What Can Your Ruby Slippers Do?
Janet Lentz
122 Posts

Most people in the Western world have seen The Wizard of Oz at least once. This is the movie where Dorothy Gale, a poor farm girl from Kansas, suddenly finds herself in a strange land with no way to get home.

I admire the Kansas Dorothy. Spunky. Loyal. Risk taker. After standing up to the local bully, she leaves home in a storm with no money, no professional network, no job prospects, no GPS, no laptop, and no cell phone, just to save her dog Toto from a terrible fate.

The Oz Dorothy is a different story. In Oz, Dorothy loses her s**** and spends her time doing little except hoping desperately that the Wizard will get her back to Kansas, or that her friends will bail her out of jail. Oddly, returning to Kansas pretty much guarantees helpless little Toto will get the ax. (That’s what happens when you don’t have clearly defined goals.)

Why on Earth would she want to get out of Oz anyway? Personally I don’t think Oz was such a bad place.

Let’s review:
1. Nice weather (no tornadoes)
2. No traffic jams on the Yellow Brick Road
3. Everyone is kind and very supportive

Well, almost everyone. Admittedly Dorothy did have some interpersonal problems with the Witch of the West. Perhaps if she’d had some better conflict resolution skills she could have negotiated a win-win scenario sharing the power shoes, saving a bunch of people a lot of unpleasantness (not to mention saving herself a scary ride with flying monkeys).

At least with the WWW you knew where you stood. She had some leadership ability and clearly communicated the predicable, non-negotiable consequences for not handing over the ruby slippers by the deadline. Frankly I think Glinda, the trusted “good” Witch of the East, could have been a little more forthcoming in order to leave Dorothy with an accurate picture of the truth – that only Dorothy had the power to return her to Kansas. This information would have been particularly useful since the Wizard turned out to be nothing but smoke and mirrors. On the flip side, Dorothy had some responsibility to make sure she understood all the facts. “What exactly can these glitzy slippers do? Can they get me back to Kansas right now?”

When you go about your day, do you build trust by leaving others with an accurate picture of the truth? Or do you catch yourself leaving out facts in order to leave a false impression of the truth when it suits your purpose? Trust is one of the hardest things on Earth to acquire, and one of the easiest to lose. Are you known for your integrity?

If Dorothy had been the type of gal to learn from her mistakes, she would have asked a few more questions when Glinda told her the ruby slippers would take her back to Kansas. Might have been pretty cold hitchhiking back to the Gale farm from Abilene.