The Oz Principle | Roger Connors

Summary of: The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability
By: Roger Connors


Embark on a journey to discover the power of personal and organizational accountability with ‘The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability’ by Roger Connors. In this book summary, you’ll explore how accountability can lead to achievement, while its absence results in failure or inertia. Gain insights from various businesses’ experiences, such as Cisco Systems and General Electric, and learn how to avoid the six-stage ‘victim cycle’. Unlock the four sequential ‘steps to accountability’: seeing, owning, solving, and executing. Embrace the lessons of courage, heart, and wisdom from the classic tale ‘The Wizard of Oz’ as a guide to applying accountability in your own life and work.

Steps to Accountability

Achieving success requires the courage to see, the heart to own, and the wisdom to solve problems. In this book, the author emphasizes the importance of accountability in achieving goals. To do so, one must take steps above “the line” of achievement, such as accepting responsibility and executing solutions. Conversely, actions below the line, including blaming others and denial, lead to non-achievement, victimization, and apathy.

Many companies, such as Cisco Systems, have faced serious difficulties when employees failed to take accountability. However, by acknowledging the problem and working towards a solution, Cisco became an example of successful management. The power to rise above circumstances and achieve desired results lies within oneself. Despite this, it is human nature to avoid facing problems and accepting responsibility. In the case of General Electric’s refrigerator compressor mistake, denial led to inaction and further magnified the problem.

The book emphasizes that accountability is not a magic solution, but it is a critical step towards achievement. It is a challenge to practice accountability, but with courage, ownership, and wisdom, one can achieve their goals and rise above their circumstances.

Are you below the line?

Discover if you are accountable for your circumstances and learn to avoid the six-stage “victim cycle” that impedes accountability.

Do you often feel like you have no control over your life or work situation? Do you tend to blame others or avoid taking responsibility for your actions? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be slipping below the line between achievement and a dead-end.

To avoid falling further down this path, it’s essential to confront these issues and recognize them as impediments to accountability and progress. This self-diagnosis will help you identify any areas of concern that may require attention.

Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of the six-stage “victim cycle” that many people fall into when they slip below the line. This cycle includes the following stages:

1. “Ignore/deny”
2. “It’s not my job!”
3. “The blame game”
4. “Tell me what to do”
5. “Cover your tail”
6. “Wait and see”

By recognizing these stages and learning to avoid them, you can become more accountable for your actions and work towards achieving your goals. Instead of waiting for someone else to offer a solution, take charge and innovate. Don’t let blame and defensiveness get in the way of progress.

Remember, the key to success is accountability, and it starts with taking responsibility for your circumstances. So, if you feel like you’re slipping below the line, take control and begin working towards a breakthrough that will help you extract yourself from a difficult situation.

Understanding Accountability

Accountability is more than just blame when things go wrong. It involves taking ownership of one’s circumstances and demonstrating commitment towards achieving desired results. A spirit of accountability includes success, asking for constructive criticism, demanding the truth, not wasting time on things beyond one’s control, taking full ownership of work and its results, enjoying responsibility, and asking oneself what else can be done. Real accountability is shared among team members, with each individual owning a problem to achieve the right outcome. The “see it, own it, solve it and do it” approach is a helpful way to address problems.

Facing Challenges with Courage

Jim Copeland, the CEO of Deloitte & Touche, faced a big challenge when Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Andersen scandals hit the accounting profession. Despite the profitability of the consulting part of the business, Copeland chose to separate audit and consulting services within hours upon hearing that a major client was leaving. This decision required a big risk, but he saw the problem, faced it, and worked out a plan to eliminate obstacles. Copeland’s decisiveness is a contrast to the inaction and procrastination of many business people. Those who lack courage deliberately refuse to see problems out of fear while they are actually responsible and accountable. Therefore, to face challenges, people must have courage, change their perspectives and adopt new attitudes and behavior. It can take time, but as Jim Copeland showed, once the challenges are faced, uncertainties are eliminated, and problems are resolved.

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