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You Don't Need to See the Wizard

That 1939 movie classic, "The Wizard of Oz" carried a lot of weight about leadership. The main characters, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, gave us some great perspective on what it takes to be a real leader. Let's briefly look at each .

The Scarecrow was accused of not having a brain. Dorothy found him separated into pieces, scattered as he allowed people to tear him apart. Interestingly, had he stretched he would have realized that his lower extremities were not that far from his upper. A small mental push would have put him back together. Later he looked at his life and realized he had been thinking all along. Critical thinking is needed by any leader to make the best decisions for his company. However; boards, focus groups, factions and outside pressures can confuse leaders and make them second guess their plans. They may also cancel good plans in favor of bad ones posed by people of influence with ulterior motives. Great thinking means to go with your gut. It usually isn't wrong. Don't allow people to persuade you toward their ideologies. Check their motives and if they aren't genuine, stick to your plans. People with wrong motives won't be with you when the going gets rough and you will be left with the bag, one usually with holes.

The Tin Man was accused of not having a heart. Dorothy found him rusted, with no voice, unable to speak, unable to move, as he allowed people to take the life out of him. Later he realized he had a heart, but needed oil to keep him moving. Interestingly, the source of his power was right beneath him - the oil can. Had he pushed, he would have been able to empower himself. What fuels you? What keeps you motivated? What is your greatest source of leadership energy? Are you waiting for someone to give you your oil can? Have you lost your drive and determination to get it yourself? Often leaders get stuck and wait for people to free them rather than look within themselves for the power to be free. Your drive and passions are the greatest source of inner strength. Lubricate your own heart by remembering why you do what you do. Don't get caught in waiting for people to do your vision for you.

The Lion was accused of not having courage. Dorothy found him unable to roar, unable to use his claws. He had become a coward, unable and unwilling to fight. In the middle of adversity, he ran and hid himself rather than confront his fears. Interestingly, his courage was inside him all along and without thinking he rose to the occasion to defend those he loved, not thinking about his own life. What are you afraid of? Failure? Missing the mark? Losing people? Fear is a paralyzing agent that will take years of life from you. Fear ages you, takes your youth and keeps you from prosperity. Fear typically comes from those who surround you and influence you. Who are you listening to for encouragement? Are the people in your inner circle wimps or warriors? You can play to win or not to lose. If you want to win then you have to take risks, be aggressive and not listen to people who always want to play it safe. Having wisdom does not mean you wait for the perfect scenario and waiting does not mean do nothing. Empty your cabinet of the so-called advisers that will only tell you what you want to hear. Find some courageous people who know how to fight and will challenge you to get off your butt and move forward.

Dorothy appeared to be lost, without direction, not knowing how to get back to Kansas. She tried a yellow brick road. She tried Glenda the Good Witch of the South. She tried the Wizard and none of these could help her get to Kansas. Finally, she realized that her way home was through her positive confession and affirmation. As she said, "There is no place like home" she was taken through time to the place of her earnest desire - Kansas. Where is your Kansas? Where are you trying to go? What do you want to achieve with you life? Are you allowing the negative words from your own mouth to prevent you from achieving your goals. Do you doubt? Do you have faith in what you say you believe? Do you believe in yourself, you abilities, your gifts, your talents? If so, then you must create a habit of speaking right things about your life daily. Stop listening to the negative spoken about you and speak your heart's desires from your lips daily. Don't wait for other people to believe in you or your dreams. Believe you have the answers within you. Start moving your feet and watch where they take you.

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