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).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Clear Communication

Episode 43:  The Chosen People

Frank:      Captain Pak.  You are here as a medical observer,    
            not to give us language lessons.
Hawkeye:    Frank, by a strange coincidence, the inhabitants of 
            Korea communicate in Korean.  It wouldn’t hurt us to 
            speak their language.
Frank:      I speak American.  And I can go any place in the 
Trapper:    We can have you packed in 20 minutes.
Hawkeye:    We’re living in Korea, Frank.
Frank:      Not me, fella.  I’m part of the American military 
           establishment.  I eat in an American mess.  I shop in   an American PX.  All I want to do is save these 
            people and go home.
Capt. Pak:  And we thank you from the bottom of our bomb craters.

The 4077 compound is taken over by a Korean family claiming it is their farm.  Radar is blamed for fathering a child with a Korean girl.  And Frank demonstrates his cultural insensitivity towards the reality of living in Korea during the war.

There is an amazing event in the Bible where God’s Spirit empowers the followers of Jesus to speak in the languages of the nations gathered at a religious festival in order to fulfil His commission to “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.”  The result?  “About three thousand were added to their number that day.”  Whatever your leadership context is, those sorts of results demand your attention!  Clear communication is key to effective leadership and successful mission.  There was a time in my ministry when I realised that I wasn’t reaching a particular group in our church very well with our vision.  While we were casting it consistently through verbal, written and visual means, we were not speaking their language.  We learnt that understanding our message wasn’t enough; we had to understand our audience to effectively reach them with our message. 

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