmanship. Such industry recognition might encourage others to emulate the recipients, which could lead to better workmanship.

Instead of the millionaire entertainers and athletes, to me the real heroes are the people who pay their bills, obey the law, successfully raise their kids, volunteer their time to help others, and do a good job at work. In other words, how about honoring the poor slob who bears the burden, tries to lead an honorable life, and performs a good job at work? As far as I’m concerned, the Oscar is far too small an award for such a person.

(First published: March 11, 2008)

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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