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 poplular 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 the 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, October 4, 2012

Who's In Charge?

Episode 20:  The Army-Navy Game


Frank:   Just a moment, Pierce. With Henry in that condition, 
         I’m in charge here.
Hawkeye: OK Frank, slip into your crown and robe and you tell us 
         what to do!
Frank:   All right. [hesitation]
Hawkeye: Well?
Frank:   Well, give me a minute.
Hawkeye: I’m not sure we’ve got one! They’re shelling our ears 
         off from both sides!

During a much anticipated Army-Navy football match, the 4077 are shelled and an unexploded bomb lands in the compound.  Enquires reveal that it is a CIA bomb and instructions are given to defuse it.  After the wrong wire is cut, it explodes revealing it was just a propaganda bomb.

We have all heard the saying “this will separate the men from the boys” when confronted with a challenging situation.  There is something about a challenge or a crisis that will either bring out the best or worst in a leader.  It is during challenging times that people are looking for a leader to step forward and take charge.  While consultation, collaboration and committees are the norms in organizational leadership, there are critical moments when a leader needs to have the confidence and clarity of mind to be able to take control of a situation.  Bill Hybels, quoting General Fred Franks, says, “In the heat of battle, the leader must be in the centre of the action…Every soldier deserves such competent command.”

 

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