Columbus CEO's recent awards bring opportunity for reflection.

Columbus CEO's recent awards bring opportunity for reflection.

No matter your business, there are bound to be metrics, measures and maybe even medals you can collect as proof of work well done.

I love seeing central Ohio companies hang banners that proclaim them to be Top Workplaces or Best of Business winners as acknowledged by Columbus CEO.

And now we're preparing to fly some banners of our own-shouting out the good news that for a second year in a row, Columbus CEO was named Best Business Publication in Ohio via statewide competition sponsored by the Press Club of Cleveland. It felt great to get that award in 2015 and even better to repeat this year.

Columbus CEO also just brought home gold and silver design awards in national competition sponsored by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. They were for the layout and cover design, respectively, that Art Director Yogesh Chaudhary created for our April 2015 story on how Columbus has become a data center hub.

Recognition is important to all of us. It makes long hours a little more tolerable and helps reinforce our commitment to our careers. Back-to-back honors are especially satisfying for dispelling any lingering concerns that maybe your award was a fluke.

Besides being named the best business publication by the Cleveland Press Club, we also took first place for best-in-Ohio infographics (Chaudhary), four second place wins for technology writing (former Associate Editor Kitty McConnell), magazine website (staff), photo journalism and pictorial (both Tim Johnson), plus two third place honors for general feature writing (me) and multiple-page magazine design (Chaudhary).

In the case of our press club honors, it is worth noting that 2016 contest entries were judged by journalists and other professionals affiliated with press clubs in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Omaha, Tulsa, Syracuse, San Francisco and San Diego. The AABP awards were similarly weighed by unbiased journalists and faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

We seek similar impartial reviews of our awards for Healthcare Achievement (March issue), Top Workplaces (May issue) and HR Excellence (August issue). Best of Business awards for our November issue are based on reader voting that started this month and will continue through July 15. CEO of the Year honors in our December issue will be decided by an annual survey of central Ohio business and nonprofit executives.

But here's the question that remains as I ponder the honors Columbus CEO has received as well as the honors we bestow: Do you learn more from the awards you win or the ones that got away? It's probably the latter.

As great as it is to receive national and regional design, photography and writing awards, not getting recognized for specific kinds of journalism-trend coverage, personality profiles and public service reporting, for example-motivates me to beef up our work along those lines.

I will be taking a look at the other business publications around the country that took home national AABP awards for best explanatory journalism, best local coverage of a national business/economic story and best magazine. What did they write about? Who did they interview? What data supported their reporting?

Your continued feedback is important, too. All the awards in the world don't matter if we're not covering the issues and people that our business audience wants to read about. I'm counting on you to let us know when we miss the mark.