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October 13, 2010

The First Shall Be Last

Image: Flickr/Leo Reynolds

Image: Flickr/Leo Reynolds

I have to admit that while I have been thinking and praying about the Chilean miners, I haven’t been watching the story 24/7 like much of the world. But on this momentous night when all 33 miners were rescued, this CNN headline grabbed my attention:

“Last miner scheduled to emerge is group’s captain.”

Luiz Urzua thought that he was leading his crew into the mine for a 12 hour shift. He ended up leading them for 69 days. He was the first into the mine and the last one out. This is an incredible story about true leadership. Too often, kids think that power equates to freedom and leverage. They crave it because they don’t feel like they have much say over their lives. And many times, all of that is true. But leadership is different than power. Leadership – servant leadership – is about being the first to go into a dangerous situation and the last one out.

This man kept his team sane and healthy by keeping his cool. Plain and simple. We as teachers and parents could learn a thing or two from Mr. Urzua. Here’s hoping that he gets paid all of that overtime that he most certainly deserves.

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