Free «Leadership Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue» UK Essay Paper
From ancient times, prominent leaders have been creating a positive impact on the evolution of technology and society by making crucial decisions, giving commands to their subordinates, and inspiring them to achieve spectacular results and develop personal and professional skills. Nowadays, the development of science, psychology, and philosophy has led to the emergence of various leadership approaches that focus on the decision-making, enhance the efficiency of operations, and amplify the influence of individuals and groups of people through different means of persuasion. For instance, the path-goal and situational styles have gained exceptional popularity in the business environment all around the world because they tend to produce quality results in dealing with problematic situations. Therefore, it would be beneficial to analyze how the implementation of these approaches may contribute to solving problems and the increase in the efficiency of joint efforts in real practice by examining Chilean Mine Rescue.
First of all, it is essential to review basic information on the path-goal theory and situational leadership to identify their potential benefits to companies and individuals. The first approach focuses on motivating employees and subordinates to achieve the maximum results at their work with various stimulating means such as bonuses, promotions, and opportunities for personal and professional development. According to research, a leader plays a central role in the approach by clarifying tasks, roles, responsibilities, and success criteria, providing coaching, guidance, and psychological support, and removing obstacles (Gupta, 2009).
The path-goal approach gives a chance to produce the impressive results with the situational model because it involves adjusting to specific individuals and events. It encourages to choose the most beneficial course of action based on every element of the situation. According to the specialists, there are four situational leadership styles: supporting, coaching, delegating, and directing (Anthony, 2016). Therefore, flexibility is the key to achieving success in implementing situation leadership in real-life events (Situational Leadership Theory: Providing Leadership through Flexibility, 2016).
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Secondly, it is essential to review these approaches on the specific example. The case called Chilean Mine Rescue refers to the disastrous events that occurred on August 5, 2010, in San Jose when 33 miners got blocked in the mine deep underground by a sudden rockslide (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). The situation was dire because the company faced three major problems: the lack of time, personnel and essential capabilities to rescue the workers. Therefore, it was decided to ask the authorities to aid in the rescue the lives of people. The recently elected president, Sebastian Pinera, asked Chile’s largest mining company, National Copper Corporation, to help by providing essential personnel and equipment. He also sent his mining minister, Laurence Golborne, to the action site to coordinate the rescue efforts (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). This example shows how adaptability and flexibility can be used to solve problems when a company cannot deal with them on its own.
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Unfortunately, when the representative of NCC, Andre Sougarret, arrived at the site, he found complete chaos (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). That situation required quick and decisive actions because workers were slowly dying in the mine without food, air, and psychological support. Therefore, Sougarret immediately consulted with geologists and drill experts on the matter at hand, made an official statement to the miners’ families and press to give hope. Thus, he took personal command of the operation to increase its efficiency (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). This example shows how a leader may communicate with all of the stakeholders involved in a specific situation to gain complete control over it. Moreover, Sougarret should have contacted foreign specialists immediately to receive the additional expert opinion, advice, and technical assistance.
As the rescue operation was advancing, new specialists were required to perform such tasks as planning, drilling, fixing equipment, etc. Therefore, Sougarret continued to recruit in order to help in freeing the miners (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). He also coordinated the communication between the family members, press, and the team to increase the motivation and job efficiency of the personnel. Therefore, Sougarret gathered the potential contributors for achieving the main goal: rescuing the lives of miners. These decisions illustrate the implementation of the path-goal model in real practice.
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Shortly after the accident, a Chilean geologist, Felipe Matthews, arrived at the site with innovative technology for measuring drilling trajectories (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). The tests showed that his device was the most accurate for performing such task, and Sougarret put him in charge of the monitoring group. Additionally, one of the young Chilean geologists, Igor Proestakis, suggested an idea that using an American company’s cluster hammer technology could help in drilling through hard rock faster than any technological means (Rashid, Edmondson, and Leonard, 2013). Sougarret recognized his potential and decided to use the proposed equipment during excavation. It illustrates how leaders delegate and direct elements of situational leadership to deal with problematic situations. Eventually, all of the miners were successfully rescued from the mine.
The examples provided in this case study show that the combination of the path-goal theory and situational leadership can provide quality results in real world situations by coordinating the efforts of various groups involved in a process, inspiring subordinates, and motivating them to reach a goal. Therefore, it shapes the application of these approaches in practice by showing that it can save a life for ordinary people.
To conclude, the example of Chilean Mine Rescue illustrates the practical implementation of the path-goal theory and situational leadership. It shows how making tough decisions, coordinating efforts, and inspiring subordinates may contribute to increasing the efficiency of operations. Therefore, it highlights the application of these approaches in the real world situations.
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