Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us

Are Military 'Performer of the Year'
programs outdated?

I would never eliminate functioning recognition programs, especially in the military. However, not all recognition programs are created equal. In the military, most operations are ultimately prosecuted by teams. Teams succeed, or fail, together. When we select one member of the team to take credit for what is, in the end, a team success, team cohesion suffers. This recognition paradigm is 'win-lose;' one service member wins and the rest of the team loses. Additionally, these awards do not go to those who performed excellently per se, but to those who performed better than their peers. This lowers the bar for excellence to that just above the nearest competitor. The military, indeed any organization, should focus on team successes verses individual contributions. We should set high standards to achieve and award anyone who meets them even if it results in multiple "performers of the year."