See it. Own it. Solve it. Do it.

Simple words, but powerful implications. I just finished reading the Oz Principle and found it thought provoking. I’ll probably be processing it for the next few days; probably longer. It deals primarily with the A in my CARE model, but also addresses the C, R, and E nicely. Accountability can be such a challenge and at the organizational/cultural level it can be so inconsistent. Add to that a large organization and the higher education environment and watch out. Some days I am amazed that things actually manage to get done. But I digress.

The Oz Principle walks us through the primary characters in the Wizard of Oz as they go about their journey to the Emerald City only to find out that what they really needed was inside them all along. Isn’t that true of us? If we would just do what we already know how much better off would we be. But we avoid seeing it (the first step). Instead we go “below the line” and stay in the victim cycle. We point fingers, cover our tails etc. to make it seem like we have no control. “Above the line” is where we want to be. In the place that assumes personal accountability to do what we can to make things better. Below the line is were we make excuses and deflect the personal accountability.

The book is filled with a lot of stories, but the one that sticks with me is the couple that found their two homes destroyed by storms. Certainly they have a valid excuse. What are the chances of two homes in two different parts of the country being destroyed by storms? But as they reflected they realized it was their choice to purchase homes in these areas. Sure that might seem a bit extreme, but how many things in our lives are that way?

The concepts remind me a lot of what I read years ago about about quantum change. Gareth Morgan proposed that we control about 15% of what happens to us (as I recall). We can’t control 85%. But if we leverage the 15% we can impact the other 85%.

This post is actually a result of reading the book. Months ago I saw that I wanted to blog more. I’ve had lots of reasons below the line as to why I have not, but after reading The Oz Principle, I owned up it, I solved it, and hear I am doing it. I suspect this will not be my last post on the topic as the C and A are critical components to making CARE work.

I would highly recommend this book. While it might not present anything you have not read before elsewhere, it will make you think and do something about it.

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