Leadership Lessons Learned From The Chilean Miners

Leadership Lessons Learned From The Chilean Miners

Certainly the rescue of all the Chilean miners is the feel-good story of the week, maybe even the year. I want to relate this, if I may to the mortgage industry because I think there can be lessons learned from this inspiring situation. We need to explore what leadership lessons can we take from this experience. Leadership expert, John Maxwell, said, “ Everything rises and falls on leadership.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

If you look at what happened with the miners, they faced severe adversity and a number of unforeseen circumstances came their way. It seems to me like the mortgage industry is facing extreme pressures of its own. What do I mean? Like the miners, technology vendors didn’t create many of the issues that were thrust on them from the mortgage meltdown but they’ve had to deal with this adversity nonetheless. So, again I ask: What can we learn?

One thing to keep in mind is that when facing adverse situation we can’t always control what happens around us. However, we can always control how we respond and how we react to the challenges that have been thrust upon us. If you look at what the miners did, they stayed optimistic and they had hope, but they also got down to the business at hand and dealt with the hard facts and the reality of their current situation.

A leader rose up in the group and that leader had to stay disciplined and stay focused on the task at hand, survival. That leader also had to work with and mobilize the group of miners to work on solutions and survival instead of passing blame. Relying on excuses and asking why this or that happen would not help the situation. They had to stay focused on solutions.

In order for this to happen there needed to be an atmosphere of teamwork. They had to be accountable to themselves and the other miners if they were going to handle the challenges that were thrust in front of them.

It wasn’t just the miners that had incredible challenges to deal with. If we switch gears to look at the Chilean government’s response we can learn some lessons there, too. They too were focused on solutions, they were very open to advice from multiple sources. Countries from all over the world were invited in to provide insight and expertise to help save the miners. The Chilean government sought the advise of NASA. They sought out the best psychologists. There were numerous countries that contributed to this effort. If we look at the mortgage meltdown, we’ve seen situations where associations and other entities didn’t stand up. The same thing happened with Hurricane Katrina when our government was ineffective in responding to the situation in a timely manner. So, it is important to take notice when strong leadership is exhibited in the face of adversity. Because the government was so focused on solutions and how they get all those men out, they kept an eye on what was best for the miners, instead of letting personals interests and agenda’s get in the way.

As we look at the challenges in the mortgage space they aren’t life or death, but from a leadership perspective with everything the mortgage industry has gone through over the last couple of years, and with what’s currently happening with foreclosures, we can learn some lessons from Chile and apply them to the challenges that we now face in the mortgage industry.

In short, the mortgage industry needs leaders to step up. Ones that are open minded and solution oriented. At the end of the day, “Everything rises and falls on Leadership.”