Thursday, September 26, 2013

Road to Success

75 years ago, the Wizard of Oz, transformed movies by coloring the world with ruby-red slippers, yellow-brick roads, and a land somewhere over the rainbow of sparkling emerald green. The story about Dorothy and her trusty dog/BFF Toto’s journey to find their way back to Kansas is one full of life’s success lessons.

On the surface, the movie presents a story about good and evil. One about making friends and learning there is no place like home. Scratch the surface deeper and you’ll find between the uncles and flying monkeys, that Dorothy’s 103 minute journey is one espousing the skills you need to be successful in the journey we are all on together, the one of life and success.

Following the Yellow Brick Road of Success:

1. Which Witch?
I suppose I've always had a good witch in me.
When I was 5, I wanted to be Glinda for Halloween,
so my Mom made me a custom costume.
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: “Only bad witches are ugly.”
You’re such a witch! Everyone is. The killer question: which witch are you? When Dorothy’s adventure began in Oz with her house crushing one witch, she quickly encountered two more: Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West. Both epitomize the polar opposites of personal outlook. There is the bubbly, soft-spoken, happy, oh-so-positive Glinda and then you have the hideous, cackling, negative, “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too,” Wicked Witch. Every day, every moment, you receive the privilege of deciding if you want to be positive or negative. Your attitude determines how others see you, beautiful or ugly, and you choose. If you want to be successful, you must first start with your internal attitude. Be positive and you’ll be more attractive to others.

2. Brain.
Dorothy: “How do you talk if you don't have a brain?”
Scarecrow: “Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don't they?”
This brain is made for thinking, and that's just what it'll do. One of these days your brain is gonna think critically for you. Critical thinking is a long lost luxury amongst the world. And it’s two-fold. There is thinking before you act. Think before you speak. Think before you decide. Think before you proceed. And thinking about your abilities. Think that you can. Think that you will. Think that you are. Thinking is a complex process that contributes directly to your success. Your thoughts are powerful; choose wisely.

3. Heart.
Wizard of Oz: “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”
Love is the greatest of all. The heart of your success is to believe in what you do and have an unwavering passion. The happiest, healthiest, and most successful people radiate a love for what they do that is contagious. They are successful because others are attracted to the aura they project. What do you love? What are you passionate about? Find it and you’ll find your success.

4. Courage.
Wizard of Oz:You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
The adorable Cowardly Lion had no courage whatsoever because he lacked confidence. When you are full of self-confidence (not self-conceitedness) your courage follows. The courage to BE: be different, be memorable, be creative, be courageous, be criticized, be you. One of the most courageous characters of my lifetime has been Steve Jobs. He had the courage and confidence and creativity to see beyond the ordinary, to picture what could be, what would be, and then took action to make it happen despite critics.

Toward the end of the movie, the Tin Man asks Dorothy what she’s learned. She replies: If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!”

Your desires have and always will be with you. You will often fail because you choose to veer off the path of your true desire. Stay the course. Use your brain, your heart, and your courage to dance down the yellow brick road of success. When you do, you’ll find yourself living somewhere over the rainbow.

The Yellow Brick Road of Success is one of my signature keynote presentations. If you would like to learn more about booking me to share this message with you and your team, please email with the subject line – Yellow Brick Road. 


  1. Great Article! Never looked at in that way, thanks for the fresh perspective. Have you seen the show "Wicked" yet? Adds another point of view, evil is always evil and good isn't always good, a lot depends on where you are standing at that point in time.
    Thanks you, keep up the great work.

    1. Hi Dave! Yes, I've seen Wicked, an amazing backstory of the Witches. I loved it. Thank you for reading and the kind words.

  2. Loved the article, the movie, and the points. I could not agree more that life's good lessons are all around us if we take the time to look, reflect, and act.

  3. Good article Stephanie. I enjoy reading your contributions to Sales Caffeine. I just read the following yesterday on a friends FB page "Abandoned Wizard of OZ Theme Park" opens once a year. Two hours from Charlotte a visit might put into the OZ ZONE!

  4. I recently viewed an episode of Hell on Wheels (love the show), Mr. Durant who's now been removed from the railroad states to an associate that "A man who lives life by what's right and what's wrong will never experience success". Such a selfish statement. Your blog was spot on, it's takes warm human interaction to make your way in life, forget everything you see on reality shows, as the old cliché states you can attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Well written article, thank you.