Last Saturday my wife, daughters, and I saw the musical “Wicked” at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis. It’s the second time we have seen the show, and I’m sure it ranks in my Top 3 favorite musicals.
Part of my affection for “Wicked” comes from knowledge of the show. On family vacations, we’ve listened to the “Wicked” soundtrack many, many times as we’ve crossed the Western Plains (and yes, Kansas, even). But more important than familiarity—the lyrics! I love lyrics, and lyrics don’t get any better and wiser than “Wicked.”
But enough chit-chat! I give you seven business lessons from “Wicked”! (lyrics by the incomparable Stephen Schwartz)
1. You don’t have to be a wizard to do brilliant things. The Wizard sings in “Wonderful”:
I never saw myself
As a Solomon or Socrates
I knew who I was:
One of your dime a dozen
Then suddenly I’m here
Just because the folks in Oz
Needed someone to believe in.
2. Be vigilant about your brand at all times. The Wizard sings in “Wonderful”:
A man’s called a traitor—or liberator
A rich man’s a thief—or philanthropist
Is one a crusader—or ruthless invader?
It’s all in which label
Is able to persist.
3. Don’t be afraid to take on challenging jobs! Galinda sings in “Popular”:
Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I,
And let’s face it, who isn’t less fortunate than I?
My tender heart tends to start to bleed.
And when someone needs a makeover,
I simply have to take over!
I know, I know exactly what they need!
And even in your case,
Though it’s the toughest case I’ve yet to face,
Don’t worry, I’m determined to succeed!
Follow my lead!
4. Even if you stumble badly, suffer public humiliation, and the townspeople want to burn you at the stake, don’t give up hope. The setback, in fact, might be the best thing that’s ever happened to you! The Wizard sings in “Wonderful”:
The most celebrated
Are the rehabilitated.
There’ll be such a whoop-de-doo
A celebration throughout Oz
That’s all to do—with you.
5. If you treat people badly, you will pay a price. Oh yes. You will. Even if you are an A-lister. Glinda sings in “No One Mourns the Wicked”:
Yes, goodness knows
The wicked’s lives are lonely
The wicked cry alone
Nothing grows for the wicked
They reap only
What they’ve sown.
6. Accept that some of the spells you try will not work. And know that you will look stupid sometimes. But it’s better than the alternative. Fiyero sings in “Dancing Through Life”:
Dancing through life
Swaying and sweeping
And always keeping cool.
Life is fraught less
When you’re thoughtless
Those who don’t try
Never look foolish.
7. There comes a time when every business owner needs to trust their brain, have courage, show some heart, and do what they believe is best. Elphaba sings in “Defying Gravity”:
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!
It’s time to try
I think I’ll try
And you can’t pull me down!
Are You A “Wicked” Fan?
What have you learned from the musical? Please share your opinion in the comments below.
Don’t Be Selfish!
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