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).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Team Morale

Episode 13:  Edwina

Hawkeye:    An attitude like that could destroy morale – weaken the fibre of our brave men in white.  These boys depend on their relaxation to renew and refresh their flagging spirits.  They must be allowed a moment’s respite from the trials of war.  The whole thing is inhuman, unfair and un-American.  Besides, it’s bad for the health…There comes a time in every soldier’s life, from the lowliest private to the lowliest officer, when he must put his own wellbeing second to the greater good of his fellow fellows, his comrades in arms, his war buddies.  Let us each, in his very own quiet heart, say to that courageous man, whoever he may turn out to be:  And there, but for the fickle pick of fate, go I.  And que sera, sera.

After accident-prone and awkward nurse Edwina reveals to another nurse that she has never been with a man, the nurses band together to withdraw their affection from the doctors until one of them goes on a date with Edwina.  When morale hits an all-time low, they draw straws to see who will step up for the team.

Every leader knows that morale has an enormous impact on the cohesiveness and productivity of a team.  Amidst the demands of an organization, it is easy to become obsessed with the function of a team at the expense of the friendships that are integral to a positive team spirit.  I recognise the danger in my own leadership to become so task focused and mission oriented that I forget about the importance of just having fun together.  In his book, “IT,” Craig Groeshel speaks about the importance of teams having an ‘Unmistakable Camaraderie’ where “not only do they minister together, they do life together.”  When we genuinely care about and invest into the lives of team members it lifts morale leading to a stronger and more effective team.

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