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, June 18, 2014

Leadership Check-Up

Episode 55:  Check-up

Henry:    [Speaking into the PA] Attention! Attention please. May I 
          have the attention of each and every personnel, please? 
          This is your commanding officer, Colonel Blake… It is 
          required that, uh…everyone be given a routine medical 
          check-up. This is according to a new army regulation, 
          is your, uh…RP78/80778J, uh…blah blah blah. Now 
          accordingly, enlisted men will fall into the mess tent to 
          receive their physicals. Officers will examine 
          themselves, and vice versa, in private. 

All personnel are ordered to undergo a routine check up which reveals that Trapper has an ulcer which could be his ticket home. However, a new army regulation from Headquarters spoils his farewell party and plans to leave Korea.

Undergoing a physical check-up is a normal part of the rhythm of life to diagnose and treat any health concerns.  Likewise, looking after your mental health is emerging as being just as important as your physical health to maintain overall well-being.  When you consider that leadership is all about influence and how our influence impacts the well-being of those we lead, how important is it then that leaders also undergo a leadership check-up?  One of the most helpful processes I’ve engaged in as a part of my leadership development journey was completing the Life Styles Inventory (LSI) which provided a feedback report about the positive and negative characteristics of my leadership styles.  Other people I know engage in a similar process by completing a 360 degree questionnaire. These types of processes provide leaders with a diagnosis of their strengths and weaknesses and helpful strategies to facilitate growth and development.  In his book the 360 Degree Leader John Maxwell affirms the value of such a growth process, “Your leadership, if it is not continually growing, can be a lid to the potential of your people...If you want to increase the potential of your team, you need to keep growing yourself.” A regular leadership check-up is a prescription for the growth and well-being of your team.

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