Friday, August 13, 2010

We're Off To See The Wizard....

It's been exactly 71 years since "The Wizard of Oz" was released. The film had its big Hollywood premiere on Aug. 15, 1939, but it first officially debuted on Aug. 12 in Oconomowoc, Wis. at the Strand Theatre. It was based on the children's novel by L. Frank Baum and grew famous for its striking use of color and visual effects.

Do you remember the first time you saw it:

· Did you immediately learn the words and start singing the song they sang as they “followed the yellow brick road”?

· How scared were you by the witch and those flying monkeys??

· Can you still see the witch’s feet sticking out and twitching under that house that fell on her???

· And what about those “munchkins” – is that where the term came from????

· But wait: do you remember the look on your face the first time you saw the Wizard behind the curtain?????

Of all the impressions left by this classic, for me the biggest “aha” was that what was behind that curtain was not as special or scary as I originally thought; and that’s true about so many things in life. This simple truth is one we all realize every day: the things we don’t know tend to scare us or make us anxious. Once you learn “what’s behind the curtain” you really can face whatever that something is that’s making you nervous and proceed with the confidence that it’s not really all that scary.

Take time this weekend to skip along whatever yellow brick road you find yourself on, and sing the words you learned so long ago:

The Wizard of Oz is one because

Because, because, because, because, because

Because of the wonderful things he does

We're off to see the Wizard

The wonderful Wizard of Oz

My message this week is based on a quote by JC Penney and it challenges us to do more than what’s expected. Enjoy:

“It is the service we are not obliged to give that people value most.” James C. Penney

James Cash Penney (1875 – 1971) was a businessman and entrepreneur. In 1902, he founded the J. C. Penney stores. By 1924, Penney was earning an income of more than $1.5 million dollars annually.

What are you going to give to people today? Lots of people talk about “giving it their all” or “going the extra mile”. We all give, everyday, and most of what we give is little more than what’s expected. That’s not a bad thing: people say “Hi”, we say “Hi” back; people ask a question, we give them an answer; people order something, we give them just what they want. But if day after day you do that much and nothing more then that often gets taken for granted. What happened to saying more, giving more and being more than anyone ever expected?

When you meet someone today, don’t just say ‘hi’ – ask how they are. When answering a question today, give the answer and explain ‘why’ with enthusiasm. When you give something today, give more than was requested, and do it with a smile!

That’s what it takes these days to ‘wow’ colleagues, bosses, customer and friends. That’s the kind of service that you are not obliged to give and that people will value most. Try that today and see what kind of reaction you get!

Stay well!

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