fundamental shift last year where I really started to enjoy nonfiction.
While business management books certainly fall into the category of nonfiction, I have always enjoyed these types of reads. In college I remember reading The World is Flat, The Definitive Drucker, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and You Can Negotiate Anything. Typically, I would read well into the night and hang on every management theorists' word.
The current President of the University where I work is also big into business theory books. From him, I have also tackled Good to Great, Confidence, and Execution. Of those, I would say that Execution is my favorite because it touches on the concepts of accountability.
Which is where The Oz Principle comes into the equation. A friend of mine references this book often when speaking so I decided that I needed to check it out. Packed to the brim with concrete examples (more on that in a second), I found it to be a highly informative read. The easy to draw parallels from The Wizard of Oz characters makes the story "click" inside your mind. The sense of urgency it drives home by the clicking of the ruby slippers is not missed, despite the sometimes overloading of real-world practical examples.
The book is divided into three parts: an overview, a step by step practical Maslow-esque hierarchy of concepts, and finally a "ok what now" application section. The journey down the "yellow brick road" in section two is when I felt that the book came alive. Each character drove home a new concept in the book's mantra of "See it. Own it. Solve it. Do it." Personal accountability is shown in a new way, a simplistic way, that I really enjoyed.
Part three, the application of concepts presented section, is one that I believe I could reread every six months. The how to guide on "living" the Oz Principle was, in my opinion, the best part of the entire book. How to lead others to be accountable, how to change culture to one that exists "above the line," and how to minimize time spent "below the line" were addressed thoroughly yet in a clear/concise manner. After completing the book in its entirety, I can say with confidence that I will return to Part Three to reference as needed.
All in all, this book is a must-read for anybody seeking a lesson in personal and organizational accountability. The parallels between a famous children's story make the book instantly relateable, and the concepts are, frankly, ones that we can all use a refresher on. Again, my only negative is the onslaught of examples. Some are extremely relevant while others I feel are simply overkill after the point has already been proven. Still, take the time to discover "The Oz Principle" and you may just find that the best of life lies solely within yourself.
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