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Dorothy's Lesson: The Value of the Journey

Dorothy and Toto in Oz
Image Courtesy of Everett Collection

At the end of her journey, Dorothy finally arrives at the Emerald City to meet the Wizard and ask him to send her home. Though Toto revealed him to be no wizard at all, he still possessed the power to return her home—in his hot air balloon. With the fire lit, the Wizard leaves Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion in charge and says his goodbyes. But before Dorothy can join him in the basket, the balloon takes off, leaving her stranded in Oz once again.

We’ve all been lost before—maybe not dropped into a strange, magical land—but missed a wrong turn on a back road and found ourselves somewhere unexpected. We’ve all scheduled a social media campaign only to find it leads us nowhere near our destination. Whether or not a twister has flown your house into Munchkinland, you’ve likely felt as stranded as Dorothy.

Twice, Glinda the Good Witch arrives to give guidance to our heroine: first in Munchkinland and then again after Dorothy is left behind by the Wizard. The second time, Glinda tells Dorothy not to worry, that her Ruby Red Slippers will take her home. Amazed, Scarecrow asks why she didn’t tell Dorothy about the slippers’ power initially.

“Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself,” Glinda answers.

As much as we would like a good witch to float down in a glowing pink orb to give us the answers we need to get our campaigns back on track, some questions require a journey of self-discovery. In Kansas, Dorothy longed to travel someplace where troubles melt like lemon drops. By the end of her adventure, she realizes that home is where she needs to be.

When you’ve carefully mapped out a marketing campaign, you may hope for it to launch your organization somewhere over the rainbow. Have you considered that maybe your audience resides elsewhere? You need to know for sure before clicking your heels together.

Earlier this month, we discussed the importance of following the Yellow Brick Road. When your marketing plan is buffeted by the winds of unexpected circumstances and plunged into an unfamiliar situation, you must take stock of your surroundings. Ask for advice. Devise a plan. Begin your adventure.

You have what you need to succeed. You just need to find it.

Your journey might be one of audience research. Is your audience in need of a brain, a heart, or courage? To find the answer, you must meet them where they are and then get to know them. If your journey is one of brand realignment, you may need to uncover your organization’s strengths. Are you brave? Smart? Loving? What do you have that you can use to service your community? Like Dorothy, you may need to realign your goals and ensure that your strategies will really take you where you need to go.

It’s tempting at times to take the easy way out or to move too impulsively. While it’s important to be flexible, pivoting too quickly could cause a pendulum swing from one extreme to the other. Be patient and take the time to understand your surroundings. Use the journey ahead to gain insight into your partners and your audience. Along the way, you’ll learn things you never knew, and only then will you have the tools you need to get back home.

What journeys have you been on lately? Share with us in the comments or connect for advice from a Good Witch!



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