Leaders are often categorized by “leading” men into battle, “leading” a crew into a burning building, or “leading” an organization by being the face of it. While all these are true statements, often leaders must go last.

I was struck with this thought as I watched in awe at the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners the past two days. As I watched the last three being pulled up, I noticed that the guy who stayed until the bitter end, the last guy to be rescued, was the foreman. Leaders often go last.

He made sure his crew was safe. Can you imagine having been exiled 2,200 feet under the earth’s surface, finally having the chance to be rescued, and waiting for 32 people to go before you over the course of about 36 hours? Leaders often go last.

This man gave the world a tremendous lesson on humility, compassion, patience, and above all leadership. It’s something every one of us can learn and grow from.

Leaders often go last.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved