Roadblocks: Leading Through, Around, Over

Inevitably, you hit a roadblock. Organizations are filled with them. Human nature may create them, and a leadership nature is required to lead through, around, or over them. The conversation in our July meeting will be centered on experiences on how we successfully and unsuccessfully navigated organizational roadblocks. We learn a lot from both!

Join us! We continue our conversation on change, leadership, and how the two mix.

The July Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting will focus on leadership lessons learned from leading when organizational roadblocks appear and persist. We will meet on July 22, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and details there. We meet in the restaurant.

Background Reading

Overcome Roadblocks to Change. Key quote: “Adaptive problems, on the other hand, are difficult to identify. They generally affect many areas of an organization, and they have complex solutions. In fact, employees often must solve these problems themselves, and the solutions tend to require changes in perspectives, approaches, and roles. As a result, employees may resist solving adaptive problems; they may even refuse to acknowledge that a problem exists. A good example of adaptive problems: encouraging employees to question and even challenge confusing orders.”

6 Roadblocks to an Exceptional Workplace. Key quote: “You may have set your sights on becoming an exceptional workplace.  But it won’t happen on its own. Like running a marathon, you can’t just decide one day you want to run and go out the next day and do it.  You need to prepare and train.”

Top 10 Toxic Business Phrases – Organizational Roadblocks. What phrases create roadblocks in your organization – past or current? (See infographic below.)

Rid Yourself of Monkeys. Key quote: “Awareness and self-awareness are the prerequisites for all change. Without these qualities, the foundation for transformation isn’t solid, and managers end up repeatedly missing opportunities for implementation. But many managers have some level of self-awareness yet are still ineffective at making behavioral changes. Why? Because competing beliefs and values rival the desired change. For real change to occur, one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors must be in alignment.”


Our meeting agenda is:

  • Thirty second introduction: Name, organization, and answering a quick question. (10 minutes)
  • Question 1:  What is the biggest organizational roadblock you encountered? Did you lead through, around, or over it? What leadership lesson did you learn? (20 minutes)
  • Question 2:  How do you lead team members who build organizational roadblocks? Do you have any “monkey” principles of leading? (20 minutes)
  • Wrap-up: Summer break and next steps forward….

Looking forward to another engaging leadership conversation!

Top 10 toxic business phrases – organizational roadblocks

Top 10 toxic business phrases - organizational roadblocks

Ready to Make Waves?

Patti JohnsonFor our June lunch meeting, we are excited to have Patti Johnson, CEO of People Results and author of Make Waves, as our guest speaker and facilitator. During our leadership conversations, we will be exploring the topics of change, organizational culture, and the attributes of a Wave Maker.

Our June 24th Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, will be hosted in the Prelude room, to the right of the restaurant at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and details there.

Make Waves

If you have time, highlighted below are several articles by Patti Johnson. No required reading to engage in the conversation but feel free to explore to change and how you can Make Waves.

Resistance: Is No News Really Good News? “Understand the root cause. Consider why the resistance is there, so that you know what to do with it. Is it the topic, the way it was shared, or the person who shared it? Explore why the resistance exists.” (Patti B. Johnson blog)

DNA of Wave Makers™: The 4 Leadership Molecules that Everyone Wants. “Wave Makers generally start from an intention of positivity and trust. They have a bias for transparency and authenticity in how they work with others. They aren’t driven by ego as much as by a desire to work together toward a shared goal.” (Switch and Shift blog)

10 Easy Ways to Start Something Great. “Create an options matrix. On the left column list out all of your ‘must haves’. Across the top row write out all of the viable options you have developed for getting started. Rate each option against your ‘must haves’. While this won’t give you the answer, it will help you compare one against the other and rule out choices that just don’t get you where you want to go. Pick the one that is the best place to start and begin.” (SUCCESS blog)

10 Trends Change Leaders Can’t Ignore in 2014. “Meaning and purpose build a lasting commitment to change—not just compliance or reaching a metric. Meaning is defined as a commitment to something bigger than self. Today there is a growing emphasis on ‘what’s in it for us’ more than just ‘what’s in it for me’ which can have a very short shelf life.” (Switch and Shift blog)

To learn more about Make Waves, resources are available at the Patti B. Johnson website.


Our meeting agenda is:

  1. Opening remarks from Patti Johnson to frame our conversation and set the stage for change, culture, and Wave Makers. (20 minutes)
  2. Facilitated conversation to exchange experiences and perspectives on leadership and organizational change. (30 minutes)
  3. Wrap-up…. closing thoughts. (5 minutes)

We look forward to another engaging leadership conversation!

Make Waves: Overcoming Resistance

Have you ever tried to change the direction of a project? Have you ever tried to launch something new? At some point in time, you probably tried to instigate change. My guess would be it wasn’t always smooth when you tried to promote something different or new. Welcome to leadership!

Patti B. Johnson wrote a solid book on how to make change happen. For Patti, change is making waves. Patti JohnsonThe title of her book is Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and Life. As CEO of PeopleResults, a change and organizational development consulting firm, facilitating change is an essential part of what Patti does.

