"Leadership & Movies"
Your Success Thought for the Week of February 21, 2007

Arguably, the movie “The Queen” was all about leadership. Perhaps not so arguably, “The Wizard of Oz” also exhbited varying leadership styles. What did each demonstrate?

Queen Elizabeth knew of no other manner in which to lead than to emulate her family’s behavior and rulings for generations. She was now presented with a new dilemma, the death of her son’s former wife. Should she follow the only leadership style that she knew or should she betray her ancestral dictates in acceding to what her constituents desired?

Tony Blair observed the queen’s archaic leadership style, steeped with tradition yet seemingly not in touch with today’s issues. He and his wife joked about the various rituals that made little sense to them. While he respected the queen’s position, Blair showed little initial respect for her choices. What did his leadership style say about him?

In “The Wizard of Oz,” we learned of two distinct yet opposing leadership styles. Oz ruled with force. His was the giant voice that scared his constituents into behaving in the manner of his choice. He could not be seen, only feared. Odd as it seems, we still have leaders behaving in this manner today. To them, fear-based leadership seems to work, yet their people’s loyalty is as thin as the veil Oz had in front of him.

Dorothy had a uniquely different leadership style. She had a goal to get back to Kansas. She knew she didn’t have the skills, knowledge or tools to get there, so she sought out the individuals who could take her there. While always having her eye on her goal, she led with compassion, understanding and genuineness.

What happened in the end for these four leaders and what is there for us to learn?

The Queen: Learned to live in today’s world, listening to what her constituents demanded from her, putting herself in their shoes, and making strong choices accordingly.

The Prime Minister: Closely observed the queen’s tough choices, and in doing so, gained appreciation and respect for the individual (not position) with which he was dealing. The result was a stronger bond between them, more open communication, and enhanced mutual support.

The Oz: As with most leaders who hide behind a façade and are afraid to show their true colors, he was ‘found out’ and lost his power. Had he believed in himself enough to be genuine in the beginning, his leadership would have taken a different turn.

Dorothy: Attained her goal and created strong relationships along the way. Each of the individuals with whom she interfaced felt validated, listened to, and gained a better understanding of how they contributed to each other's goals. In short, they were better off having had an association with her than they were on their own.

May we all learn from successes and errors of leaders, both fictional and real. May each day teach us one or two things about becoming a more vivacious, compassionate, dynamic and effective leader in our world.

Enjoy your discoveries.


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Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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