Chapter 7. Release Resistance


The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

 --William A. Ward

Wouldn't it be awesome if leadership was as easy as setting reachable goals and having a few authentic conversations and everyone would be rowing together? The reality, however, is that life is not that simple. No matter how great you are as a leader, you will face what I believe to be one of the biggest roadblocks to productivity and personal effectiveness: resistance.

Leaders face resistance on a daily basis. Teams resist working together. Individuals resist change. Perhaps you even resist the most difficult parts of your job.

The core of resistance is what author Eckhart Tolle describes in The Power of Now as the "nonacceptance of what is" (Tolle 2004, 33). You avoid because you don't want to face whatever it is that you don't want to face. You complain because you can't deal with a certain situation, or you justify an angry outburst because you cannot accept the hand that has been dealt to you. How many times have you heard the same friend complain about her mean boss or sloppy husband? Complaining denotes an unwillingness or inability to let go of what can't be controlled, or to face and act on what can be changed.

The premise of releasing resistance is this: You cannot solve a problem until you accept the situation. When you jump into a solution before releasing resistance, you will just experience more drama. The solution ...

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