Exiting Oz Header

Chapter Titles & Themes:

There is a storm brewing. A big one and it is affecting organizations of every kind worldwide. It is the perfect storm created by the long held and powerful idea that organizations should come first and the equally powerful pushback from the new workforce. These opposing forces have created a tornado-like climate that has leaders wondering what to do next as they observe dramatic reductions in initiative, employee engagement, interest in the job, and trust.

Chapter 1 – “I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore Toto”
This chapter describes the new awareness and values of today’s workforce, and explains why they reject traditional command and control leadership. Their response to “business as usual” has resulted in a mass exodus from organizations of every kind in recent years. It discusses the consequences to organizations of every kind, from corporations to governments to learning and religious institutions and suggests that, if this trend is not adequately addressed and stemmed, the ability of organizations, as they now exist, to continue to function will be seriously compromised. The trend could even mean the demise of many of the world’s oldest institutions.

Chapter 2 - The Munchkins Emerge
This chapter describes how OZ leaders tend to view the “little people,” (the workforce) and the pushback now being felt as the emerging workforce rejects that view and pushes back. It shows how this new workforce is writing a whole new chapter unlike any ever seen before. If OZ leaders thought unions made their agendas tougher to sustain, they need to brace themselves because they haven’t seen anything yet.

Chapter 3 - Follow the Yellow Brick Road
This chapter describes the “Yellow Brick Road,” which represents the systems, procedures and rules that promise to lead those who follow it to opportunity and success. It points out how dramatically OZ rules and the rules the new workforce differ and explains how OZ leaders, by clinging to the old rules, are creating the very storms that are trying so hard to avoid.

Chapter 4 - If I Only Had a Brain – Recognizing the Scarecrow
This chapter describes the Scarecrow leaders and how they function in the world of OZ. Scarecrow managers have very little spine and a disengaged brain. They mindlessly follow organizational rules and tend to create entire departments where people are functioning as if they had no brains.

Chapter 5 - The Heartless Tin Man
This chapter describes Tin Man leaders who tend to be cold, stiff, unyeilding and hard as nails. It suggests that Tin Man leaders have a heart, but keep it hidden away and rarely if ever allowed to show. In the land of OZ, the authors explain, showing heart is greatly discouraged. According to the Wizard, the things of heart are “squishy” and do not drive performance or add to the bottom line. This chapter explains why the folks running OZ organizations couldn’t be more wrong.

Chapter 6 - The Cowardly Lion
This chapter describes Cowardly Lion leaders who puts up a ferocious front in order to look tough and mean enough not to be challenged. They believe that, if no one will ever gets close, they will never see that he/she is really a softy with a big heart, but little courage. Cowardly Lions are often caring and humble, but insecure. This chapter explains how their lack of courage trips this kind of leader up, frustrates their team, and creates problems for the organization.

Chapter 7 - Lions and Tiger and Bears, Oh My!
This chapter is about ineffective management of change, something most organizations are experiencing most of the time. Since communication is often sorely lacking in OZ organizations, employees remain in the dark and change feels scary and unpredictable. When we cannot predict what the result of the change will be, fear, hyper-vigilance and disengagement are the result. The authors explain why failure to provide a clear vision and a trustworthy environment to help employees move through change successfully costs employers billions of dollars each year and what they can do to manage change better.

Chapter 8 - Beware the Wicked Witch and her Flying Monkeys
This chapter describes the worst of the leadership styles, the Witch. Witch leaders are so frustrated, overworked, fearful, bitter or angry much of the time that they become negative and push their negativity off on others. They feel powerless to change the organization’s rules, influence leaders, or change the things that are making them miserable personally, so they wield positional power with all the fury they can muster.

Witches tend to surround themselves with “Monkeys,” those unthinking types with no power, opinions or ideas of their own who just blindly follow the Witch's lead. If the environment is hostile, the Monkeys become hostile. If the boss is unreasonable, they become unreasonable too. In organizations or departments run by tyrant Witches who surround themselves with informant Monkeys, employees quickly discover that everything eventually finds its way back to the tyrant and there are consequences. Witches love to stir the flames of zeal in negative directions to keep the Monkeys and everyone else scrambling. Misplaced zeal can adversely affect entire groups of people and wreak havok throughout an organization. Employee morale is always the barometer of how well leadership is performing and here it is all but non-existent.

Chapter 9 – The Poppy Effect
This chapter discusses the causes of employee disengagement and how to remedy it. The Poppy Effect, as presented here, is the tendency of disengaged employees to figuratively (and sometimes literally) fall asleep on the job. In the story of Oz the poppy field had an effect on those passing through it which made them want to give up the quest, lay down and just go to sleep. The authors explain that there are people and processes in OZ organizations that have the same effect on employees.

