Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oz Principle

Most of us are familiar with the Wizard of Oz. Four characters believe that they are missing something and need the wizards held to find it. In the end, the wizard only reinforces that they already had those traits and qualities but didn’t realize it.

The story might be familiar from the Wizard of Oz but it’s also something that you might see every day. My niece says she can’t ride a bike without someone holding on to her (until I let go and she notices she’s riding by herself). At work, they say something cannot get done because we don’t have the staff (until you ask for volunteers who work late to get the work done).

Some people see the glass as half empty. They are reaching for something or someone (the wizard) to follow, to solve their ills. Organizations bounce from the latest management philosophy to another, trying to find that silver bullet. By the way, it usually doesn’t exist.

At some point, you have to the take ownership and accountability. My manager doesn’t have time to help manage my career – so manage it yourself. I need a mentor but we don’t have a mentoring program– so find a mentor yourself. My manager never puts me on good, visible projects – so tell the manager a project you want (how else will they know).

The book The Oz Principle : Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability (ISBN 1-59184-024-4) helps explain this victim mentality, see the yellow brick road out of this mentality, and let you be your own wizard. A nice book summary can be found at .

THINGS TO CONSIDER: It’s time for that cowardly lion to roar; you are your own wizard and have the power to control your destiny.


JLa said...

Hi Troy,
Jayne here...
I found your Blog via Linked In and I have to say that I really enjoyed it! Who knew that you were so profound?!

I hope that you are doing well, if you ever get fed up with Fidelity and want to do Project Management over the river, give me a call!

Jayne Laake

Troy said...

Jayna - Thanks for taking the time to provide a comment. It helps to know people are reading it.