The Ultimate Unexpected Leadership Movie

Last week I had the honor of attending Generations Healthcare’s heartfelt and moving “Caring for a Lifetime” Presidential Awards Ceremony in which they celebrate an exceptional staff member from each one of their locations.

Prior to the ceremony, Tom Olds, the CEO, opened the day with his delightful Socratic approach. He asked his team, “What’s a movie everyone has seen that’s an extraordinary leadership movie?” Answers went up – Saving Private Ryan, The Darkest Hour…

After a few more attempts, Tom named it. “The Wizard of Oz.”

And if you think about it, he’s absolutely right.

Dorothy was an extraordinary leader.

She had both clarity of mission (to go home) and of vision (to see the Wizard of Oz.) She shared her vision and inspired others to join her on the journey. She stood up to the Wicked Witch of the West, choosing what was right over what was easy – even in the face of her own fear. She stood up for herself, her vision and for her team. Following her lead, her team consistently demonstrated tremendous commitment. She also faced the hard facts and brought her team together to work through them – when the Great Oz was nothing but a sham, they didn’t give up.

As spoken to by Generations Healthcare Director of Human Resources Merry Rogers, the most exemplary leadership trait demonstrated by Dorothy, is her commitment to help others believe in themselves – to shift their personal doubts and realize their own potential.

The scarecrow thought he needed a brain, the tin man a heart and the lion courage. These doubts were all used as excuses for why they couldn’t be self-actualized, why they couldn’t contribute. They all thought they needed something outside of themselves to be whole. When the Great Oz was useless, Dorothy rose to the occasion, acknowledging how she specifically witnessed their gifts. The scarecrow found his confidence, the tin man awareness of his own compassion, and the lion his exceptional courage.

May you realize your own ruby red slippers and support your team in realizing their own – “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to realize it for yourself.” Glinda, The Good Witch of the North

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