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, May 8, 2013

Against Regulations

Episode 42:  Operation Nose Lift

Henry:      Cosmetic Surgery is against army regulations.
Hawkeye:    Another good reason to do it.
Trapper:    Henry, do you know who’s a major down at Tokyo General?  You ever hear of Stanley Robbins?
Henry:     Yeah, sure, the plastic surgeon.  He does all those Hollywood people.
Trapper:    We could have him here in an hour working on Baker’s beak.
Henry:     Don’t tell me.  I don’t want to know about it.  You guys have my full permission, and I never said that.  I mean, I’m not even here, so how could I?

An enlisted man come to Hawkeye and Trapper for a nose job, however, plastic surgery is against regulations in the army.  Not deterred by regulations, Hawkeye and Trapper covertly arrange for the surgery to help out the troubled soldier.

Is there ever an occasion when it is okay to break the rules?  What happens when rules and regulations get in the way of progress?  Is there a difference between appropriate legislation and inhibitive legalism?  What about the ethics of the philosophy “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission?”  These are challenging questions to wrestle with while trying to effectively lead when the system seems to get in the way of getting things done.  Thomas Edison once said, “There ain’t no rules here. We’re trying to accomplish something.”  I don’t think I would want to live or lead in a society that isn’t governed by rules, but I do pray for wisdom and courage to lead in such a way that I can influence those who make the rules.  Leaders have a responsibility to lead up as well as leading down and to appropriately challenge anything that gets in the way of accomplishing something of significance.   

1 comment:

  1. Comment emailed by Major Andrew Craib:

    One issue we can have is that some R&R's can been established a long time ago and things change to such a degree that they no longer have the same governing relevance. There may be times when a review process should come into play.

    There is also a difference between those who blatantly disregard for there own means and benefit and those who attempt to lead up and influence for change.

    Importantly your prayer is also my prayer, "wisdom, courage (and I add) discernment."