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Breaking the "Cycle of Resistance"


Leaders are measured and paid on their ability to reduce resistance within an organization. Resistance in your organization is the most expensive expense and it is a silent killer of profits. “Resistance to change is a phenomenon that slows the change process by hindering its implementation and increasing costs” (Christensen, 2014). Leaders take a vision and fill it with energy. They put that energy out into the market place. This energy needs to flow freely through all staff to the customers.

Do you remember from 7th grade science class when the teacher lectured about electrical resistance? You learned how to measure the electrical resistance of an electrical conductor. Resistance is measured based on how difficult it is for electrical current to pass through the conductor. Resistance is like friction.

Your employees become resistant, when you the boss, blame them for missing on goals. Your team will become more resistant to change the next time they do not receive a raise, see inflation at the gas pump, notice expense cutting within the organization, or are effected in any economic way. The next time your organization commands change friction will be high.  The goal will be more difficult to accomplish because of the high levels of resistance.

If you remember, from science class, all matter has a measure of resistance. Resistance is higher based on two properties and they are geometrical and material. A narrow wire does not let all current to flow as free as a wide wire (geometry) and electricity flows more freely depending what the make-up of the conductor (material).

You can improve your Leadership Geometry – Leadership Geometry is your ability to communicate and effect change. Writing improves communication and expands your mind. It improves your communication because it provides practice communicating with an audience. I recommend if you would like to improve your Leadership Geometry write. Spend time working on your communication craft.

You can improve your Leadership Material – Leadership Material is the material that supports your communication efforts. It is the make-up of your thoughts. “Positive attitudes to change and organizational reforms are clearly related to positive work outcomes” (Giauque, 2015). The more you read the more positive material you will have to share with your staff. Reading allows you to draw from your well of ideas. It is difficult to effect change without have material you have available to share at your discretion. The more you can influence your team to read the faster resistance is reduced within your origination.

If the leader is the conductor within an organization, the electrical resistance explanation is the same within your organization. Consider yourself the electrical conductor. Resistance from your staff is higher based on your geometrical and material properties. Depending on how narrow minded you are as a leader your energy may be met with resistance (geometry). Depending on what you are made of, you may be met with resistance (material).  


Christensen, M. (2014). Communication as a Strategic Tool in Change Processes. Journal Of Business Communication51(4), 359-385. doi:10.1177/2329488414525442
Giauque, D. (2015). Attitudes Toward Organizational Change Among Public Middle Managers. Public Personnel Management44(1), 70-98.


Nathan Bush, senior property manager for Affinity Property Group in O’Fallon, Mo., and author of the book Leadership Coaching as a Strategy for Employee Development (CreateSpace, 2014), is helping real estate pros and property managers break the “cycle of resistance” facing their organization. Visit www.nathanbushmba.com and download his book for free. 

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