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).

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Principles or People?

Episode 46:  George

Frank:      There’s one of “those” in camp.
Trapper:    One of “those” Frank?
Hawkeye:    Which one of those “thoses” do you mean?
Frank:    One of those types that don’t like girls.  Get it? Private Weston.  Patient came in this morning, knows some of those guys in his outfit.  I think it’s disgusting.
Hawkeye:    What business is it of yours, Frank?
Frank:      Don’t you understand?  The man is not normal.
Hawkeye:    What’s normal, Frank?
Frank:      Normal is everybody doing the same thing.

Hawkeye and Trapper take a stand against the prejudices of Frank Burns by blackmailing with his own hypocrisy to try and stop him from obtaining a dishonourable discharge for a wounded homosexual soldier recovering at the 4077.

The same-sex marriage debate has exposed the polarised views about homosexuality in Australia, amplifying the need for inclusiveness of all people, despite their sexual orientation or lifestyle choices.  For those leading in an environment where social and spiritual values are at odds on this issue, the challenge of inclusiveness is complicated by the gap that exists between people and principles.  While our principles may differ, we share a common humanity which must define the way we treat people if we are to foster an environment that truly values people in a way that transcends our differences.  Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  Jesus demonstrated non-judgemental love for people by leading in the tension between principles and people through a perfect balance of grace and truth that put a higher value on people over principles.  Putting people first allows leaders to openly discuss and debate principles on a foundation of mutual respect instead of prejudice.

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