Four Leadership Lessons from Oz

I was talking with a group of leaders today who were feeling overwhelmed by the journey that lies ahead for them. They sincerely want to transform their culture in order to shape a consistently positive patient experience, but the task feels daunting.  In all honesty, they have their work cut out for them, but with the right mindset, I am confident that they’ll achieve their goals.

When I think about what it takes for leaders to successfully shift the culture against tough odds, I think about the great lessons learned through the Wizard of Oz. Some of the most crucial leadership skills can be found along the yellow brick road.  What does it take?

  1. Compelling vision – When Dorothy set her sights on getting to Oz and meeting with the Wizard, she stayed the course when things got tough.  Her vision was clear enough to give her direction and compelling enough to entice others to join her on her journey.  That, in a nutshell are the two hallmarks of a compelling vision. Does it give you direction and is it compelling enough to get others to follow?
  2. Courage – it takes courage to challenge the status quo and stay the course. Change can be hard.  It takes guts and perseverance to withstand resistance and do what is best for the patient.
  3. Brains – It takes brains to achieve a service-centered culture. You have to be willing and able to examine and revamp processes that impact the patient experience. You need to be able to spot best practices and learn from them.
  4. Heart – Leaders who want to inspire excellence, need to have compassion and passion. Compassion for others as well as the passion to stand up for what you believe and to do the right thing.

The journey along the yellow brick road has lots of lessons worth replicating. If you want to create a service-driven culture, start with a compelling vision, then muster courage, sharpen your critical thinking skills and rekindle your passion for doing what’s right.


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