By Kirsty McManus, National Director, Institute of Directors (IoD) Northern Ireland
More often than not in Northern Ireland, our tendency is to downplay our achievements, not wanting to appear boastful or to flaunt success.
Modesty is of course a good thing but in this part of the world, we have so much to celebrate.
When it comes to business, this hasn’t always been the easiest place to operate – and yet we are home to an incredible cohort of strong indigenous companies, many of them globally recognised names.
Recent challenges include the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and yet success stories still abound.
Behind each of those corporate success stories is an outstanding leader and we are privileged to have many operating across multiple industries and sectors making an impact not only locally but on an international stage.
Names such as Brendan Mooney, Kainos Group CEO, William Barnett of W&R Barnett and the late Brian Conlon, founder of First Derivatives are recognised across the world for building amazing businesses right here in Northern Ireland.
It’s not the only thing they have in common with each also having received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice and the IoD Director of the Year Awards.
Their success and that of the organisations they represent reflect a vibrant and diverse business community which should receive the recognition it deserves due to the pivotal role local companies play in supporting our economic growth and development.
These winners along with numerous others, represent the high standards of business leadership we have here in Northern Ireland and have helped to ensure that our economy continues to prosper.
However, awards are not just about the physical trophy – a nomination, shortlist, or win is a strong endorsement for your peers. It illustrates not only the quality of your personal leadership acumen, but reflects favourably on your business, and sends ripples throughout the organisation.
An industry award boosts staff morale and represents a recognition of high standards of business operation and leadership, allowing a company to attract and retain the best talent, and clientele.
The actual process of compiling an award entry deliver benefits in itself, encouraging business leaders to reflect on the progress made and to identify potential for further growth and development.
We recently launched the 2021 Director of the Year Awards in partnership with AIB, which will seek to recognise and reward outstanding business directors.
I have no doubt that once again, it will show that Northern Ireland continues to punch well above its weight in terms of business excellence. I for one, am immensely proud.