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).

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Don't Panic

Episode 45:  Crisis

Hawkeye:    What’s the idea of the gun, Frank?
Frank:      It’s classic.  The enemy cuts off your supply lines, you get cold and hungry, then they go right for your soft underbelly.  That’s why the rifle fella.
Trapper:    Just like you to panic, Frank.
Frank:      Who’s panicking?
Hawkeye:   Well, do you see anybody else pressing the soft-underbelly button?

When the supply lines are cut to the 4077, the officers rally to respond to the crisis by taking on rationing responsibilities, putting the camp under extra stress while they try to function on limited supplies.  The crisis brings out the best and worst in the personnel under the difficult conditions.

Having worked in Christchurch as part of the earthquake recovery team I witnessed some amazing displays of resilience by people who lost most of their possessions during this disaster.  The crisis brought out a variety of responses from people who were under stress and were experiencing significant personal loss.  There were those who rose up and overcame adversity and others who were overcome by their circumstances.  Leadership expert John Maxwell explains how “one of the major keys to success is to keep moving forward on the journey, making the best of the detours and interruptions, turning adversity into advantage.”  Adversity is unavoidable and crisis is inevitable in the unpredictability of life.  Panic usually results from being crippled by crisis, when you are unable to see a way through, whereas, resilience comes as a result of persevering through crisis because you hold fast to the belief that there is a way through. 

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