Our Role

As our role grows, it becomes less about our accolades and more about the overall synergy of the team. 

“Do not let the roles you play in life make you forget who you are.” 

- Roy T. Bennett

In 1972 CBS adapted the movie M.A.S.H. for an American drama-comedy television series. M.A.S.H. is an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. The show was an instant success, and the viewership ratings went through the roof in part because of the wonderful actors and fascinating characters. One character, Lt. Colonel Henry Blake, was in charge of the M.A.S.H. unit. He was funny, loving, and caring. Although Blake was not a great leader, his role became endearing to the audience. 

After two seasons of immense success, American actor McLean Stevenson who portrayed Lt. Colonel Henry Blake was due for a contract extension. Stevenson was extremely popular and demanded enormous sums of money due to having offers from other television networks. When his contract talks broke down and became unpleasant, the producers of the show decided to replace Stevenson and kill off his character. Stevenson moved to rival network ABC to host a show, and life went on.  

M.A.S.H. continued to thrive without character Lt. Colonel Henry Blake. While McLean Stevenson's hosting show lasted just a short time on ABC before eventually being canceled. After the show’s cancellation, Stevenson offered some profound advice for the ages when humbly expressing:

"What I failed to understand is America loved Lt. Colonel Henry Blake, they didn't love McLean Stevenson." 

Now, some might say, McLean Stevenson had to take the money. Even though his show ended, his financial gains made his decision to leave correct. And for those who feel that way, they are missing the more significant issue, and point to recognize. As a leader, coach, and teacher, we must always understand our value and significance but never lose sight of the role we are allowed to play. The positions that are bestowed upon us inherently comes with a platform of unique opportunity and success. It is our responsibility to use our talents and charisma to enhance the role. As our role grows, it becomes less about our accolades and more about the overall synergy of the team. 

The late Beano Cook, a former ESPN commentator, and television personality, had an insightful thought related to this theme of our roles when describing the Ohio State versus Michigan game. Cook said, "The Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry is so powerful, that in the year 2050, the game is already sold out. And the kids who are going to play in it are not even born yet."  

We must understand the role, plus our talents make success, not us alone. Each day is a chance to invest in our self-development so we can remain ahead of the innovation curve in cultivating the life and leadership opportunities we envision. 

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