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).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Who's My Neighbour?

Episode 32:  The Trial Of Henry Blake

Meg:       General, this is a sample of Henry Blake’s work…This girl, and dozens like her, will have healthy babies because of Henry Blake.  Now, I operate a clinic.  And when someone’s sick I don’t ask about their politics.  Henry Blake is the only man who’s ever helped me.  He’s a caring, decent man, which is more than I can say about any of you high-priced bellhops!

Henry:      May I say something, General?  Before Meg Cratty set up shop, seven outta ten babies born to the hill people never made it past the first few days.  My giving her penicillin and whatever just made her job a little easier.  No money changed hands, and I didn’t deprive our own wounded kids of one thing.  I’m guilty.  That’s my explanation.  So you can hang my butt from a flagpole!

Henry Blake is accused of being unfit for command by Frank and Margaret and is called to regimental headquarters to answer a series of charges, including giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  Hawkeye and Trapper bring to the trial the people that Henry helped with medical aid. 

There is a story told by Jesus about a man who was beaten and robbed on the highway.  Three people passed by this man, but the only one who stopped to help him was culturally considered to be his enemy.  This twist in the story was a stumbling block to the religious leaders in the audience who were consumed by their own self-righteousness.  Whatever our context of leadership, there is a common humanity that transcends religious, cultural, political and economic boundaries.  We must guard our hearts against anything that would compromise human compassion for competitive advantage or corporate elitism.  The ability to care beyond boundaries is a core character quality essential to effective leadership.

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