The Best American Essays, 2010, edited by Christopher Hitchens. Many of the essays can be found online:
You’ve said that even great work is in danger of become good or bad after a few years. How do you keep your own work great? How do you change things up?
I think there are three strategies that are crucial.
The first is giving yourself time to reflect on yourself and your life, so you can get clear on what’s currently Bad, Good and Great for you—and whether that’s the best possible mix for you. It helps to have someone to support you on this…
The second is getting practiced at saying No. Until you start mastering saying No to Good Work, then it will be next to impossible to say Yes to Great Work…
And finally, embrace the project-ization of things. I’ve found that when you create a Great Work Project for yourself, you define a start point, an end point and a sense of what success is. And when one project is done, it’s natural to look for what’s next.
The compassion that Urzua conveyed for his men was evident in his concern for them, and also the concern for others. He was completely devoted to their safety, physical health, and well-being — as all the reports show. And I loved that he was the last miner out… it reminded me of the old saying "officers eat least." I would be very curious to know the more micro-details of his demeanor during the ordeal. The reports thus far is that he was very calm, which is the best possible emotion for a leader to convey and spread during scary times.
I should also note that prediction, understanding, control, and compassion isn't just a recipe for crises, following these four guidelines can help bosses do a better job of all sorts of mundane but important things, especially when doing management "dirty work" like dealing with employees who are poor performers or are behaving in destructive ways.