I’ve been a student of leadership for many years and the Kellogg experience greatly accelerated my understanding of the role and responsibilities of leaders. Over the years, I’ve learned many lessons in leadership – some derived from study and many derived from the hard knocks of experience. In combination with my leadership experiences, I’ve also become a believer that stories are much more powerful in conveying message to the general population than lots of data. While those of us who have an academic bent can get lost in the merits of research and analytics, most people are nudged to action by stories to which they can relate – which brings us to Toto’s Reflections
For many years, I have been a fan of “The Wizard of Oz” – the story, the metaphors, and all the rest. I’ve seen “Wicked” at least 7 times in New York, London, DC and other venues. More importantly, I’ve come to realize that the story of Oz is replete with lessons on leadership. I was in the process of writing a traditional academic book using the Oz lessons as metaphors when a very close friend of mine said – “NO! Kevin, you’ve got to write it from the perspective of Toto. He was the only other character involved in every part of the story.” So, that’s what I did.
Toto’s Reflections: The Leadership Lessons from The Wizard of Oz” provides the read with the lessons in leadership from a dog’s perspective. I wrote it as an “airplane read” on the notion that most executives are simply too busy for tomes of research.