Eiffel Tower: Would you take the stairs or elevator?

My family and I just finished a wonderful vacation in London and France. One of the many highlights was arriving in Paris and visiting the Eiffel Tower.

Sharon and I had weighed going to the top of the tower versus just stopping by and walking around it. Both of us had visited Paris in years past and felt we would be happy either way. However, once my teenagers saw this amazing global icon there was no doubt (or uncertainty) when they “insisted” we go up it and see it for ourselves. In fact, it became a mission long before we even got to the base of this impressive structure!

Prior to going on our family holiday we had heard a few points of view including: the need to get tickets in advance; long waits to go up the elevator; and the hotel said it was booked ’til June. Because we were on the fence about going up it until we got there we did not have advanced tickets. Perhaps we would be out of luck and miss a chance for a lot of fun?

Suddenly it occurred to me that if you were willing to walk the 1710 steps then there might be a way to have a little adventure. In fact, I was thinking there had to be a way to go straight up without a wait.

As we assessed this possibility I was reminded of Zig Ziglar, the renown salesman, motivator, and author, who told the famous story of the Washington Monument and that “you can take the stairs to get to the top.” He reminded us that there are long lines to achieve success and dreams but if you’re willing to put in the work and climb the steps one at a time you can achieve your goals. Now we were watching this story unfold in front of our eyes.

Without hesitation we found the ticket office for the stairs only. A few Euros later we were on our way. As I looked down I saw the long line to the elevator. I was happy to have the opportunity to view Paris from 320 metres (1,050 ft) or about the same height as an 81-story building. Most importantly we were on our way without any roadblocks to see what it looked like from the top.

As I experienced the tower and learned about Gustave Eiffel, the visionary designer whose company built the tower, I realized that there were many hidden gems to learn about by way of invention, innovation, and engineering accomplishments that have inspired visitors from around the world including:

    • The tower was a marketing tool to attract interest and draw in the crowds for the 1889 World’s Fair
    • It had been the largest structure of it’s time until the Chrysler skyscraper surpassed it in 1930 and is now copied in many great cities (i.e. Vegas, Tokyo, etc.)
    • Gustave Eiffel, a great entrepreneur, had previously been contracted by Auguste Bartholdi who needed an engineer to build the structure for the Statue of Liberty
    • Thomas Edison visited the Gustave in his office on top of the tower and was very impressed
    • The radio antennas at the top of the tower provided economic value and helped avert it from being torn down

As I climbed down the steps and finished this amazing adventure I wondered how many times we realize that opportunity exists if we are willing to apply ourselves one step at a time?

If we wait for the long line…we might find we’re still waiting long after the opportunity has passed us by!  With success and confidence comes the opportunity to climb to new heights on our vacations and in our daily lives!



Prioritizing Priorities!

A well know CEO recently said, “I make tens of thousands of decisions each year but only 2 or 3 truly made a significant difference to my organization’s short and longer-term bottom-line.”

When I heard this statement I wondered what did this mean? How can 2 or 3 decisions amongst so many important ones be viewed as the ones that stood out and really made the difference?

While the ultimate answer is complex there are certain best practices and lessons learned that can help us understand which decisions lead to the best results.

Many senior executives and leaders consider the following attributes when assessing top priorities:

  • Compelling Business Issues – Understanding changes, actions, and incidents which dramatically impact an organization such as mergers and acquisitions, regulatory and compliance issues, and other major events
  • Market Trends – Tracking primary and secondary financial conditions that can go up or down based on a myriad of factors ranging from supply and demand, access to resources, and conditions that impact people at a global, regional, country, and community level
  • Customer Requirements – Listening to and anticipating the requirements of the ultimate audience making the decisions related to success or failure while hearing them from the an “outside in” view (vs. inside out)
  • Executive / Leadership Priorities – Monitoring the vision, roadmap, and direction of the very important top officers who are responsible for the economic direction of an organization or group

When viewed alone anyone of these items above can fall short. But when combined a smart and experienced person can understand what decisions are most important on an hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly basis to help create value which can lead to more revenues, growth, value, profitability and success.

