Need a mid-week boost? I’m sharing a motivational message that I wrote last year.
Many business and leadership books, seminars, and training sessions have been built around L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Life is full of “lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!” just like Oz. But we have to keep moving down the yellow brick road. We have to deal head-on with obstacles. That’s taking accountability. We have to stay true to our values and mission, but always give some help along the way.
Yes, of course we have to build our reputations; the way the world sees us. However, we can do that and still stay true to ourselves. If we start believing our own fairytales, that is to say the way others perceive us (whether good or bad), then we ignore that “person behind the curtain” at our own peril. When we connect to other people, genuinely, authentically, that’s when we get our feet firmly on the yellow brick road; the path to accountability.
The characters in Baum’s book recognized their weaknesses – and they took accountability for them. They banded together and began their search for the things they lacked; the things that would allow them to take accountability. The reasons why each character wanted to go to Oz were different. However, the destination was the same. Everyone needed to get to the Emerald City to see the Wizard. By banding together they made their journey safer and more productive. It’s easier for us to face obstacles when we build the trust necessary to take accountability.
Deal with what comes at you. That might sound harsh, but it’s part of taking accountability. Just don’t lose heart. Yes, I know… when you think it can’t get any worse, here come the flying monkeys! I hate to break it to you but – you’ve still got to deal with it. Face brutal reality head on, but at the same time never lose faith in your ability to be the person you want to be. Taking accountability is a lot easier when you know you are being true to yourself.
In the land of Oz, the little band of underdogs persevered until they finally saw the Wizard. They got the things they needed to allow them to take accountability. Those needs are different for everyone, but as you’ll recall they asked the wizard for a brain, a heart, courage, and of course Dorothy wanted a home; the place from which her spirit drew strength. So must we also draw from the head, the heart, courage, and the human spirit.
Ultimately Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin-Man, and the Cowardly Lion became a powerful team. Although their foe seemed much stronger than them, working together they defeated their nemesis – flying monkeys and all! And they did it because they were willing to take accountability.