Chapter 8It's Not Just an Office

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Probably everyone reading this book has seen the famous 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. It's a lovely story about a little girl trying to find her way home to Kansas by traveling down the Yellow Brick Road, to seek the Wizard's assistance. Her good companions on this journey, Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, help Dorothy take on evil obstacles like the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys. The story, of course, has a happy ending, with Dorothy waking in her bed at home; the obstacles were just a dream. Given the way the story was told, viewers' opinions of the characters are pretty black-and-white. Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow are good, the false Wizard a little pathetic, and the Wicked Witch of the West unquestionably bad. It's easy to have compassion for the “good guys” and zero sympathy for the Wicked Witch.

The Wizard of Oz was the first broadly distributed film to use color. The movie opens in Kansas, in conventional black-and-white, but suddenly switches to brilliant Technicolor when the tornado deposits Dorothy and her dog, Toto, in Oz. At the time of the film's release, audiences gasped in wonder and delight. We can't expect the same response here, but we do hope this book opens readers' eyes to new ways of seeing the opportunities of transition. “Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!”

In 2003, the play Wicked ...

Get Success and Succession: Unlocking Value, Power, and Potential in the Professional Services and Advisory Space now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.