A Letter from Chile

Posted 09.10.2010

Chileminers2 Last week, I wrote a post on the lessons in leadership we’re receiving from the Chilean miners trapped in their copper mine. Thanks to the editors at SmartBrief on Leadership, the post received a lot of attention and generated a lot of thoughtful comments. 

In addition to the comments, I received a moving email from Alan Cuthbert, a proud citizen of Chile. With his permission, I want to share that note with you today. For me, what Alan expressed in his email is a poignant reminder of how connected we all really are. It’s too easy these days to lose sight of that. In the case of the Chilean miners (with hopes and prayers for their safe rescue), the connection lifts up all of us.

Read Alan’s e-mail to see what I mean:
Dear Mr. Eblin…

… I felt the obligation to write you some few words.  I cannot be in more agreement with what you mention in your article. For us, the Chilean people, this few group of miners, have given an enormous example of leadership.  In an extreme situation, they have maintained the necessary discipline, organization, respect and care of their fellows,  and have given a clear example of a strong sense of team work, in which each of them have played a key role no matter of its significance.

Maybe it is unknown for you,  but the first question Mr. Urzúa did once they contacted the rescuers on the surface was “ ¿ How are the other fellow miners that were working with us at the moment the mine collapsed? “ I was impressed when I knew about this simple and so emotive question. How a group in such situation can be worried about other people. After that, all can be possible.

As you may know, mining in Chile is an important industry, and Chilean miners are a special type of people due to their daily risky job, and maybe because of that, they have developed a special relation amongst them, which is seen in the type of leadership shown by them.

Despite all of the above, nothing of this success could became a reality if the Chilean government, from its  President, their ministers, (especially the Mining Minister), rescuers, Private and State owned companies, etc. did not have the perseverance, team work, and allocated resources, no matter its cost, working 24 hours, just with one objective, which was to rescue alive these fellow countrymen. 

This is a situation that fills us with pride in our fellow countrymen and gives us the possibility to realize that a little country as ours, if we all work together for a objective, we can achieve it.  We hope to be an example. 

Kind Regards

Alan Cuthbert
Proud to be Chilean …., VIVA CHILE