Lessons in Coaching and Mentoring from the Wizard of Oz

Glyn Fussell

I love the fact that everyone I meet is unique, in the way they think, the way they express who they are and how they relate to the world.

the Tin Man from the Wizard of OzHowever, when I come to think of it, the kinds of issues that these unique individuals bring to work on in a coaching and mentoring relationship tend to fall into certain categories.

To me, knowing that there are issues and questions that most of us will encounter at some stage on our life’s journey is reassuring and normalising.

These categories of questions and issues are human and inescapable – and they are most helpfully pointed out to us in The Wizard of Oz.

They are as follows (with a simultaneous translation for you):

  • If I only had a brain – developing the skills, knowledge and ability I need for what I am facing now and what I will face in the future
  • If I only had a heart – connecting with others – having difficult conversations whilst staying in relationship and learning to understand the perspectives of others
  • If I only had the nerve – to put myself forward for promotion, to leave my job, to have the difficult conversations mentioned earlier
  • ‘There’s no place like home’ – returning to what makes you feel passionate and alive.

What I love about L. Frank Baum’s story is that the journey each character takes towards these aspirations is really one of self-discovery and a realisation that they had some of what they were longing for all along; living quietly and unacknowledged within them.

This is what I love about working with others on their questions; it is what is so exciting about coaching and mentoring with head, heart and soul.

Find out more about the Coaching and Mentoring with Head, Heart and Soul programme.

Glyn Fussell


Leadership and development consultant and coach enabling individuals, groups and organisations to achieve extraordinary results

Glyn Fussell