To mark achievements in our own business and industry “backyard”, we might take a page from Olympic history and legend. In one respect, I think we routinely replicate the athletic practices of honoring our top performers.  Still, with the backdrop of the current Olympics in Rio, I believe in the possibility of elevating almost any tribute by emulating the rich histories and traditions offered by the Olympic games.
At Visible Applause my work is dedicated to capturing the spirit of work and accomplishment with fitting symbols of achievement. Hence, I was drawn to the story of the design and production of the medals for the Rio Olympics.
I didn’t know that, since 2004, the Olympic medallions have consistently featured the relief of Nike, the goddess of victory in Greek mythology. The story of this year’s design created a little tee-hee when the sculptor, Nelson Carneiro of the Brazilian national mint, enhanced the goddess’ curves in tribute to Rio de Janeiro’s hills and curves “just like the body of Brazilian women”.
The mint has produced 5,130 metals … about one half of those for the Olympics and the other half for the Paralympics which are held next month. The base metals are bronze, silver and gold-plated for third place, second and first place, respectively. rio-medals-620
Each weighs 17.6 ounces … or about one pound …  the heaviest in the history of the Olympics. I learned a fascinating twist about the Paralympics medals. They are hollow but filled with tiny steel balls that produce an audible sound that conveys, to visually impaired winners their first, second and third place finishes; the “gold” has 28 steel balls, silver 20 and bronze 16.
Mementos of achievement for business can be created with similar significance as the Olympics. Mementos should encompass an artistry that elevates the context of work in alignment with the organization’s core ideologies … mission … vision … values. That aspect gives your tribute meaning beyond today’s achievements. Values, for example, like Greek goddess legend, add story. In effect, we can make honorees participants in our current history, anchored by the artistic depiction of leadership’s convictions and beliefs.
Now, work becomes a path to significance beyond job description and pay grade. And in business thank goodness we can honor achievements more frequently than every four years!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We help executives impart elevated meaning to work … and life Here's how we do it