This month Style is bringing the heat as we share our fifth annual Best of the Best Hot List! There is no doubt our readers love to vote on their favorite businesses, restaurants, community leaders and professionals, which is why this is my absolute favorite issue of the year! I love the interaction we have with thousands, (more than 20,000 to be exact) of readers as they nominate and vote for their favorites, and the mad rush that happens when the magazine hits the streets, as readers see who won.
People have asked me why we do it, why do we put a list out of categories for people to vote on? Isn’t that superficial?
My answer is a resounding, “NO,” and please bear with me as I explain why I feel this way. The “Hot List” is not just fun, it is important. Here’s why; In my industry there are organizations, many organizations in fact, which judge our work based upon us meeting certain criteria of excellence. We pay to submit our work such as editorial content, design, layouts and ad concepts all to be reviewed and judged by our peers. They critique what we do and then place us in competition with others in our industry. Some say the reason we do this is due to our competitive nature because we just like to win, which is true, but it is much more than that.
To me, being a part of a competition means you are comparing your abilities or your company’s abilities to another to determine the best. It happens every day—in business, in sports, in academics, in whatever you do. This type of competition is a good thing because it can only make you better. You’ll find where you are weak and discover where you are strong. Competition is a key driver when striving for excellence. That is why we do it. It motivates my team to do better when we lose, and it gives them a well-deserved pat on the back when we win.
Most professions don’t have organizations that judge or critique their work so they may never know how they compare to their peers or colleagues if not for the Style magazine Hot List.
Nominations for the Hot List are based upon reader participation 100 percent. We simply put the categories out there, and the readers fill them in. The same holds true for the voting process. We have thousands of readers who come to our website each year to vote for their favorite people, places, and events. What better way to let our teachers, service providers, healthcare providers, and professionals know that they are doing a great job and that they are appreciated.
With that said, congratulations to all the 2017 Hot List winners. You are the standard
by which others are measured. Kudos to you, for making Lake and Sumter counties amazing places to live, work, and play.