Spotlight On: Guidant’s Office Olympics

By David Nilssen

Guidant Financial’s 8th annual Office Olympics were celebrated this past week. It’s an event that consistently brings our teams together by promoting intra-company friendships through healthy competition and some ridiculousness.

This year’s theme, “Time After Time” covered some of the most famous eras of our past, present and future. Each day, a new challenge was brought to the table for a chance to win points. The top three teams with the most points at the end of the week were awarded with gold, silver, and bronze medals (as well as Amazon.com gift cards).

Day 1: Tango of Time

On day one, after the opening ceremonies, the competition kicked off with Tango of Time, also known as musical chairs. Choosing one valiant member from each team, nine individuals went head-to-head as the sound system belted out tunes themed to “time.” Teams also had a chance to earn spirit and style points, which lead to some creative dancing and intense cheering.



Day 2: Peep Show

Tables turned with a more creative edge for Tuesday’s competition. The game “Peep Show” consisted of each team receiving craft supplies and Peeps marshmallows to construct a sculpture that mirrored their specific time theme. With only two members of each team able to build, their fellow teammates gathered around to cheer and consult.

Winners were chosen on creativity, teamwork and relation to theme.

Day 3: Grape Escape

Wednesday brought the concept of finding a needle in the hay stack to a whole new level. Contestants from each team had to fight—blindfolded—in a kiddie pool full of spaghetti and olive oil to collect as many marbles possible in one minute. This tournament was bracket style, and the top three finalists faced each other in the last round for points.

Team Victorian was the highlight of the day—they were the first and only team to dive head first and throw themselves into the spaghetti mess!

Day 4: Project Funway

Today, teams brought out their inner fashionistas with a Project Runway-style competition. Each team was designated their own studio and a box of office supplies to build an outfit for one of their team members to strut on the cat walk.

With only a small window of work time, teams went straight to work, brainstorming and stitching together ideas.

After a fierce runway show filled with dancing robots, a disco duck and a few bribes to the judges, the winners were selected.

Day 5: To Infinity and Beyond!

The last day of the Guidant Olympics is always an office favorite—the anticipated obstacle course! This year, two teams faced off each round with four obstacles to conquer before crossing the finish line. The first stop was playing jumbo-style rock, paper, scissors game followed by plastic bubble blowing. Next was a fake Twinkie-eating contest and with the finale was a crab crawl race.

To wrap everything up, closing ceremonies were held at lunchtime with a potluck themed to the eras. Since teams were judged on their dishes as well, the middle of the office soon turned into a magnificent display of food from each era as teams put the finishing touches to their presentations.

After taste-testing each era’s food, we chose the winners of the potluck and calculated the winners for the week.

We awarded the medals and prizes to thunderous cheers (I’m not kidding!) while others, including myself, started brainstorming for next year’s fun.

David Nilssen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Guidant Financial . A notable thought-leader in the small business industry, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in 2011 and co-authored the book Making the Jump Into Small Business Ownership. Follow him on Twitter at @davidnilssen and @guidant.

About David Nilssen

David Nilssen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Guidant Financial. Read more tips about becoming a successful entrepreneur in his book, Making the Jump into Small Business Ownership.