Whenever a sportsperson wins a personal award, they almost always talk about how they would swap it for their ultimate goal, whether that be a gold medal, Premier league success or whatever the pinnacle of their chosen field is.
And rightly so.
They dedicate their lives to achieving success in their profession.
But they don’t turn the awards down. They largely embrace them.
Actors receive Oscars and Footballers get the Ballon d’Or. They appreciate the fact that someone has taken the time to recognise that they are good at something.
The same applies to professions across the globe, including ours, the driving instructor industry.
While an award for best ADI, best school or best product can never be 100% accurate. It comes down to opinion. Much like who should win an Oscar, or the Messi vs Ronaldo debate. The fact the people have actually taken the time to nominate, vote or discuss you, is an honour.
I’m a driving instructor though.
First and foremost, that’s my bread and butter. It’s how I make a living. And the best reward I can ever achieve is that text from a student that says thank you. Whether that’s thank you for helping them pass, for delivering a good lesson or for helping them through a panic attack. It doesn’t matter. That thank you means more than anything.
But that doesn’t negate professional awards.
I will not be quitting the industry if I never win something. But I will shout about it if I do. Because I’d be proud that someone has taken the time to mention me. I’ll also celebrate anyone else who does because I’ll genuinely be happy for them.
There is often a lot of negativity around the driving instructor industry and to have people trying to promote some positivity is great. They talk about it publicly and Intelligent Instructor even bring in some top sponsors like Kwick Fit and Michelin.
This draws publicity to the industry, and not just any publicity, but positive publicity! Our industry needs this right now. With a 6 month wait for driving tests and instructors turning people away left, right and centre, this give us a chance to showcase some of the best we have to offer.
And that’s not just individual people. It’s training resources, products and cars.
It’s an opportunity to put our best foot forward and I believe we all should be promoting it.
Am I placing too much importance on our industry? Possibly, but like trying to decide who the best actor in the world is, it’s an opinion and were all entitled to our own. It just so happens that mine wants to showcase the best of driving instructors.
One of the biggest criticisms I hear about the awards is the fact that you have to ‘pester your pupils to vote for you with loads of texts.’
Unfortunately, that simply not true.
Yes, you can pester your pupils with loads of texts. Or you could message them once. Or you could put up a link on your social media. Or your website. Or when you ask for a review, you could ask them to vote.
Plus, the great thing about the driving instructor awards is that it’s not most votes wins. So, all those who say that the instructor who pesters the most students will win, well again unfortunately, it’s simply not true. It’s very much quality over quantity. I have been joined by Intelligent Instructor and GoRoadie to explain this. You can find link to the shows at the bottom of this blog.
You do not have to promote, care about, be concerned with or endorse any awards. You don’t even need to care about your profession. You are fully entitled to only be concerned with your business and your customers. But I do think it’s wrong to belittle those trying to create some buzz and positivity.
But that’s just my opinion.
Feel free to share yours in the comments.