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Nancy Koehn | How Strong Leadership Helped Save The Thai Soccer Team

How Strong Leadership Helped Save The Thai Soccer Team

Thai boys rescued from flooded cave
In this July 3, 2018, file image taken from video provided by the Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page, the boys smile as Thai Navy SEAL medic help injured children inside a cave in Mae Sai, northern Thailand. The group was discovered July 2 after 10 days totally cut off from the outside world.
AP/Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page
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Nancy Koehn | How Strong Leadership Helped Save The Thai Soccer Team

The entrapment and rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand has captured the world's attention. Throughout the 18-day ordeal, their families, the Thai people, and those glued to their TV set, waited anxiously for the safe return of these boys.

Now that the boys and their coach have been saved, Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn joined Boston Public Radio Tuesday to look at what leadership qualities the young boy’s coach exhibited that led to their survival.

Koehn pointed to the coach's ability to keep the children calm and his decision to make the boys meditate daily as an essential component of their survival. “Crises aren’t just physical constraints and pressures, they are also emotional constraints and pressure,” she said.

Koehn called the coach’s leadership skills “Shackleton like” in the way he cared for his team, which in turn gave the boys faith that they would be rescued.. “The kids believed in him,” she said.

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