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

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,546 ratings  ·  188 reviews
A decade ago, The Oz Principle took the business world by storm. At its root, the principle works like this: Like Dorothy and the gang in The Wizard of Oz, most businesspeople have the tools to succeed, but when things go wrong they blame
circumstance or others instead of looking within for the true cause of unsatisfactory results. Once individuals learn to accept responsi
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 1994)
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Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book takes a single point (and a mis-coined one at that): "be accountable--and by accountable we mean be responsible" and beats it to death, resurrects it, and then beats it some more.

The authors acknowledge the dictionary definition of accountability and then redefine accountability as "a personal choice to rise above one's circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results--to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It." p47. Somehow, I don't see that definition
Arthur Meursault
Feb 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Condescending shit. I was forced to read this book because my company forced us to read - creating a horseshit culture of condescension and lying.

The book uses the motif of The Wizard of Oz to make crappy management points that help provide spineless middle managers with a new arsenal of meaningless buzzzzzwords (the zzz's are intentional).

Going by this rule, anything could be used as a management tool. Have you ever seen Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom? Indy's whip symbolises how employees
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
"Take responsibility for your actions". There, I saved you slogging through that. Well I guess there were some amusing real life anecdotes, but the Wizard of Oz analogy did not work for me at all. ...more
Joe Robles
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: executive-shelf
I agree with much of what this book says, but think the presentation was poor. I despise the use of the term, "victim" or "victim mentality". That phrase reeks of early 80-90s Republican mentality. I do believe in personal responsibility and think, especially in work, that one should always ask, "what can we do," rather than, "who can we blame?" A while back I realized that anything that goes wrong in my department is my responsibility. Even if it is someone else who actually made the mistake. E ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I listened to the audio version of the book. I was two-thirds of the way through and thought we were coming to the conclusion, and then heard, "next, in part three..." REALLY??

This book is tiresome and never seems to get to the bottom line. The Wizard of Oz comparisons are really lame, too. The jargon used in the book, Above the Line, Below the Line, etc. got on my nerves after awhile, too.

I found very little in the book that I could apply to me personally or to my small business that has five e
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who feels they can't control their circumstances
Recommended to Stasha by: New COO at work
Shelves: business, management
What more can I do to rise above my situation? Have I done all I can to solve the problem? If someone else were brought in to deal with this issue, how would they approach it?
Did I follow my solution plan? Do I have to adjust it? Why am I making the adjustment?

Page 210 really helped me realize that I have wasted time at my current job and should have been out looking years ago. I am responsible for staying in a situation which allows others to victimize me. So where to go from here? Out as qui
May 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
This is a super long-winded way of saying hold yourself accountable.

Seriously, the book boils down to this: (1) work to understand the situation as it truly is, (2) take responsibility for it, (3) ask “what else can I do?”, and (4) execute.

The course is better because it provides specific tools to give and receive feedback, unites a team under a single objective, and provides a forum to problem solve and commit to action.

The book is too generic to be useful on its own, and the Wizard of Oz ana
Jun 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people bent on execution
Shelves: businessstuff
loved it ... teaches accountibility in the work place and the value of plain ol' getting things done
Mostly old and obvious exhortations to take personal responsibility for results. There was one chapter out of ten that was of value to me.
Vincent Darlage
Oct 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
The Oz Principle offers advice on how to be more accountable in one’s life. The book is divided into three major sections.
Part I: This is an overview of the path toward accountability, a yellow-brick road, if you will. This section divides accountability from victimization by a line. Being accountable is above the line, and taking the victim role is below the line.

Part II: This part develops the steps above the line to full accountability, emphasizing the characters met upon the yellow-brick roa
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lorraine by: Sarah
Basic premise: don't be a victim but take hold of your situation and ask what you can do to improve it. I'm not sure the book adds a whole lot of detail beyond that simple statement, but it pretends to. Lots of vague examples of companies and business people who were sinking then choose to stop complaining and start fixing and "voila!" their business turned around. Each section begins with a quote from Frank L. Baum's book The Wizard of Oz to illustrate that just like Dorothy, The Scarecrow, the ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I like the basic premise of this book - don't play the blame game, keep things positive, have ownership and accountability in your life. The book feels dated and they spend a lot of time making it seem like people should put up with poor treatment because maybe they overlooked a detail or didn't get something in writing. At the end they managed to talk about managers treating employees well and how to speak effectively to your staff, but it just felt like feelings and personal opinions were not ...more
Teri Temme
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
"What else can we do?" INDEED!

Accountability. Such a great word! And sometimes it really happens... From David Schlotterbeck:

"People in the organization owned their circumstances, established their own targets, and made the improvements; and that without me paying any attention to it. This is simply the result of their being more accountable, going at this in a very teamwork oriented fashion, and give each other a lot of feedback on what we needed to change."
Lindsey Orlando
Mar 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I like the message of accountability, but I couldn't stand the delivery of this book: very redundant, and feels patronizing because it approaches the topic as though it's revolutionary when it's common sense. ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book will be a perennial re-listen for me; I can tell. (I've already listened to it twice.)

