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).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Paralysed By Failure

Episode 61:  Mad Dogs And Servicemen

Frank:     That man is a psycho and for some perverted reason these two want to play games with him.
Hawkeye:    We are just following Sid Freedman’s advice.
Trapper:    You get a soldier who has hysterical paralysis and you treat him as though he is really paralysed and he’ll become sick just to rationalise the guilt of leaving his buddies at the front.
Hawkeye:    Sid feels if you take a patient like that back to a nice clean hospital it just deepens the guilt.  You send him home and it sets it in concrete. 
Trapper:    Yeah, he has been treating his patients as close to the front as possible with the idea that they will return to their unit.
Hawkeye:    Otherwise, they get sent stateside and one moment’s failure on the battlefield becomes a lifetime disability.

A GI is brought in by ambulance suffering from hysterical paralysis. Hawkeye attempts to treat him with a new method being used by Psychiatrist Sidney Freedman, against the protests of Frank Burns and Margaret Houlihan who question his condition.

I am sure most of us understand what it means ‘to be paralysed by fear’; to be so terrified of something, real or perceived, that you are unable to move.  Imagine being paralysed by failure; to be crippled by your mistakes to the point where you can no longer function.  This is a critical condition for any leader because failure comes with the territory! Identifying “failure as an indispensable, irreplaceable part of learning and growth,” John Ortberg stresses “failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you.”  So, you can choose to allow failure to paralyse you or propel you towards new discoveries.  Don’t allow a moment of failure become a lifetime of disability.  

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