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Eiffel v2
November 22, 2015


It seems to me that it had no other rationale than to show that we are not simply the country of entertainers, but also that of engineers and builders called from across the world to build bridges, viaducts, stations and major monuments of modern industry, the Eiffel Tower deserves to be treated with consideration.

Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel

A patriot in his own right, Gustave Eiffel aimed that the Eiffel Tower (being the soul of Paris, France) would be a symbol of creativity, strength and brilliance that the Parisians possess.

Eiffel Tower 21Aug1888
Soon thereafter, he began work on what would become known as the Eiffel Tower, the structure that would cement his name in history. (21 August 1888) –

Young Gustave Eiffel didn’t really show early signs of the talent leading to the path of who he would become. He didn’t show interest in school at all and thought that school was boring, until his teachers in History and Literature influenced him to study. He began to be serious with his studies and consequently earned a degree in Humanities and Science. Besides his teachers, his uncle Jean-Baptiste Mollerat (invented a process for distilling vinegar) and his uncle’s friend, Michel Perret was the greatest influences in his life. Both Jean and Michel spent many hours teaching him Chemistry, Theology and Philosophy.

He took Chemistry in College and in 1855 graduated, ranking at 13th place. However, he was denied of a job in his uncles’ workshop as his family strongly disputed the idea. He approached Charles Nepveu, the railway engineer and worked in his company as a private secretary then eventually managed the company when Nepveu resigned in 1860 of which led him to build his own company  and then eventually tasked to build a temporary tower that will be the landmark of Paris during the Universal Exposition held in Paris in 1889. Building the tower directed him to study aerodynamics and upon completion of the project, he put up a laboratory dedicated this study. It yielded the advent of wind tunnel and influenced the Wright Brothers and the other first aviators. He then wrote Resistance of the Air and Aviation which was published in 1907 and he wrote several more books thereafter.

What attracted me the most about his life story is the fact that he had great mentors, mentors who influenced him into doing great things. It would be great to have mentors on the idea or the dream we want to achieve. They don’t necessarily have to be close to us. They could be someone whom you have read about or you know from work or school. These successful individuals who made it through and are now living their dreams. It would be great to know how they got there and what challenges they overcame and how they go through them. Like Eiffel, we focus on the future, our legacy. What is that something that we can create or innovate for the humanity or the environment. This legacy will speak of the level of passion and determination you had over leading. Another lesson Eiffel’s life story brings, is that we also must learn how to pay forward. Share whatever it is that we learned so others will learn too. In doing this, you are also empowering others to use their talents and your key lessons to help and inspire others too.

Have you also been a good example to your people or the people around you? Innately, your people will follow whatever it is that you do. If you have become so unjustly strict to them to push them to deliver results, then your people will do the same to their teams in the future. You have just built an empire of bitches not of great leaders. Your very young sister may just be watching whatever it is that you are doing and you thought that it is okay to litter about or not make the bed (pile clothes on the bed for days or weeks). You will find her doing the same thing too, “nothing”, because she admires you being her older sister and she could just copy whatever you do. It’s true, people are watching or admiring from afar. I hope they are looking at the best of which we are and influence them to do the same. This is what legacy is all about, like the great tower that Gustave Eiffel built for the Parisians.

Attributes: Great Listener, Visionary, Creative


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Learning and Culture Director at Stellar Philippines
Fran Saguindang Riego de Dios, MS has been in training and leadership development for more than a decade now. In earning her Master of Science in Biology degree, she joined the College of Science and Mathematics faculty of MSU-IIT and published her studies in Asia Life and Philippine Scientists Journals. For her, moving into the corporate world felt odd at first but with the scientific method and discipline in her backpack, it has become a fulfilling experience. You may also visit her personal Science Blog Site at Live Well. She also enjoys music (sings and plays the piano) and art (portrait sketch).
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