The book basically says that many/most/all of us have been victimized at some point in time and to some degree. It asks the question, “Could things be better?” And, then, says “Okay, let’s take a look at steps to help improve the future.”
Andrew Fendrich
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-bookshelf
This is a solid book on individual and organizational accountability. I read it with my co-workers. There are tons of solid examples from famous businesses that showcase a pretty simple (and, biblical) truth: if you play the victim, make excuses, and don't work hard, you won't achieve success. If you take responsibility, hold yourself and others accountable, and work hard, you will. ...more
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I'm not usually big on business books. I often find that they try to push their "bigger-better idea" over common sense. This book, The Oz Principle, seems to push common sense over the bigger-better deal. It realizes that by depending on someone else's methodology to get results, one basically enables a new scapegoat when it fails. Instead, this book says to throw out the scapegoat, stop whining and realize personal accountability AND potential - and that combination is important. This is one of ...more
Susan Gillham
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Follow the Yellow Brick Road...
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. The premise was strong and the examples were meaningful. I like the questions at the end of each chapter and there was clear guidance as to how to use the principles taught.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Not a very good book about accountability and responsibility.

I cannot recommend this book.
Jessica Jang
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Asking someone else to tell you what to do represents nothing more than an advanced for of excuse making because it stems from the victim’s desire to prepare his or her excuse before ever taking action.Never make excuses. *Joint accountability! “If this company is to achieve it’s goals, we have got to become boundaryless. Boundaries are crazy. The union is just another boundary, an dyou have to reach across the same way you want to reach across the boundaries separating you from your customers a ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, leadership
Accountability - A personal choice to rise above one's circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results - to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It.

This definition presents the backbone of The Oz Principle's philosophy which Roger Connors follows through to unpack. This book presents the fix to feelings of grumbling and victimization that we feel as employees, leaders, and other circumstances in which we pursue a desired outcome of some sort.

The approach laid out
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The message was right, just spent too much time explaining "why" over and over and less time on "how". ...more
Josh Cramer
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Years ago, a friend of mine suggested I read the Oz Principle. As of today, I’m finally made it to the final chapter (which I’ll read tomorrow). I have to say that overall, I’ve enjoyed the anecdotes and concepts that the authors discuss a lot.

That said, one of my favorite books is the Question Behind the Question or QBQ (as we affectionately call it), so I wondered how these two books would intersect. Short answer? At times, they very much overlap. The main difference seems to be that while the
Neil Crossan
Jan 02, 2021 rated it did not like it
No one should read this book.

Corporate propaganda that is plagued with bloated repetition of the same concept set-ups supported by vague Pollyanna stories. Every example provided should end with, “And they lived happily ever after.”

Essentially you can watch a GIF of Shia Labeouf yelling “Do It” and you’ll get the point.

There’s lots of free passes and hero worship for executives in this book, but for workers, you need to put in extra hours on Saturdays (p. 50) “Amazingly, the implementation team
Bob Wallner
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So I'm being asked in this review pane "What did you think?"

What I think is … Why didn’t I read this sooner? I hear much too often we need to “hold people accountable” or “who is accountable for that” but what is accountability and what simply blame? Why is the person who is asking the question, never the one accountable? The authors of the Oz Principle use L. Frank Baum’s classic Oz Chronicles as the metaphor for personal accountability.
First part of the book, the authors spend time discussing
A.R. Beckert
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Not a bad read!

I felt like a lot of the ideas here really resonated with my religious beliefs, so it was highly encouraging to see these principles applied in a secular setting.

I know we all have a lot to learn when it comes to seeking results in the areas that challenge us most, and I appreciated how Conners emphasizes that dropping "Below the Line" is both human nature and unavoidable. "Above the Line" thinking, like living perfectly, is ideal but not our default setting as flawed human beings
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Some really helpful business concepts here... Connecting the the phases of See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It to the four main Wizard of Oz characters certainly helps them stick in the mind. However, I think the responsibility and accountability guidelines in this book should be implemented hand-in-hand with healthy boundaries. Otherwise, the over-achiever/type A personality could take The Oz Principle and run with it head-on into self-destruction. At some point, there has to be acknowledgement and ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Heverin
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this provides good practice, that at least to personally or internally help keep from getting stuck in a negative spiral. Overall I think there is an oversimplification on the value of this being really a value for an organization by getting everyone to but into taking on these behaviors and to get all your leadership to support and adopt this methodology. Without that group adoption, you will still run into a wall because you will only be able to address yourself and take it so far. Thi ...more
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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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“success springs not from some new-fangled fad, paradigm, process, or program but from the willingness of an organization’s people to embrace full accountability for the results they seek.” 0 likes
“The world’s societies suffer from the current cult of victimization because its subtle dogma holds that circumstances and other people prevent you from achieving your goals.” 0 likes
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