Like the winding yellow brick road, the path is almost never linear, and we all face surprises along the way. Some are huge, like the tornado that sweeps Dorothy away. Some are scary, like the winged monkeys who snatch Dorothy and Toto. And some are disappointing, like the Wizard himself.
Like Dorothy, we as small business owners all have obstacles we try to overcome as we try to achieve our goals, and when we do succeed, we revel in the story of achievement.
1. Find the Best Resources
Dorothy never would have made it to the end of the yellow brick road if it weren’t for her trusty staff of advisors: the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion.
She used a clever set of persuasion skills and leadership to show them the value in being on her team. In business, we all face what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Getting the right consultants, coaches, and managers can be a game changer.
We need to find the best resources and invest in them.
2. Help Your People Do What They Don’t Believe They Can
Dorothy’s companions had their individual flaws – they believed they lacked a brain, a heart, and courage.
But as we learn, they each have the quality they want in spades. Dorothy brings out these qualities and helps them succeed at their tasks.
As a leader, you can do the same with your employees. Your role is to help your employees succeed with their own business goals. Take the time to learn about each employee’s journey from his or her perspective, and help them understand their strengths.
Support their use of their strengths in their work, to the extent your company has room for them to exercise their strengths and profit from their use.
3. The Dream is Fuel
All three of Dorothy’s teammates had a personal goal in traveling to Oz. They expected something. They dreamt about it.
In bringing her teammates to Oz, and helping them achieve their dreams, Dorothy ended up realizing her own dream of going home. Her trusty companions’ support fueled her own success.
We all need to be fueled by a big dream. And we all need a team and tools that should support us to do our best. As a leader, achieving success often comes from helping those you work with to achieve their own dreams in the process.
4. The Answer is Ultimately Inside You
Of course, Dorothy learns the ruby slippers were never the key to her getting home. All she had to do was believe in herself – like the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion had to believe in themselves.
Through the time they spent on their quest, each side helped the other understand what they really need, and how much potential they actually had inside.
If, as leaders, we do what we do best, and bring on team members to take on needed roles to do what we are not as good as doing, the whole enterprise can hum along, propelling us all toward our collective vision.