Summary of The Oz Principle

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Oz Principle book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Applicable


If you are looking for a simple guide to solving a complex business and career problem, welcome to the Emerald City. New York Times best-selling authors Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman believe that the “victim cycle” is a culture based on the refusal to see problems, accept accountability for them, solve them and take action is a serious business problem. They explain how the victim cycle stalls companies and careers from getting results. Their book positions The Wizard of Oz as an extended framework for a variety of self-help techniques you can use to overcome a sense of victimization and to eliminate the culture of victimization from your organization. The book also explains how accepting greater accountability for results can get a person, a team or an organization back on the path to success. And if the Oz metaphor is, perhaps, a little stretched here and there, just go with it. getAbstract finds that the advice is sound and the trip is fun. Like Dorothy, the tin man, the lion and the scarecrow, you, too, can journey down the Yellow Brick Road to a magic kingdom where you can achieve extraordinary results.

About the Authors

Roger Connors and Tom Smith are the co-founders of Partners in Leadership. They co-wrote the New York Times bestsellers Change the Culture, Change the Game and How Did That Happen? Craig Hickman is also the author of Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader and co-author of Creating Excellence.



Above and Below the Line

A fine line separates achievement and its opposite, whether that’s failure or inertia. To work above that line, take these sequential “steps to accountability” : “Muster the courage to see it, find the heart to own it, obtain the wisdom to solve it” and execute your solution by “exercising the means to do it.” The opposite actions are below the line, in the realm of non-achievement, victimization and apathy. These actions include making excuses, blaming others, being confused, refusing to accept responsibility, feeling helpless, looking out only for yourself, and covering up problems or denying them altogether.

Accountability is, if not a magic solution to everything, certainly a solution to many things. Business books are full of examples of companies that hit serious difficulties because people refused to take the steps to accountability. Cisco Systems earned its reputation for bold, imaginative management and amazing success during 40 quarters of uninterrupted growth. But Cisco risked its standing when its customers ran into trouble with the implosion of the technology stock bubble. Having missed some cues at first, management came to understand...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

How Not to Manage People
Creating a Drama-Free Workplace
How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge
The Decision Maker’s Playbook
Leading with Gratitude
Accountable Leaders

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    I. V. 2 years ago
    interesting to put into practice
  • Avatar
    A. G. 4 years ago
    I had the opportunity to learn this material through a webinar a few years back. It's stuck with me, and I integrate it into everyday life... It's easier with a group/team when everyone knows or understands the material though. It creates a comfortable environment to keep people honest, or having the ability to call someone out by saying "stay above the line" people aren't as upset when you remind them of "the line". The transparency aspect is very crucial, if everyone understands the overall goal, and understands that what they are doing has a direct effect on attaining that goal, it generates a higher quality of work. I have been using the "See it, Own it, Solve it, Do it" in the National Guard every opportunity I get, it helps uncover and fix problems before they become a bigger issue.
  • Avatar
    R. S. 5 years ago
    A must read summary for those folks that are new to the company or in the progress of adopting the new environment.
  • Avatar
    C. F. 8 years ago
    It's sort of a short guide of how to solve problems with real companies examples using the habilities or personality of the Wizard of Oz characters.