Recently, the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz” sold for 2.5 million dollars.
The factor that made them so desirable? Slight scuffs were seen on the bottom where she clicked her heels together and said, “There’s no place like home; There’s no place like home; There’s no place like home.”
Any movie that addresses the concept of “going home” imprints itself on society. Why? Because “home” is a place where we are connected to the people around us. Home is where we feel we belong. It’s where our heart is plugged in and we feel valued.
Heart is the great connector. I remember watching grown men sob in a theater when E.T. touched his glowing chest and said, “Hooooome.” This was a fake alien, in a fictional movie, yet that gesture and word struck a chord with every person sitting there. The sobbing was so loud I couldn’t hear the movie, and that was just MY sobbing.
No, I don’t expect companies to be like “home” in the classic sense. But leaders should make sure their team is connected in a way that fuels both the heart and the head.
If you want to lead a dynamic team, you have to connect them by creating a place where performance is rewarded and people are given credit for what they’ve contributed. You have to praise when it’s earned and encourage improvement when someone fails. No single person is going to be dominant in a market for long. They are only as good, and as inspired, as the team they are on.
Team togetherness matters to any change initiative. Because all of us tap our ruby slippers together at some point during the week. Because all of us want a place where we feel we contribute and belong. Because if the heart stops beating, the company dies a slow and painful death.
A team I worked with at Radford University actually bought a “faux” pair of ruby slippers and put them at the front desk so that everybody could remember that, through every day of difficult change, there’s no place like team.