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"We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery."
H.G. Wells

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Last week, working out with my trainer, we were chatting about the amazing recovery of the Chilean miners. I was talking about how moved I was by the President of Chile, hugging the foreman of the crew and the last one up, saying “your shift is finished, good work.” I was reflecting on the skills required to lead a group of men through that kind of terrible uncertainty. Ryan said that he had another client, a physician, who was connected to Medicines Sans Frontiers, who had earlier in the week observed that he found it frustrating that we’d be ‘eyes glued’ to the TV or internet for hours to watch the adventure of 33 men who knew the risks when they went underground, when thousands of women died in childbirth, and thousands of children died of malnoutrition every day.

 

A fair and important point and one that I hope we all reflect on.

 

And, as I thought about it, I realized that there was an important issue at play here. The rescue of the miners was about hope. They literally went into the darkness of the underworld, survived, and came back to the light of the surface. It is a journey we all must take as leaders. We must go into the dark places in our lives and world in order to grow and develop. The great mythic journeys from the Greeks, the journey of Siddhartha, on his way to become the Buddah, the journey of Isrealites through the Wilderness, enroute to the Promised Land, are all examples of this great human journey, and we experienced it unfolding in front of our eyes. Yes people are dying needlessly, and every now and then, we see a glimmer of hope.

 

As leaders, we might ask ourselves, what can we do to bring hope to the people in our organizations? We might ask ourselves, what dark places must we go to, in order to come back to the light, stronger and smarter?