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Dorian Awards Spotlight: Rolling Top 5 Leadership Award 

Each year we celebrate outstanding problem solving efforts by hosting the Dorian Awards. Problem Solvers and leaders from around the globe are nominated to receive a Dorian Award in one or more categories. This article describes the Rolling Top 5 Leadership Award.  

For context, a Rolling Top 5 leader has been trained to adeptly navigate complex problem-solving scenarios using Shainin concepts and structured methodologies. They are skilled in selecting impactful projects based on the Pareto principle, effectively sponsoring these initiatives, and fostering a strong problem-solving culture within their organization. Additionally, they focus on identifying and nurturing the traits of excellent problem solvers in their teams, ensuring a continuous cycle of improvement and leadership development, key qualities recognized by the Dorian Award. 

Honoring their efforts and success each year is simply one way to share our appreciation for developing the problem solvers of tomorrow. This year we conducted an interview with our President & CEO Craig Hysong to talk a bit about the awards. 

Let's talk about the Dorian Awards and the Rolling Top 5 Leadership award

Q: What is the meaning of the Rolling Top Five Leadership Award and what makes a winning RT5 leader?

A: The Rolling Top Five Leadership Award is given to individuals that excel as a sponsor. They have regular reviews with the project teams, they ask the right questions. They remove roadblocks when the teams have roadblocks and, in general, have a portfolio of projects that are high impact and have been executed in a timely fashion. 

The reason we call it “Rolling Top Five” is that a sponsor at one time is sponsoring a maximum of five projects. Once you get beyond that, your bandwidth deteriorates and you’re not able to really be an effective sponsor. And so, we limit it to five. Certainly, you can sponsor less than five, but no more. 

Q: How do the Dorian Awards reflect the legacy of Dorian Shainin?

A: The Dorian Awards embody the teaching and methodologies that Dorian pioneered, and they are a way to recognize the best of the best projects and problem solvers from any given year. And it provides a chance for us to celebrate their achievements.

Q: What are the benefits of receiving a Dorian award?

A:  The benefit of receiving a Dorian award is the recognition of continuous improvement inside an organization. It is a catalyst for people to want to solve big problems as quickly and as efficiently as they possibly can. And with the award, it’s an extra layer of recognition and I think that it motivates people inside organizations to want to do the best they can do in terms of problem solving and making an impact inside their organization. 

Q: How are the Dorian Awards presented?

A: The Dorian Awards are presented inside our customer’s organization where we gather a group of leaders and problem solvers and have recognition and a little celebration for the winners. 

Q: How can someone submit a nomination for a Dorian Award?

A: The submission for the nomination for a Dorian Award is very straightforward. You go to the Shainin website,, look at the upper portion of the page, click on Resources, and then Scroll down to Dorian Awards, which then will open you up to the different awards and applications.

Q: What else would you like to add about Dorian Awards?

A: From my personal experience in presenting the Dorian Awards at different customers of Shainin, what I see is the award acts as a real morale booster. You’ve got leadership, you’ve got the problem solving teams together, and they’re celebrating the accomplishments. They’re laughing about the journey and just generally feeling good about what they’ve accomplished/. And they’re highly motivated to continue to solve more problems and further improve their organization.