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The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability Paperback


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The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability + Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results + How Did That Happen?: Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade; Rev Upd edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843481
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Oz Principle describes what we’ve all suspected - that it isn’t just America in crisis, but the American character. The good news is that Connors, Smith, and Hickman also describe the ‘yellow brick road’ we must follow to rebuild the dominant qualities to achieve success.”

—Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Tom Smith and Roger Connors are cofounders of Partners in Leadership, an international management consulting firm with hundreds of clients in almost all major industries. They are also the coauthors of Journey to the Emerald City, a sequel to The Oz Principle.


Roger Connors and Tom Smith are cofounders of Partners in Leadership, an international management consulting firm with hundreds of clients in almost all major industries. They are also the coauthors of Journey to the Emerald City, a sequel to The Oz Principle.


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Customer Reviews

The concept of the principle is very strong and easy to understand.
Roberto Carvajal
The point is that in most circumstances, if we feel we are victims it is because we have allowed ourselves to become victims.
Eddie Merkel
I recommend this book to anyone that wants to be more successful in their work or in their life.
Geoff Ables

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Yanoff on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was one of those required reading books from work. The book is densely packed -- the hardcover version I have is 222 pages of average-sized type and little margin space. Each section starts with a blurb from the original text of The Wizard of Oz. Halfway through, I was skipping these hokey introductions. I thought that the idea of an analogy was a good one, but it was oddly executed. I don't know what other well-known book I would have used (although in general, I don't know how popular the book is compared to the movie), but perhaps an analogy is not even needed given their See It - Own It - Solve It - Do It mantra is so prevalent in the book (and trademarked).

The advice in the book is good for the most part. It revolves around accountability and how you can either be "Above The Line" or "Below The Line" with it, along with the mantra listed above.

I especially found the following tips noteworthy:
- Accountability is more than a confession.
- As accountability deepens and people move Above The Line within the organization, a shift occurs from the "tell me what to do," to "here is what I am going to do, what do you think?" -- a truly profound and empowering approach to getting results.
- One company president characterized what joint accountability meant to him this way: "Everyone working together so that we don't drop the ball; but when it does get dropped, everyone dives for the ball to pick it up."
- Owning one's circumstances did not mean accepting the perceptions of one's associates as total truth, but rather acknowledging a connection between one's behavior and their perceptions.

However, what would have pushed this book to receive a higher rating from me would have been fewer examples.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this revised and updated edition, the co-authors share with their reader what they have learned since their book was first published in 1994. Then and now, their objectives are the same: "...to help people become more accountable for their thoughts, feelings, actions, and results; and so that they can move their organizations to even greater heights. And, as they move along this always difficult and often frightening path, we hope that they, like Dorothy and her companions, discover that they really do possess the skills they need to do whatever their hearts desire."
In this volume, Connors, Smith, and Hickman invoke once again a core concept of a "Line" below which many (most?) people live much (most?) of the time. Theirs is the attitude of victimization: They get stuck on a "yellow brick road" by blaming others for their circumstances; they wait for "wizards" to wave their magic wands; and they expect all of their problems to disappear through little (if any) effort of their own.
What to do? Connors, Smith, and Hickman explain (step-by-step) how to Live Above the Line by assuming much greater accountability for whatever results one may desire.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By William A. Reed on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Before adopting this for your business it is worth considering whether it will achieve your goals and if it will have unintended consequences.

One of the first things you may notice in this book is that the authors have trademarked the commercial use of the two phrases "above the line®" and "below the line®". The horizontal "line" separates two types of behavior and attitudes, which represents the OZ principle. This might be some indication of their intentions.

Above the line thinking is about being accountable and below the line thinking is about "the blame game". In other words, the authors posit that we live in a culture of entitlement and pseudo-victimization where we are motivated to avoid accountability and blame others for failure. Consequently, this book (and its associated training courses) is often selected by management to obtain more "accountability" (and less excuses) from their employees.

Such a simplistic formula with a few twists and many anecdotal stories provide the necessary fuel for a highly successful book as well as a robust training and consulting practice. But, the expected results for your organization may not live up to the hype. This should be somewhat obvious on critical reflection, if you believe that people are not nearly as one-dimensional as this approach suggests.

I am all for accountability but have some concerns with this approach. First, its all-encompassing, individually-focused assessment of attitudinal performance is grossly over-simplistic, but interestingly appealing to organizations that are seeking simple solutions to their performance problems. It also appears to satisfy a number of individuals and managers who find solace in uncomplicated prescriptions to guide their staff behaviors.
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