It begins with a public Call for Nominations that is open to anyone who wants to recognize the efforts of a senior executive (either a CEO or equivalent title) who they think defines leadership excellence. Eligible nominees must lead a company or organization whose head office is in Atlantic Canada, or who is in charge of a provincial/regional head office that has significant decision-making and organizational autonomy.
Following the close of nominations, each nominee is individually notified of their nomination and required to complete a detailed nominee information form in order to proceed to the next stage of the selection process. The completed forms are then distributed to a six-person judging panel comprised of Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame Inductees.
Judges are asked to assess each of the nominees based on the following:
1. Response to a documented management challenge during the past year Judges must consider the level of difficulty of the challenge, the appropriateness and creativity of the response as well as results achieved. How effective was this individual at assessing and dealing with the problem? Maximum points that can be allocated in this category: 20
2. Organization revenue growth over a three year period Has this nominee’s company/organization expanded in revenue and/or staff over the past three years? Judges are asked to factor the degree of difficulty into their decision making. For instance, who has the more difficult task – a CEO who has achieved double digit growth for a relatively new company or the CEO who sees one per cent growth in a long-established company that does $500 million/year in business. Judges must also consider the industrial sector to which the nominee belongs: has this person grown their business in a sector that, for the most part, has stagnated? In such an instance (e.g. forestry), it can be argued that even maintaining the status quo is a substantial accomplishment. Maximum points that can be allocated in this category: 30
3. Professional affiliations Does this person regularly reach outside their company to stay abreast of current trends? Are they a member of one or more industry associations? What are they doing to advance their industry? Maximum points that can be allocated in this category: 15
4. Voluntary affiliations Recognizing the intrinsic link between social and economic development, Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO awards recognize individuals who are not just exceptional businesspeople, but people who are also true community and civic leaders. Their personal and corporate voluntary affiliations are an indication of their commitment to the greater good. Maximum points that can be allocated in this category: 15
5. Assessment of overall leadership ability This last category is the hardest to judge, but it offers the most leeway for the judge’s personal evaluation of the nominee. For instance, the person being evaluated might be the head of a non-profit or industry association with little change in revenue, but who is leading a world-class organization on a shoestring budget. Maximum points that can be allocated in this category: 20
Each of the Judges independently prepares their own Top 50 list and the cumulative results are tallied by Atlantic Business Magazine. The Judges review the initial voting results and finalize the list of award winners via conference call.
Top 50 CEOs are sent an email informing them of their award-winning status and inviting them to attend the awards gala. The gala is the first public recognition of the Top 50 CEOs in any given year, followed by the publication of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO issue the following morning.
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