In one of my recent conversations with inspiring people the following statement was mentioned:
“The amount of change resistance you experience is directly proportional to your leaderships skills”
I love this statement. This is profound in so many ways. So profound that I needed to share why it is important, what it means to folk doing change and why it is so frequently overlooked.
This simple statement challenges something that many people believe to be true and it moves the onus of responsibility for change resistance away from the people being changed. This suggests that resistance is not a feature of them (the people being changed) which needs to be trained / coached / performance managed away. Instead resistance is a product of you (the one pushing out the change) which means you need to change too. This highlights the importance of collaboration, common purpose, shared learning and the basic premise that the ability to lead is not about telling others what to do it is about co-creating a vision of where we want to be.
Too often change is ‘rolled-out’ or ‘landed’ on people by managers who believe they know best. But without leadership there will be no followers and without leadership there will be resistance. Change managers will do well to remember that resistance is a problem that lies with themselves not with those doing the resisting. So when there is resistance, remember it is you who is not doing something right. They are not the problem.