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).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We Win Some, We Lose Some

Episode 6:  Yankee Doodle Doctor

Hawkeye:   Three hours ago this man was in a battle.  Two hours ago we operated on him.  He’s got a 50-50 chance.  We win some, we lose some.  That’s what it’s all about.  No promises.  No guaranteed survival.  No saints in surgical garb.  Our willingness, our experience, our technique are not enough.  Guns and bombs and anti-personnel mines have more power to take life than we have to preserve it.  Not a very happy ending for a movie.  But then no war is a movie.

The 4077 is chosen for the filming of a documentary focusing on the surgical skills of the doctors in the war effort.  Outraged by the propaganda, Hawkeye and Trapper create their own version of the film revealing the truth about the war.

Leadership on the front lines of life recognises that no matter how hard you try or how experienced you might be, people don’t always follow your lead.  This has been a hard reality for me to face when I’ve invested enormous time, energy and resources into developing leaders to have some make unwise choices that damages the relationship or derails them from their position.  I have come to realise that my “willingness, experience and technique” is sometimes not enough.  While I can’t control other people’s choices, I can choose not to allow their decision not to follow discourage me from my responsibility to lead. Leaders are responsible to faithfully “lead with all diligence” (Romans 12:8), despite the outcomes we cannot control.

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