I’m not sure where the expression “tooting your own horn” came from. It’s a phrase that’s usually used in a disapproving tone, often said with a scrunched up nose. “Look at him tooting his own horn again.” That’s a weird expression. Who else would toot your horn if you didn’t? In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a little horn-tooting from time to time. In business, it’s a great way to rally the troops. To showcase your strengths. To take some pride in what you do best. Sometimes, between shuffling our daily papers from the inbox to the outbox, we lose track of some really great things that our company does.
Several months ago, we were nominated for the Better Business Bureau’s Eclipse Integrity Award. And the nomination process was far from easy. All entrants are required to create an actual six-inch thick , three-ring binder filled with proof of how their business (a) exemplifies sound management processes, (b) develops healthy customer relationships, (c) participates in ethical marketing and advertising practices and (d) supports the community. The finalists are then paid a site visit by the judges so each business can show how they practice what they preach.
It’s an intimidating and hugely time-consuming process, but for us, it became an extremely gratifying one. Had we not pursued this award, we wouldn’t have scoured through our archives and dug into the rich history of our business. We wouldn’t have found the old memos and dated photos of people that shaped our company. Happy letters from clients and vendors would have stayed in the filing cabinets, never to be seen again. Had we not pursued this award, we wouldn’t have had long meetings examining how well our company met each of the important judging criteria. And we wouldn’t have put all of our combined efforts into sprucing up our workplace and hanging our best portfolio work.
Last night, we were deeply honored to win the Better Business Bureau Eclipse Integrity Award for companies with 11 to 25 employees.
We congratulate the other extremely worthy nominees, and we thank the Better Business Bureau for creating an event that honors the very best in business practices. But we also appreciate that, through this nomination process, everyone in our company could take a little time to look back at what we’ve done, make sure we like where we are going, take a deep breath, and, for at least a day or two, give our horn a good sturdy toot.