Change is fun sometimes and at other times it is a pain. My wife tells me that the only time I like change is when I initiate it. That’s not true. I like it when we change the channel and when we change the menu for dinner. I am mature enough that I don’t have to always have the remote, because I am the only one who knows the code.
Change happens all the time. We can’t fight it, we can’t control it. But we can learn along the way as we follow the Yellow Brick Road.
The Wizard of Oz (WoZ) has some powerful lessons about change.
Dorothy faces change by wondering “How could this happen to ME?” I can relate. I wonder why everything is against me: the world, the Universe, my job and whomever else gets in the way. We all get caught sometimes, where we think that everyone around us has conspired to cause us trouble. Some days, my inner Dorothy reacts, “We’re not in Kansas anymore. This is not a dream and I want to scream!”
Scarecrow doesn’t think too much. He specializes in rushing in without thinking. I can be like that when someone calls me and they are having a crisis. Sometimes I get caught up into it and I lose my brains. I get 15 steps ahead and the world feels like it is crashing in around me. That’s when I need my WoZ’ers. Without my family and my friends, I’d be in trouble.
The Tinman is a likeable guy. He lives off of yesterday’s strength and accomplishments. He has no heart and he means well. He still has his axe and he might be dangerous, but his joints creak and he has a tin can on his head. No one takes him seriously and he has no idea how messed up he is. Most days, I am a Ninja Tinman. Inside lots of things want to happen but outside I feel creaky and sore.
The Lion is kind and cuddly. He has a big voice and great hair, but he is shy and lacks the courage that he so desperately wants. I can relate to the Lion, only I don’t have a lot of weird body hair. Taking risks and having courage is good, but Velcroback is not what I aspire to.
It’s easy to judge Oz. All of us have an Oz, someone who thinks of themselves as “the Great and Powerful One.” These folks are big on presence and big on pretense. They are the one’s who seem to face change like they are Superman. Other times, we project Oz onto other people: the CEO, the President, our parents or The System. When we face change that we don’t want, sometimes we all look for someone to blame. Most times Oz is just as confused as the rest of us.
The Road is the character that we often forget. We need the road. Sometimes it is paved in gold but most times the road is uphill both ways. Without the Road we would never find our way back home, our way to courage, our heart or the wisdom that we need. Change is the road and we each have to walk it. I have good days and then other days I want to trade in my shoes for a motorcycle. I want to move fast and kick change in the ass.
Then change sends a tornado.
Toto is a quiet soul, but he is the real deal: Quiet, courageous, overlooked but faithful. He’s the Quiet Leader that they need because he just does not give up. Toto reminds me that the best way to face change is to go ahead and bark, then hit the road and keep going. Most times, things work out okay because the Group of WoZ figures things out along the way. And that is the point of it all.
When change sends you to Oz, make sure you are not alone. We all need a group of Woz’ers: People who believe in us, journey with us and who are imperfect but resilient. How about you, who is in your group of Woz’ers?
Join our tribe, because we are your WoZ’ers. And We’re off to see the Wizard…
Keep it Real
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Photo credit: JD Hancock