Leadership Studies Coursework


Review the assigned article, “Leadership Lessons From the Chilean Mine Rescue.”

Write an 850 word paper that analyzes the Chilean mine rescue. As a leader, you will be faced with responding immediately to solve issues. The Chilean mine rescue is an example of leadership under extreme circumstances. Reflect on this example to shape how you might apply the goal-path theory and the situational approach in an everyday, real-world situation. 

Address the following questions and concepts:

How did the leaders demonstrate flexibility and adaptability? Please provide examples.
How did the leaders apply aspects of the path-goal theory to this situation? Provide examples.
Did the leaders communicate effectively with all of the stakeholders involved? How could communication have been improved?
How well did the leaders follow the situational approach to leadership? Provide examples.
How does this example shape how you might apply the goal-path theory and the situational approach in a real-world situation, in your content? 
Include at least five references to support your position.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.


Analysis of the Chilean Mine Rescue

The Chilean Mine Rescue of 2010 which saved 33 miners trapped underground is a clear indication of the role of effective and targeted leadership (Faaiza, Edmondson and Leonard, 2013). Almost immediately, the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera visited the site against the advice of chief political advisors. He personally took up the initiative through an integrative and inclusive manner that incorporated different players and participants. At the very beginning, the mining minister consulted and settled on Andre Sougarett to spearhead the operation. After this point, Sougarett handpicked his own team that was well balanced with technical, social, and psychological professionals (Faaiza, Edmondson and Leonard, 2013). The organization of this team based on skills, communication, and adaptation is one of the core aspects that supported the success of the operation.


In high-pressure environments such as this one, the leadership approach requires intricate balance that can separate the goal, the action, risks and subsequently analyze ineffective procedures as they continuously adopt new strategies. The selected strategy included a process to envision, enroll and engage all in perfect combination. During the envisioning stage, it is crucial to create a state of realism and hope alike. The president was able to successfully outline the risk of the situation but adequately established a level of hope among the family members and those who were directly involved in the rescue (Faaiza, Edmondson and Leonard, 2013). In a national address, he described the determined effort that will be put into the operation. A clear assessment must then be conducted in any such high pressure situations that are further concerned with human lives. Enrolling followers and supporters is executed by constantly reinforcing the goal and predetermined vision. One the strongest attributes of this recue was its ability to enroll local and international stakeholders in the strategization process. A separate station was set up to take new ideas and technological alternatives that could be applied in the drilling process. One of the most remembered participants was a 24 year-old engineer who suggested a drilling technology that was ultimately accepted and successful (Faaiza, Edmondson and Leonard, 2013).

Equally, the leadership team was careful to eliminate any hierarchic structures that would be formed with the inclusion of new companies and groups of different capacities. To the president and Sougarett, it was imperative to establish an environment of interdependence instead of domination and superiority. In order to support the continuity of the operation and the verification of strategies, it was important to quickly dismiss groups or procedures that were proven inefficient in the situation. Modern leadership must thus earn that importance of quickly identifying strengths and weaknesses for their true value. This should then be followed by a system that maintains the strengths but also investigates the weaknesses and makes practical modification (Pelling, 2003).


The path-goal theory focuses on specificity of the leadership techniques and style to fit the environment. This theory also concentrates on the leaders and their behaviors in relation to overall performance and motivation by the subordinates (Storey, 2011). The rescue was characterized by a confident leadership team that regulated the media and the workers. In order to avoid panic and destruction, the media and family members were kept away from the workers. Even so, they were also catered to with continuous and truthful briefs being offered to the press and the anxious family members. Efficient communication was a key facilitator of the entire operation and its subsequent success. The first days of locating the miners were extremely difficult with many drills being stopped following reassessment. In what was surely very discouraging for the rescuers, several drills would begin and be stopped within a single day.  This further increased the level of pressure as the location of the miners was still undetermined. Interestingly, once a drill emerged on the miners end, they attached notes that confirmed that they were all alive and well (Faaiza, Edmondson and Leonard, 2013). This reveals that even the miners assisted in the rescue and understood the importance of efficient communication in both directions. After this confirmation of life, the operation was carried out with more certainty and hopes to rescue the men. Sixty five days later, the very last of them was evacuated from the tunnels and reunited with their families.

The Chilean Rescue stands out as a shining exampleof a well-organized rescue mission that was necessitated by an effective leadership style. The path goal theory continues to gain more relevance for its relevance and flexibility to the leaders, the subordinates and the goal as an independent entity (Pratt and Amiso, 2012). In the corporate sector, this theory is highly applicable especially with the dynamic changes and speed with which they occur. Modern governance and leadership must apply strategies that specifically assess the present situation, its environment, its influencing factors and projection in a continuous cycle while dealing with different situations. As the corporate and industrial space continues to evolve to modern technology, communication and socialization, adaptable procedures and individuals who are willing and quick to learn will successfully achieve their goals (Hernon, 2012). With increasing globalization and interactions within international governance systems, communication and awareness of different cultures is instrumental in designing a modern leadership that is revolutionary and sustainable.


Faaiza, R., Edmondson,A. and Leonard,H.. (2013). Leadership Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue. Harvard Business Review, 113-119.

Hernon, P. (2012). Shaping the Future: Advancing the Understanding of Leadership. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Pelling, M. (2003). Natural Disasters and Development: In a Globalizing World. New York. NY: Routledge.

Pratt, G. A. (2012). Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses. New York, NY: Routledge.

Storey, J. (2011). Leadership in Organizations: Current Issues and Key Trends. New York, NY: Routledge.

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