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    Inspiration from Chile : How to Execute and Get Things Done


      After a rash of ineptitude around some of our own national disasters, whether with Katrina or the BP spill in the gulf, I can’t help but think that part of the fascination with the Chilean miner rescue has something to do with the slow, deliberate, and flawless execution of the rescue operation.

      The Chilean rescue is an amazing human interest story full of courage, determination, luck, hope, and love. The entire planet was transfixed.

      I had the good fortune of traveling to Chile in 1997 and working as a photographer for a newspaper. The one thing that amazed me, more than the Andes, lake region, or cabernets, was how much the Chileans had their act together. This is the same group of people that just suffered an 8.8 earthquake earlier this year. Did 100,000, 50,000, 10,000 people perish as one might think with a jolt of this magnitude? No. 486 did, due to their preparedness, architectural codes, and well-done construction. Tragic and terrible, yes, but compared to what we expect in the rest of the world, a rounding error.

      In 1997, it wasn’t even a decade since the totalitarian, murderous Pinochet regime transferred to a peaceful democracy. Their telecom industry was exploding. One of Santiago’s biggest buildings was a glass structure reminiscent of the shape of a cell phone. The wine industry became famous the world over. Miracle after miracle after miracle seems to keep coming from these dogged, determined, and pragmatic people.

      So when you look to Chile, recognize that this is a country who knows how to get ‘er done. And let them challenge and inspire you to execute at the top of your game.

      Check ’em out: a gallery of images from Chile, including the Atacama region, from my travels there in 1997-1998.

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