Chapter 10 – The Wizard That Wasn’t
This chapter explains that not all leaders who appear to be Wizards really are. Some are just acting that way because that is the model they have been given. Real Wizards work at hiding from scrutiny; and keeping themselves separated from the workforce by smoke and mirrors, and protected by pomp and ceremony. Pseudo-wizards just don’t know how to gracefully get out from behind the curtain the organization has so carefully erected. When the curtain gets drawn involuntarily, the authors explain, the leader is exposed and reviled. When leaders draw the curtain and reveal their truth voluntarily, they are revered. This chapter explains why stepping from behind the curtain voluntarily is not just wise, but necessary.

Chapter 11 – If You Want the Prize You Must Perform Without Question
This chapter discusses the many ways OZ leaders defer rewarding those who have taken the prescribed steps to earn the prize they are seeking. In the story of Oz, the Wizard sets Dorothy and her companions off on a task that he is certain they cannot accomplish, apparently believing that, when they fail (as he is sure they will) and he doesn’t grant them their wishes, they will think it is their own fault. Then they will never suspect that the Wizard has no power to grant their wishes. It’s a pretty effective way to maintain the illusion of great and powerful, and a strategy not unfamiliar to OZ leaders.

Chapter 12 – Conquering the Wicked Witch
This chapter explains how the new workforce is conquering the Wicked Witch by refusing to be intimidated by fear tactics or positional power. The new generations, the authors explain, are wise to the Witch leader’s tactics and are refusing to play that game.

Chapter 13 – Claiming the Prize
Employees rarely stand their ground unless they have come to the end of their rope and believe they have nothing left to lose. The challenge OZ leaders are facing with the newer generations is that they walk in the door believing they have nothing to lose. They don’t believe that they can count on anyone but themselves so are willing to challenge leadership if they aren’t getting what they believe they have earned and have a right to. And they have no problem walking away if necessary. To stem the exodus, leaders must discover what today’s workers want and find ways to give it to them while maintaining the mission and valies of the organization. The authors point out that what the new worforce wants is not what most leaders assume.

Chapter 14 – Exposing the Wizard
The newer generations are bolder and less intimidated by the Wizard than past generations. Like little Toto, they are not shy about trekking into once sacred territory and pulling back the curtain exposing what once remained hidden. Not even the clergy or the president of the United States is off limits anymore.

Chapter 15 – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Unlike earlier generations, today’s workforce is completely unwilling to play by the old organizational rules. They are jumping ship in droves and many of them are deciding that their future lies beyond the constraints imposed by OZ organizations. They are opting for entrepreneurial pursuits which allow them to offer their skills to the highest bidder with the most appealing environment. Most OZ organizationsare not prepared for this new mindset.

Chapter 16 – Realities and Rewards
This chapter points out how well intentioned organizations with OZ leaders at the helm often miss the mark in trying to reward and inspire exemplary performance and actually de-motivate in the process. This can result in managers spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get the best from their people. According to research cited by the authors, workplace studies suggest that the average manager spends almost eighty percent of his/her time trying to keep employees directed and productive. This leaves them too little time for other important tasks, which produces frustration and stress. As stress rises, productivity drops such that the effectiveness of both leaders and their people suffers. The authors suggest better ways to reward employees to keep energy, motivation and effectiveness high.

Chapter 17 – OZ Never Did Give Nothing to the Tin Man
In this chapter the authors point out that we can never give people attributes that lead to greater effectiveness. We can only bring out and help them develop what they already have. The chapter begins with a refrain from the song Tin Man, by America, which observes that “OZ never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t . . . already have” and builds on that important truth. “The only thing the Wizard ever gave,” the authors explain, “and all any leader can give, is greater awareness of innate traits and abilities, the kind of encouragement that leads to confidence, and the right conditions for optimal performance and growth.”

Chapter 18 – There’s No Place Like Home
This chapter provides the picture the new workforce has painted of a workplace they would be willing to call home. Almost universally people describe the right fit as a company that values employees, not just for what they can do for the company’s bottom line, but as human beings with wants and needs and feelings. They want a company with a heart as well as a brain, and leaders they can trust. The authors provide a blueprint for creating a culture where the best and brightest will want to stay.

Chapter 19 – The Visionary Leader
Based on a extensive research done by Dr. Buffington and her research team to discover the specific competencies and natural traits of the highly effective leaders which author and researcher, Jim Collins, referred to as Level 5 Leaders, this chapter provides an in-depth look at what Level 5 or Visionary Leaders are made of and  gives a clear blueprint for leadership greatness which any company can use to discover and develop Level 5 or, what the authors refer to as Visionary Leaders.

Chapter 20 – Transforming Oz
This chapter provides many strategies organizations can use, beginning right now, to start transforming their organization and preparing for success in the emerging world. It examines the myths often repeated about the new generations and offers practical advice for getting stellar performance from these generations now and for years to come.

Chapter 21 – Homecoming
Based on fifteen years of generational research, this chapter explains that Generation X and Millennials are not changing jobs every few years (or months) because they are fickle. They are changing jobs in a relentless search for a place to call home. Provide that, the authors suggest, and you will have all the bright, dedicated employees you will ever need to thrive.