Career-wise I came to realize that these factors we’re critical both in business development (i.e. sales, marketing, communications, etc.) as well as jobs and professional opportunities.

Those who live by and understand how to prioritize can find greater success and longevity in their work with a better chance to achieve their goals and objectives.

Those who do not take the time to understand what is happening around them are often cast aside and destined to pursue new activities that meet these criteria.

While we all have our own way to prioritize and make better decisions I wonder what factors impact your job, career, organization, and industry which can lead to greater success …or unfortunately failure?

Some say that time is often the greatest teacher but in today’s fast moving marketplace we often don’t have the luxury of time (or experience or knowledge) to figure out all of these points, so I challenge you to make it a regular part of your regiment to look at the factors around you…step back…and consider…

…what are the priorities worth prioritizing?


Beyond the mystique of Social Media tools

Social media is moving at blazing speeds around new tools and capabilities on a daily (“real-time”) basis. Keeping up with it can be a big challenge!

Often groups and individuals put more emphasis on the mystic around the basic (“and certainly important”) tools such as Facebook, Twitter,  LinkedIn, and other platforms as well as Mobile Apps running on iPads/tablets,  iPhones/Smart Phones, rather then the “holistic view” of what makes Social Media —performed for important business reasons— work.

At its base are the core, essential pillars which are important to an organization including a keen focus on the audience, core messages, listening from the outside in, and a strategic plan around a clear set of goals, objectives, and deliverables.

Of course there is more too it. A team or individual must be an expert in all aspects of business and client development including building communities, communications, go-to-market, and information architecture.  Often individuals or groups specialize in small parts of the bigger picture and have a challenge taking action on the realities of what is really happening from the view of the customer and the marketplace.

As a starting point consider these 4 principals:

  1. Access – Who will need access to your social media messages, tools, and or platforms? How will they get it?
  2. Content – What content will sustain your social media plan? How does it equate into your business objectives including go-to-market, community building, and bottom-line revenue objectives?
  3. Awareness – How will you develop communications which increase awareness? What channels and which influencers can help multiple and amplify the core messages?
  4. Collaboration – Are your social media activities one-way and push only or two-way collaboration? What are your plans around moderation and seeding two-way dialogue?

While these fundamental considerations will help. It’s important to have a strong view on short-term wins and a longer-term path of consistency.

Another key consideration is that within a short amount of time an organization will have a massive clutter of information…data points…and feedback from internal and external stakeholder… Maybe you’re there all ready, but with a social media campaign it will grow and grow.

It’s important to continuously step back and reassess the top priorities that will truly make an impactful difference to the bottom line.

So in the end while the latest social media tools which create both hype and mystic are important…

…it really boils down to the multidimensional expertise of the team or individuals building and delivering the social media plan.

What you deliver in Social Media by way of communications and messages should start with a unit of one; how it impacts “one” individual, influencer &/or group? And then multiplied and scaled (“amplified”) to the whole target audience.

The golden rule to consider is something I learned from Dale Carnegie. Your audience wants to know, “What’s in for me?” And how can they can apply your social media activities to something that’s of value to their business, professional, or personal goals and objectives?

Small wins. One step at a time. These are the key building blocks to your social media campaigns and ultimate success.


Share a comment! Welcome to the new WSS site…!

Going into our 8th year in business it was time to give the World Sales Solutions site a major face lift.

By using Word Press we are in a better position to master a tool which has emerged as an industry standard.

With blogs we can bring friends and colleagues to our site and share insights that relate to our passion: business development – revenues, growth, value, and profits.

And from a business social media and platform side we can syndicate our tweets and showcase our connections to many of you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other social media sites.

Stay tuned! Look forward to sharing more updates soon!

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