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The Oz Principle: A Book Summary

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In The Beginning of Oz, Connors, Smith, and Hickman brilliantly use the “Wizard of Oz” analogy to speak of a business philosophy intended to empower individuals and organizations to overcome unfavorable circumstances and achieve desired results. This philosophy can be encompassed in one word: ACCOUNTABILITY.

The eponymous principle is based on the ethos of personal and organizational responsibility. It explores the root cause of an organization’s impediments to exceptional performance and productivity, and provides insight into how to rebuild a business from the bottom up, emphasizing the fine line between success and failure. The Above the Line, Below the Line methodology is the driving force behind the Oz Principle.

The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Accountability

Like Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz search for enlightenment, individuals and organizations are also looking for the wizard who will save them from the diseases that plague their workplace. However, the wizard is just a distraction, with new business philosophies and management fads that will only create a layer over the ugly truth that must be revealed. When the core problem is not addressed, the ills

it eventually resurfaces, and the business returns to its sorry state.

Victim thinking or failed accountability

When a company is underperforming or unsatisfactory results, members of senior management right down to the front line start pointing fingers, making excuses, rationalizing and justifying, rather than doing anything to alleviate the situation. They foolishly profess that circumstances have victimized them, that events are completely out of their control, and that they are not to be blamed for the company’s current problems. It is always something or someone else, never themselves.

Above the line, below the line

A fine line separates failure and success, greatness and mediocrity.

Above the line, you’ll find the steps to accountability including in chronological order: See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It. The first step, See It, means recognizing the problem; To own it is to take responsibility for the problem and the results; Solve It means formulating solutions to remedy the situation; and, as a culminating step, Do It orders the

practical application of the identified solutions.

Below the line is where the self-proclaimed victims play

The blame game. Here, paralyzing attitudes like Wait and See, Confusion/Tell Me What to Do, Not My Job, Ignore/Deny, Finger Pointing, and Cover Your Tail are rampant. Although most people in this dimension have little responsibility, this does not mean that highly responsible people are exempt from falling below the line. They also slip from time to time. The only difference is that they know how to get out of the rut.

A simple solution to victimization

individuals and organizations below the line language in

self-pity until you get caught up in the “I’m a victim”

mentality and find it difficult to break free from the vicious circle. Accountability offers a very easy choice to make, though it is difficult to act on: “You may get stuck or you may get results.” So austere in its simplicity that most people don’t realize that the ball has always been in their court.

The power of individual responsibility: moving yourself

Over the line

The first step to accountability is acknowledging the problem.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that you are stuck in a

difficult situation. Most people, however, cannot see

reality as it is because they choose to ignore it or

accept the situation as the status quo and go with the flow

with that.

To begin the march toward the Steps to Responsibility, you must first pluck up the courage to: a) recognize when you fall Below the Line; b) realizing that staying Below the Line not only ignores the real problem but leads to increasingly poor results; and c) recognize and accept reality as the first step to assume responsibilities.

Gathering up the courage to See Him will lead to the next step,

own it. Here, you must have the heart to own the

circumstances that you recognized in step See also

as the results that will come from the course of action that you

plans to take

“What else can I do to overcome my circumstances and achieve the results I want?” That is the question to continually ask yourself when you find yourself stuck in a difficult situation. In addition to creating solutions, Solve It also involves foresight to determine the worst possible scenario that can occur and be prepared to combat it head on.

Having solutions is not enough if practice is neglected

application. You can’t do it unless you force yourself

responsible not only for immediate circumstances but also for future achievements. With this, he is empowering not only himself but also his organization.

It is very easy to go Below the Line, especially if you do not accept full responsibility for the situation and the future. Many people are afraid of being held accountable because they fear the risks associated with it. However, know that without taking the big leap, you will never get anywhere.

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