Ruby slippers

By Jennifer Zaslow


What can we learn about personal and professional development from watching Turner Classic Movies?

A lot, it turns out.  Does this scene ring a bell?

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?

Glinda, the Good Witch: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.

Dorothy: I have?

Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?

Glinda, the Good Witch: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

Those ruby slippers were more than just fancy footwear.  They represented a power so great it could give Dorothy what she most dearly wanted in life – and she didn’t have to look any further than her own two feet.  Although she was willing to brave unimaginable danger to reach her dream, her journey to Emerald City was an exercise in futility.  It’s worth noting that while we traditionally associate the color green with positive action and the color red with standing still (but not by choice), our bias towards “doing” rather than “being” can make it hard to assess whether we’re actually on the right path in the first place.

In our relentless world of go, go go, maybe we need to consider donning our ruby slippers more often (you, too, gentlemen!) – and stop for a moment to consider who we are, where we want to go, and how we might tap into our own innate resources to get there.

My first big epiphany as a new coach working with high-achieving professionals from CEO’s to emerging leaders is that we tend to look everywhere but within for our answers.

I posit this: each and every one of us possesses a power source, rich in wisdom, self-knowledge, inspiration, creativity and drive.  But, depending what’s going on in our lives, we sometimes lose access to this source – either because we forget it’s there, or because we think it’s depleted.

As we get to the time of year when many of us make resolutions, I’m challenging my clients to re-connect with their inner power.   In future posts, I’ll talk more about how we do this. But for now, let’s start with faith.  Let’s believe in ourselves, and all we have to bring.  Just click three times and you’re on your way.


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