Resistance and a Lack of Clarity

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Leadership is tough. It is most difficult when others refuse to follow. In fact, if no one is following then it is difficult to argue that leadership is actually taking place. You have been there before. For whatever reason the vision refuses to stick, and the goals lack resonance. What is the deal? What is keeping your audience from catching the message? We often chalk this up to an attitude of resistance. Resistance takes place when others consciously refuse to follow. They choose to stand in opposition to the prescribed direction of the group. People resist when they fundamentally disagree with the leader. The dont want to move offices and so they resist your vision for reorganizing the office. They like current procedures and resist updating current forms and systems. There are a lot of reasons why someone might resist change; many are valid. But, as leaders, we must not confuse resistance with a lack of clarity.

Lack of clarity takes place when people don't understand the direction of the leader. This is not resistance but shares many characteristics. People not following is the principle similarity between resistance and lack of clarity. Very rarely will people follow someone into a place that they don't understand. Even Dorothy  in the wonderful world of Oz, had a clear vision for her band of characters. They were off to see the wizard  and despite harsh opposition, they persisted because the vision was clear.

Make sure that the direction of your leadership is clear. You may discover that much of the "resistance" that you have been facing is not resistance at all. People rarely follow those that they do not understand. Be clear and increase your leadership potential.

Brent ColbyComment