This is the funniest thing I saw on Facebook this week.
From the archives 8-8-2010
Leadership Archetypes in the Wizard of Oz
I am convinced that an archetype for almost any life situation can be found reflected in the film “The Wizard of Oz”. I know, that sounds weird, but go with me on this for a moment.
For example, here is everything you need to know to be successful in leadership, framed in the archetypes that are found in the Wizard of Oz.
Dorothy, the Ingenue, is young and endearing, dewy-eyed and innocent. She is pretty much lost in the new environment of Oz, relying on the kindness of strangers to help her find her way around. According to Wikipedia, this term comes from the French adjective ingénu meaning “ingenuous” or innocent, virtuous, and candid. The term also implies a lack of sophistication and cunning.
You will not survive long in Oz or as a leader if you stay in this state, but it is a good starting place, heading bravely off down the virtual yellow brick road trying to get where you want to go, just like the plucky Dorothy.
The Cowardly Lion, or Courage, is a strange combination of confidence and cowardice. Ostensibly, the King of the Forest, the Lion turns out to be a coward, until he confronts numerous trials and challenges, learning self-confidence and bravery along the way. By delving into the mysteries of work, spending some time dealing with people, you will become more confident and brave in your approach.
The Tin Man, or Heart, is the emotional archetype. He embodies the things that we are passionate about. You can be passionate about people, or work, or your career, but that is not enough by itself.
The Scarecrow, or the Brain is the archetype for knowledge and learning. This should not be confused with expertise. The scarecrow becomes smarter as he travels through Oz with the group, but he is still physically challenged and frail. His brain is only part of the total story, just as expertise is only one part of the total equation of leadership.
The Wizard of Oz, or the Answer Man, the guy who can solve all problems turns out to be just a guy who got lost when his balloon malfunctioned. He has no real magic, and no super-powers. He is just a dude who can talk his way around the room, selling snake oil. He may be the perfect archetype stand-in for the social media guru of today, but he is not sufficient to lead an organization successfully.
The Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the East, a pair of counter-balancing characters who do have magic powers, but are still unable to to effectively accomplish their goals, or deliver a simple complete solution. They represent the villian, and the guide respectively. These are factors in leadership, but not solutions.
Toto, or the faithful companion, who stays at Dorothy’s side through thick and thin, providing comfort, loyalty and support. This is another important archetype as a support figure.
So, here we have eight characters representing eight archetypes, none of them able to lead with their singular style or strength. So what is the lesson of the film? It’s simple. The ability to accomplish the goal, or overcome the obstacle is found in the combined strengths and skills of all the archetypes working together towards a common goal. This is the true lesson found in the story of the Wizard of Oz.