Underground Leadership:

Leadership qualities run deep

(First in a series of three posts)

Here’s a situation that, as a leader, you might recognise: You are suddenly facing an unexpected and massive challenge. You have prepared for such challenges in principle, but this is no drill; it is suddenly, horribly real. Your team has a range of experience in what they do, but none of them has done this before. Your adequate resources are made unprecedentedly inadequate by the change in situation. Each of the team sees their very future directly dependent on the next series of choices and decisions you make. They look to you as their leader.

What are you going to do?

This question was ably answered by Luis Urzua in a clear demonstration of a Leader-Manager in action under extreme pressure. He effectively led his team through their challenge:

  • He created a central focus for them in order to hold them together as a team
  • He showed care and concern for each of his team members
  • He was aware of, and encouraged, each person’s individual identity within he team, making it clear that each person mattered

He efficiently managed the available resources to overcome the challenge:

  • He created the optimal physical environment by using his knowledge of what resources were available
  • He allocated consumable resources evenly and fairly among the team.
  • He used resources in a planned, specific way in order to achieve results that were beneficial to the team.

In case you haven’t guessed already, Luis Urzua is what the BBC referred to as “supervisor” and other news sources called “commander” of the shift of 33 gold and copper miners rescued in Chile after being trapped nearly a half-mile underground by 700,000 tons of rock for 69 days.

In the next post: How did Luis do it?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 5:49 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

186 Responses to “Underground Leadership:”

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