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Mine! Mine! All Mine!

Chilean-miners Congratulations to the Chilean government and to the 33 brave miners who survived 69 days underground after their mine caved in on August 5th, keeping them trapped 2300 feet underground.

Following the story, there are some definite lessons about accomplishment to be learned:

  1. When disaster strikes, it does not necessarily mean certain doom and gloom.  Having that many guys trapped that deep for that long was not exactly the most positive news... but a solution was found.
  2. Sometimes you have to dig deep - really deep - to find the accomplishment buried in the rubble.  But taking the time for the dig is always worth it in the end, especially if it leads to your accomplishment's survival.
  3. It may be depressing to wait... but there are ways around it.  For the miners, it mean government-supplied clothing and games and anti-depressants.  For us above ground, it may mean a little vacation (even a 5-minute mental vacation) or some other change of scenery or something inspirational.
  4. Keep communication open.  One of the things that helped the miners (and their families) was the ability to communicate with each other.  In project management, communication is 90% of the game.
  5. Slow and steady wins the race.  I talked about this in my first book.  There's ALWAYS a race against time in any accomplishment, but rushing just for rushing's sake generally leads to stupid mistakes.  Taking 69 days meant all 33 miners made it back to the surface safely.
  6. Set expectations wisely.  Nobody made false promises to the miners.  They knew it could take months to be rescued.  Knowing that helped make the endurance test a little more bearable.
  7. Know your role.  Many of the miners underground served specific roles to keep up morale and health, as well as stay organized.  Leverage those around you for their strengths to keep your accomplishment alive.
  8. Determine ownership of the accomplishment.  Poor Yonni Barrios.  To have his wife and his mistress "discover" each other while he's trapped had to be... well... um... AWKWARD!  He's probably the only one who wishes he could have stayed underground.  When your accomplishment makes it to the surface, make sure it's clear who really owns it (and hopefully it's you)

So, again, congratulations to the miners and to the many people who helped them survive and make it safely to the surface once again.

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Comments

Patsy Stuva and Beth Christensen

Very inciteful. Mom and I are always impressed with the power of your gray matter. You are one bright cookie. Inspired by your observations

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