Miner's Foreman Luis Urzua: Father Figure, Hero and Great Boss

Luiz Urzua, chilean miners, miners rescue
Luiz Urzua being greeted by the Chilean president.

If you’ve seen the emotional rescue of the last of the 33 Chilean miners, Luis Urzua, you witnessed the immense gratitude on the face of the Chilean president, Sebastian Pinera, as he reflected on the heroism, bravery and leadership skills Urzua showed during the 69 days he and his men spent swallowed by the earth.

When Urzua stepped out of the rescue capsule, he greeted the president with a warm embrace, after which Pinera held Urzua’s hand to his heart, saying, “I congratulate you.  We’re so proud of all of you – all 33 miners – because you have given us such an example of friendship and courage and loyalty and in front of everybody I want to thank you….  The country is not the same after this.  You are an inspiration.”

Being a great boss, it seems, is a lot like being a great parent.  Urzua ensured his men were in high hopes and good health by keeping them calm and occupied, allowing them to trust in the fact that he was working hard for their escape.

CNN reports that Urzua developed a schedule for the men to follow each day, and rationed two cans of tuna amongst them while the men were trapped for 17 days “without [other] food, light or contact with the outside world.”  The Daily Mail says Urzua “stretched an emergency food supply meant to last just 48 hours for more than two weeks,” having his men take “tiny sips of milk and bites of tuna every other day.”

Perhaps one of the reasons Urzua is a successful father figure to his men is because he’s a father himself.  A former co-worker describes him as “protective of his people,” saying he truly loves his employees and that Urzua is a “calm, professional person and a born leader.”  Given that tomorrow is Bosses Day, I certainly hope Urzua gets a big raise.

Tagged as: ,