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Workplace Awards Nominations: Telling an Awesome Leadership Story

May 10, 2012
NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (June 22, 2011...

What stores can you tell about the leadership in your organization? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the second in a series of four articles on how to create great workplace awards nomination essays.

Leadership Excellence is one of the four elements assessed in the Arizona’s Most Admired program. There are many elements of good leadership, and this post will focus on a well-rounded approach to your leadership story. Of the four areas in the application, Leadership Excellence is given the most weight. Here’s what you’ll see on the form:

Please tell us about the leadership of your organization.This includes all aspects of leadership; trust-building, visionary, strategic, tactical, ethical, mentoring, developing, emotional intelligence, and flexibility. Include senior leaders as well as other leaders in the organization. Include information on the credibility and impact of leadership in the community as well as within the organization.

Wow, that’s a lot to put into the 500 words the form will hold. Keep in mind you can attach additional information in a Word document.

In creating your submission, consider the leaders as individuals as well as the company’s overall efforts to develop and sustain good leadership. As is always the case with awards submissions, the more stories you can tell with specific examples, the stronger your nomination will be. Make your stories distinctive and compelling in order to stand out. Here are some questions to guide you as you decide what to include:

  • How have your CEO and senior leadership team created and communicated a strong, compelling vision? What specifically have they done?
  • How has your leadership team demonstrated strategic excellence, setting your company apart?
  • How have senior leaders modeled and advocated for ethical practices?
  • What programs and processes have you designed to develop leadership in different levels of your company? How has senior leadership participated?
  • How has leadership at all levels built trust with employees in your company?
  • What stories can you tell about how leaders in your company are approachable?
  • How have your company’s leaders been actively involved in the community? Have they engaged employees in any community or charity efforts? Have they taken on leadership roles outside the company?
  • Is there something especially distinctive about your CEO’s philosophy and approach?

Best companies have awesome stories to tell. It takes effort to think of them and wordsmith them, but if you can wow the judges, it’s well worth it.

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