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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera had barely been in office five months when 33 miners became trapped in the San Jose Mine run by Codelco. The president was no stranger to disaster, having ushered the country through recovery after one the strongest earthquakes on record. Once again, the national spotlight was upon him as the country waited to see what he could do to locate and, hopefully, rescue the trapped miners. President Pinera marshaled all resources and spared no expense. That included adjusting his own schedule to meet with affected families and culminated in an around-the-clock vigil until each and every miner emerged safely.


1. What bases of power did President Pinera draw upon during the ordeal with the trapped miners? Why does this make him the right person to lead the rescue?

2. Think about the various situations that existed throughout 69-day duration from mine collapse until the rescue of the last miner. Apply Path-Goal Theory to describe the actions taken by President Pinera. You should be able to utilize all four leadership styles.

3. Make a case for the Chilean president as both a charismatic and moral leader.

SOURCE: C. Pica, “Chile’s President Pinera Reaps Political Benefits,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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