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, December 3, 2012

A Typical Week

Episode 27:  Radar’s Report

Henry:      You never let me read anything I’m signing. Sometimes I get the feeling you’re trying to hide the war from me Radar.
Radar:      No, Sir, no… 
Henry:    I’ll just be the judge of what’s here.  “Chinese Communist prisoner berserk in OR, wounds Lieutenant Erika Johnson and contaminated one surgical case.  Psycho examination…Corporal Klinger…Lieutenant Johnson reassigned, Tokyo.  Dr. McIntyre lost patient due to complications, OR incident.  Wounded Chinese prisoner recovering.”  Well, every week can’t be exciting.

Radar completes his weekly report, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the war through the incidental events that impacts the lives of the 4077 personnel.  A typical week becomes anything but typical through a series of unrelated, extra-ordinary events.

Anybody who has led for any length of time will know that there rarely is a “typical” week.  While there are routines and responsibilities that may be predictable, the very nature of life is that it is filled with unpredictability.  Systems can be managed, programs planned, but people are complex beings who are subject to the ebb and flow of life.  Despite our best planning, scheduling or organization, people’s lives get in the way.  But, because people matter, and are to be led, not managed, leaders need to exercise flexible and responsive leadership.  Life is fluid, so it stands to reason that leadership should also be fluid.  It has been my experience, even with a type-A personality, that this sort of fluid leadership equips me to more effectively respond to people’s needs and circumstances that make most weeks far from typical.

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