March Madness: History in the Making

March 5, 2021

Every year in college basketball, 64 teams compete to make history. The winning team is crowned as champions. Coaches and players don the caps and t-shirts, hoist the trophy and cut the nets.

Business champions are built over time as well with the CEO building his or her team in a similar fashion as the head coach. The goal is to develop skills, foster teamwork and build a culture where winning is the paramount goal.

When I looked to merge historic business success with the month of madness, I discovered that the official opening of the Eiffel Tower occurred on March 31, 1869.

I have always been impressed by people who are, and were, builders.  They transform material … stone, metal, and glass … into structures, roadways and factories.

The CliffsNotes abstract of Eiffel’s historic achievements might feature his early bridge structures, the Tower and the structural skeleton of the Statue of Liberty. His expertise as a designer was well regarded internationally.  The success of his design-build enterprise, Eiffel et Cie, allowed him to personally fund 6.5 of the 8.0 million French francs required to build the Tower in only 26 months.

Less apparent to me and to history, however, was his proposal that won the project – valued at 125 Million francs – to design, build and install the lock gates for the Panama Canal, pictured here.  

The importance of all this? The sports parallel is that business “championships” are forged through many seasons of player skill and leadership, or coaching, vision.   In your own enterprise, take time to mark your company’s achievements in a way that gives ownership to your own history and legacy.