My all time favourite TV series is M*A*S*H, a comedy/drama centred around the doctors and nurses of the 4077th M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War. The series was so popular that it outlasted the duration of the 3 year war, spanning 11 seasons and 251 episodes.

The strong characterisation and story lines presented thought provoking themes that provide an ideal platform for lessons on life and leadership. Whether you are a fan of the show or not, I'm sure you will connect with my leadership insights from M*A*S*H.

LEADING FROM THE TRENCHES features bite-sized, candid insights that speak into the gritty space of leadership through the eyes of a fellow leader seeking to "lead with all diligence" (Romans 12:8).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Episode 4:  Chief Surgeon Who?

Colonel Blake: Well sir, what do you think of my Chief Surgeon now?
General Barker: You know I’m not very good at apologies Pierce, 
but forgive a rusty old doctor will you.
Hawkeye: I think you’re very good at apologies General.

Hawkeye is promoted to Chief Surgeon, evoking a jealous reaction by Frank Burns, as he is the senior officer.  Frank and Margaret complain to the General and set-up Hawkeye to prove to the General that he is unfit for the role.  When the General observes Hawkeye in action he is vindicated and receives a humble apology from the General.

During high school I was given a lesson in giving a public apology to my teacher when I was out of line that has stayed with me ever since.  I have learned to be quick to acknowledge my mistakes and apologise when I mess up.  As a leader, this has been an attribute that has served me well, which I credit to good role models and the Holy Spirit who prompts my conscience. Leaders need to be cautious not become so arrogant that they cannot admit their mistakes.  A moment of humility will build a lifetime of credibility when a leader is self-aware and vulnerable enough to say “I’m sorry.”  Far from being a sign of weakness, the willingness to apologise is seen as a sign of strength of character by those we lead.

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