August 12, 2014 marked the 75th anniversary of the premiere of MGM’s “Wizard of Oz” in the U.S. according to ideas4writers website. The movie which stars Ray Bolder, Judy Garland, Margret Hamilton and Bert Lahr is truly a beloved Hollywood classic. At the 86th academy awards, the film was honored in so many ways by Hollywood’s big names.
Pink for instance had a memorable debut in honor of this great movie at the Oscars. She performed Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” which won an Oscar in 1939. Ellen DeGeneres, the host of the Oscar award ceremony was dressed in Glinda the Good witch costume. Whoopi Goldberg who was one of the hosts also introduced the tribute by making a connection between the Oscar’s heroes and the film. She actually wore ruby shoes during the ceremony in honor of the film’s heroes.
Wizard of Oz fans have fallen in love with Dorothy a girl who desired a different life from her own leading her to the land of Oz where she meet three characters; a lion, a tin man and a scarecrow. Having watched this movie year in year out, I can’t ignore the lessons that I learn from its main characters. I thought I should share a few of them here that are applicable in the workplace.
Lesson #1: The Wizard
The wizard can be equated to an untrained leader who does not know how to do his job. Wizards, like everyone, think that they know what they are doing and often look intimidating when in the reality they rely on voices, smoke, mirrors and pompous statements. As we all know, what is hidden will always come to light hence in one way or the other, a wizard’s cover will be blown. The lesson here is to try and help such people to be better and qualified for their job once this happens, not chase them away. You are a team anyways and everyone’s effort in achieving targets is important.
Lesson #2: The Wicked Witch
In the movie, the wicked witch is not happy when her friends are happy. She constantly schemes for ways to bring them down. In the workplace this could be the coworker that rejoices when you fail. These people will do all they can to ensure you don’t get promoted or recognized for a job well done. They like to paint a bad picture about you to the management and your coworkers. The best way to deal with witches is to ignore them totally because more often than not they pick fights and encourage confrontations. Stay out of their way as often as you can if you want to be safe.
Lesson #3: The Scarecrow
It is unfortunate that some of our parents do not believe in our dreams and aspirations about life. They discourage us instead of encouraging us. Many at times children raised in such an environment end up believing what their parents tell them through adulthood. In the workplace scenario, scarecrows are often bullied by wicked witches because they appear as easy targets. In the movie, the scarecrow believed that he was brainless when in the real sense he had pretty good ideas. The lesson learnt here is that whenever we come across scarecrows, we should encourage them by making them see that they are as useful as we are and that the company could do with their brains.
Lesson #4: The Cowardly Lion
The cowardly lion is almost similar to the scarecrow. They both believe that they cannot amount to anything. The cowardly lion is that person that is afraid of taking risks. If you discover a cowardly lion in your organization, be of positive influence to them when they are in the process of doing something risky. Let them know that playing safe is riskier than taking risks.
Lesson# 5: The Tin Man
The tin man is compared to an employee who neither receives any help nor gets any recognition of good work done. They have no idea how their efforts contribute to the organization’s bigger picture. Because of this, they become stuck, rusted and de psyched. Include these guys in your planning, get them more involved in team efforts and encourage their participation in order to awaken their positive and productive energies.
Lesson #6: Dorothy
Positive minded people who look at obstacles as challenges are likened to Dorothy. They work around obstacles and encourage team work to achieve goals despite any obvious weakness. Having Dorothy in a team is such a privilege as she will gather everyone and instill a positive attitude making them believe that anything is possible.
Wizard of Oz is as entertaining as it is informative. In any given workplace we need to watch out and be ready to deal with wicked witches, encourage and help cowardly lions, tiny men, wizards and scarecrows and strive to be like Dorothy by being the team builders.