It was announced at our annual Kickoff meeting in January that gap intelligence had generously purchased Fitbits for the entire office. Yes, we were all to receive a beautiful new Fitbit with the added incentive of a 'friendly' competition amongst the team. To the employee who 'stepped it up' more than any other, goes the spoils of two Padres tickets on Opening Day! The room buzzed with excitement and enthusiasm towards the challenge ahead. None of us knew just how competitive our office would become over the next 28 days and the lengths some would go to in order to claim the prize. The challenge would also prove to be inspiring and a true testament to how hard gap employees are willing to work in order to accomplish goals, "what gets measured, gets done".
In order to keep the identity of those involved private, I will refer to individuals by other names…but you are more than welcome to take a guess.
Image Credit:: fitbit.com
And They're Off!
As a self admitted 'late adopter', I have absolutely no idea how to work new gadgets, electronics, etc. It was this procrastination and frustration of getting my Fitbit setup on day one that left me in the dust early in the game. By the time I had registered and joined the gapU group online, I was a full 5 days behind everyone. At this point, I had no idea that the tracker had to go INSIDE the bracelet. I was still swinging it around in my purse. Brilliant.
My eyes bulged as I saw 'Leading Lady' taking charge early on with over 100,000 steps! One. Hundred. Thousand. In a not so distant second, I see 'Chief in Charge' firmly on the heels of 'Lady' and 'Wizard of Operations' holding steady in third with a fighting chance of victory. Sadly, I viewed my own name at the very bottom of the list with a paltry 1,000 steps. How could I possibly catch up? I thought, maybe I'll just throw in the towel this month and then start again in March. I thought again. No. That's not how we do things here at gap intelligence. We all suit up each and every day despite obstacles. I vowed to do the best I could with the days available to me. What could be the harm in getting moving?
Image Credit: truedataanalytics.com
A Breath of Fresh Air
After a few days of using the Fitbit, I realized how very little I moved around during the day. I made it a point to get up from my desk several times and go for a short walk. Two minutes, five minutes, then 10 minutes leading to an hour. I got up from my couch at home. It was on day 8, that I realized that I had never even walked a full block around my own neighborhood! Shameful. One full block and ten minutes later, I could log in 1,500 steps and clear my head of life's daily noise and breathe the fresh air. Walking was relaxing. It allowed me to think through both professional and personal matters. It made me feel better. The more I walked, the more I wanted to continue to keep moving. It was quickly becoming a much better habit than staring at a mobile device for hours on end. I was also closing in on several other gappers. In week one, I went from #25 to #15. I could do this. Who knows, maybe I'll crack the top ten?
Image Credit: jillianpransky.com
Rounding The Turn
The last two weeks of February saw two more contenders vying for the lead. Both 'Amazing Analyst' and 'PR Superstar' logged in some serious steps and miles, putting in their best efforts to catch up with 'Leading Lady'. Those who stood a fighting chance were averaging 25,000 steps or more in a single day. The results were staggering. It was an incredible effort to see how hard everyone was working each and every day to cover 15 miles or more. We walked during meetings. We parked our cars as far out as possible. We slogged through miles on the treadmill. We walked in circles around our homes (making those close to us a bit crazy). All of this done in the name of friendly competition and two tickets to the ball game.
Image Credit: twitter.com
The Home Stretch
On the last day of the competition, it came down to 'Amazing Analyst' and 'Leading Lady'. 'Amazing' pushed and gave it her all and then some. She managed to get in 71,000 steps in ONE day. She went above and beyond trying to catch 'Lady', but in the end 'Lady' snagged the victory with 656K steps to 'Amazing's' 640K steps. Unbelievable. I was truly in awe of everyone and the pure determination of so many to push through their comfort zone. I was pleasantly surprised that despite my late start, I managed to come in 5th in steps and 6th for mileage.
Commitment to Excellence
If you want to know why gap intelligence consistently outperforms the competition, perseveres despite obstacles, and continues to succeed, look no further than this challenge. We had 85% participation (including an expectant mother weeks away from giving birth) and 100% good old-fashioned grit. This is how I see fellow employees each and every day. We are encouraged to push beyond our comfort zone, work on ourselves, and become fully engaged in activities and projects of our choosing. Add in a little fun (ok, a lot of fun) and a recipe for greatness will follow.