59 Reasons We Chose This as Our 2015 Company Team Building Event

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2015 is the year Capterra becomes Spartan.

Is your company planning on doing some type of team building activity or event this year?

If your company is planning on doing some type of team building activity this year, I have 59 reasons why you should make it a Spartan Race as well.

I’ll admit.  I’m a little biased.  I’ve loved, maybe even been obsessed with, obstacle course racing (OCR) for a long time.  So much so, I’m “pushing” Capterrans to join me in the DC Spartan race in August.  I’m even giving them $50 to do so.  (Reasons 1 – 50.)

[And if you’re interested in joining us, register with Team Capterra and I’ll give you $50 too!]
via Alan Levine, Flickr

via Alan Levine, Flickr

Why?

Why am I pushing, pulling, dragging, carrying, and paying people to join me in the race (aside from the fact that it’s good training for me)?

At a high-level, there are two big reasons:

1. I’m a huge believer in team building activities.  We’ve done everything from creative meetings, to wine and art nights, to high-ropes courses, to office Olympics.  I love all of it, and I’m convinced it pays off so much more than the cost.  (Reason 51.)

2. I believe it’s impossible to have a successful company without a team, and it’s impossible to have a team without trust.  Done properly, these activities build trust and do so more quickly than in the day-to-day office setting.  (Reason 52.)

I absolutely believe it is essential that a company deliberately and consistently invest in some type of “team building” activity or event.  In addition to the reasons stated above, there are other common benefits of team building activities that include:

  • Team bonding – Any shared experience has the potential to be a team building/bonding experience (Reason 53).
  • New “perspectacles” – You get to see your co-workers in a different environment and learn something new about them  (Reason 54).
  • Growth – Typically, these activities introduce you to something new or a challenge of some type that pushes you to grow (Reason 55).
  • Fun – It’s a chance to have some fun, blow off some steam, and/or re-charge (Reason 56).

There are a lot of great reasons to do team building activities and events.

Of course, there are a few unique only to Spartan Races, which I believe make Spartan the #1, absolute best team building event.  (See also the graph below comparing several team building events.)

Goal - an event for which you set a goal and train Social - an event that allows for comraderie and socializing with co-workers Fitness - an event that has a fitness component to it - you'll get sweaty Fun - an event in which just about everyone can have fun Support - an event that enables/encourages team mates to support each other Competition - an event with a competitive element to it						 Growth - an event in which learning/growth are likely outcomes						 Trust - an event in which vulnerability-based trust can be built						 Beer - an event where you can drink during or after						 Primal - an event that taps into the primal nature in each of us						 Penalty - an event that imposes a penatly for not completing a portion 						 Immunity - an event that builds obstacle immunity						 						 Note: I realize you could argue that these qualities could be found in any event, but I'm taking the "reasonable" approach.

Goal – an event for which you set a goal and train
Social – an event that allows for comraderie and socializing with co-workers
Fitness – an event that has a fitness component to it – you’ll get sweaty
Fun – an event in which just about everyone can have fun
Support – an event that enables/encourages team mates to support each other
Competition – an event with a competitive element to it
Growth – an event in which learning/growth are likely outcomes
Trust – an event in which vulnerability-based trust can be built
Beer – an event where you can drink during or after
Primal – an event that taps into the primal nature in each of us
Penalty – an event that imposes a penatly for not completing a portion
Immunity – an event that builds obstacle immunity
Note: I realize you could argue that these qualities could be found in any event, but I’m taking the “reasonable” approach.

Before explaining why a Spartan Race is the best, let me define what a Spartan Race is:

A race that tests your physical, mental, and emotional strength over a 3+ mile course (sprint distance) that uses the natural environment to its fullest (mud, rocks, water, hills, more hills, etc.) and includes 15+ obstacles: climbing, carrying, lifting, pulling, throwing, and, of course, burpees.

As creator Joe De Sena describes it, it’s a way “to try and show people what they are capable of by truly challenging them.”

And why is it the best?

Aside from my obsession, there are several reasons I believe Spartan is the perfect team building event and the best of all the other options out there:

1. You’ll get muddy, possibly bloody, and definitely primal (Reason 57)

Getting “primal” every once in a while is very invigorating and taps into an often dormant part of our true selves.

It’s hard not to reveal your true self when you’re throwing a spear (seriously… how cool is that?), jumping over fire, or bear-crawling through mud under barbed-wire.  It’s tough not to be humbled by the walls, cargo nets, and water obstacles.

And, it’s impossible not to be vulnerable, which, assuming your team is as great as mine, gives you a wonderful opportunity to build/strengthen trust amongst the team.

2. You’ll build “obstacle immunity” (Reason 58)

I believe this is far and away the #1 unique quality of Spartan (and other obstacle course races) and what makes it an amazing event.

From the official Spartan website, the Spartan Race Philosophy explains:

“Spartans believe to overcome an obstacle we need to tap into intestinal fortitude and our will to succeed. In doing so we will build obstacle immunity- the ability to withstand everyday obstacles.”

If you search the web or the bookshelves for “top qualities for success” we see, “drive, perseverance, determination, grit…” making nearly every list.  That “grit” is a big part of obstacle immunity, but it’s only a part.

Obstacle immunity is grit plus the ability to confront unknown and unexpected events and make it through.  There are no “surprises” in a 5k, a cross-fit world championship, or an Ironman.  You know exactly what is around the next corner.

In a Spartan Race, you have no idea what lies ahead until you get there.  And once you do, you have to figure out how to get through it.  In fact, you’re forced to get through it or pay a penalty (typically 30 burpees – the “perfect exercise”). Just like life.

Spartan races are changing people’s lives because the obstacles in the races are metaphors for those in life.  Overcoming them in one helps build the confidence, strength, and obstacle immunity to overcome them in the other.

That’s why it’s the best.

And finally:

3. “You’ll know at the finish line!” (Reason 59)

This year, I challenge you to commit to doing some type of team building activity or event… and if you’re going to do it, do it right and “Spartan Up!”  [Link: ]

Who are we?

We are Capterrans.  We are Spartan.  Aroo!

Want to join us?

If you’re interested in learning more or getting that $50, check out:

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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Ryan Yeoman

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Ryan Yeoman currently resides in the always sunny Cabo San Marketing neighborhood at Capterra working with a great team to help software buyers find the right software. He's inspired by his two sons, the mountains, and Life is Good T-shirts.

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