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 poplular 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 the 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, September 24, 2013

Command Decisions



Episode 50:  Rainbow Bridge

Colonel Blake:   Well, I’m afraid this is what you call your 
                 command decision.  It’s “lonely at the top” time.  
                 Strictly something for your leader. 
Hawkeye:         Well, Henry?
Colonel Blake:   Oh Golly.  Whatever you people decide is fine with 
                 me.

The Chinese send the 4077 a message to offer a prisoner exchange as they are unable to adequately treat the captured US casualties.  Colonel Blake calls together the officers to discuss the risks involved in the exchange and calls on volunteers to meet the enemy in their territory.

Leading an organisation into unknown territory always involves an element of risk and demands courageous leadership to make the call to lead where others fear to go.  These sorts of tough decisions cannot be avoided, rarely should be delegated and ought never to be abdicated.  While there are tough decisions that require the collective wisdom of other leaders or a committee to determine the correct course of action, more often than not, what makes decisions tough is not determining what needs to be done but having the courage to do it!  Leadership expert Peter Drucker writes, “Just because something is difficult, disagreeable, or frightening there is no reason for not doing it if it is right.”  From that crucial conversation to a corporate contract, the knowledge of what is the right thing to do can’t be compromised by the degree of risk or reservation by those we lead.  Command decisions require uncompromising character and courage from those entrusted with the responsibility to lead.

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