Leading From Where You Are

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“I don't know what's in you. You'll have to find that out for yourself. But I do know one thing: you'll never find it in the safety of this room. I tried that all my life. It doesn't work. There's a whole world out there. And you'll have to begin by letting people see who you really are." — Dorothy to The Wiz

One of my favorite stories of all time is The Wizard of Oz! I read the original story and I’ve read several of the other books in the series. I also love the movie. While the original is a fun adventure story — THE WIZ — is magical! Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne! While I think fondly of these stories, I remember thinking of how scared Dorothy must’ve felt. She was a complete stranger in a wacky, ridiculous place. All she could think about was the comfort of her own little room in her familiar hometown. But here she was stuck with no resources or knowledge of her own. Well, as she learned at the end of her journey — she ALWAYS had the power to make her own choice and make her own way. She even helped those that she met along her journey. She had no idea of what she was doing but she made it up along the way. 

Do you remember in The Wiz, when Dorothy first meets the Scarecrow (Michael Jackson!!) — he’s stuck up on that pole. Literally, being held captive by the nasty crows. Or was he? Dorothy made a decision to help this creature that she didn’t know. She made a conscious decision to intervene and speak on his behalf. She was hesitant because she was already feeling quite out of place herself. But she gathered herself and made a new friend. Her new friend was not confident and felt that he did not have much to offer. Well Dorothy offered for him to join her on her quest. She did this without thinking much about it but she changed his life forever. She did the same thing with three additional new friends along the way. All in all, she was able to work with them through several life changing, dangerous situations. She was able to motivate and convince her new companions that with each other’s support they could make it to their end goals.

Dorothy had no idea that she would be leading her team to their desired goals and establish victory over their self doubt. They were doing this all on their own. She was only there to show them the potential they had. She allowed them to be themselves. She didn’t always need to talk over them, tell them what to do, or be mean for them to find success. She listened, collaborated, worked together for solutions and allowed her team to lead where they thought they were deficient. She even helped herself along the way.

You don’t have to be called coach, boss, or captain to be a leader. You can be a friend, mentor, or group member. The idea is to believe you can do it! You can’t let self doubt or other’s negative opinions sway you in your accomplishments. 

Go back and watch The Wiz! The music is sublime. It is so much fun to watch although I’ve seen it tons of times. Watch it with your kids or your friends. I know — it looks old. But it's a classic!

Dr. O

Photo Credit: The Wiz

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