Resistance and Change: The Tension

When change is pursued, there will undoubtedly be resistance. Resistance can be good and bad. Good resistance creates a positive tension to enhance an idea. Good resistance is a give-and-take of pros and cons and other considerations to take into account. Positive resistance may be rare in many cases, and it can only be found when you are surrounded with people who are in a similar growth mindset.

The more likely case of resistance will be the force against allowing anything to change the status quo. Barriers are up. Strength of wills collide. As Patti highlights in her book, resistance is “caused by a divergence from:

  • Beliefs:  ‘What you are saying doesn’t align with what I believe to be true?’
  • Feelings:  ‘These changes make me feel uncertain or afraid.’
  • Values:  ‘This goes against my personal values.’
  • Trust:  ‘I didn’t trust you as a credible voice on this topic.’
  • Actions:  ‘Your actions don’t give me confidence.'”

(Make Waves, page 44)

Make WavesWe wish all resistance was upfront. Reality is much of it happens behind closed doors and closed minds. However, resistance doesn’t prevent change. Change makers or “Wave Makers” use skills like listening, collaboration, and problem-solving to move initiatives forward.

Throughout the book, Patti highlights ways to understand mindsets, including your own, and then how to pursue change and make your wave happen.

Patti Johnson:  Authentic Leadership Dallas

We are excited that Patti Johnson will be joining us at our next Meetup on June 24, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm. Please RSVP and get the location details on our Meetup page. Join us to gain insights from Patti on change and how to Make Waves. Join us to engage in a conversation on change — starting it, making it happen, and sustaining it.

“We decided that a leader can really be a ‘human Kickstarter.'”

Change is a constant. The old adage is true. Since change will always happen, do you want to lead it or resist it? Are you ready to lead as a Kickstarter?

Join us and lead change in a real, authentic way!







Are You Ready to Be a Leader Worth Following?

Leadercast 2014 issued a challenge to lead “Beyond You,” and Leadercast also calls on us to be “Leaders Worth Following.” In a recent post entitled The Longing, a call was issued for leaders to raise their hand and be a leader worth following. A video highlighting this call to lead well is below.

This needs to be more than a hand raised. This call needs to be leaders standing up and extending their hands to engage each other in meaningful ways.

A key question may be: Is all this just happy talk at a conference and then we go back to our workplaces and lead in the same ways? It is so easy to do.

As leaders, we need to rise up, define what it means to be a leader worth following, and then lead in that way. We may not get it right every time, but we are trying. In trying, we learn, and we get better. This sets the right leadership example.

So the question stands:  Are your ready to stand up and be a leader worth following? If so, when? If so, in what ways?

Join in because the people we work with deserve it and you have the stuff within to lead in this way. Tap into your best leadership capabilities and be a leader worthy following.



Lead Ahead: Week of February 17, 2014

Boot camps, leadership conversations, reinvention, mistakes and leadership, Millennial leaders, and pushing the product marketing envelope…. An interesting mix of leadership topics this past week. The lesson to pull forward is to be fully engaged in your community, your workplace, and in your development. Community and organizational cultures expect leaders to step up when changes unfold. Leaders step up to take action, to listen and interact, to change, and to learn and grow. How will you step up this week?

Revolutionary Impact Boot Camp by Mike Henry. Key quote: “If we are the type of person who elevates others and adds value, we begin to associate with others who elevate and add value. We find people we like who will eventually help us when we might be tempted to slack off.”

Why Leadership Conversations Matter? by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Leadership conversation is also a process of self-discovery-where both leaders and followers will be touched. Something inspires them. Their relationship opens forward in a positive way.”

Matthew McConaughey and the Art of Reinventing Yourself by Patti Johnson. Key quote: “If you are due for a career reinvention, it is time to start learning, stretching and in McConaughey’s words, ‘shaking your floor’. But, rather than thinking about success and outcomes, it will take some faith, patience, and getting uncomfortable.”

How Good is Your Product? by Tim Gillette. Key quote: “One of the tricks of marketing a small business is to use a stunt to get the attention of your potential clients. You let this stunt out and people just come from miles around to watch. Think of the flash mob videos, imagine being in the place they happen, when they happen, and you’re not in on the gag. Well its a great fun idea that grabs attention.”

Missteps to Strengthen Culture and Leaders by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “Empathy is an essential leadership skill. When mistakes happen, empathy is a skill that enables us to listen for the reasons of why something did not happen in the desired way.”

Looking Forward With Millennial Leader David Burstein by Molly Page for Thin Difference. Key quote: “Millennial leaders will usher in bottom up empowerment and break down complex chains of command.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Be sure to check out our special event on May 9th. We are a host site for Leadercast! Register soon to take advantage of the early rates.

Lead Ahead: Week of February 4, 2014

If there is one certainty, it is change will always happen. What we do with the change determines how we will be viewed as a leader. In many ways, if leaders don’t embrace some change, they will become irrelevant. This past week’s leadership round-up is about change. Take a moment and read about the trends unfolding, ideas on how to lead forward, and an example of new leadership making a big difference.

10 Trends Change Leaders Can’t Ignore in 2014 by Patti Johnson for Switch and Shift. Key quote: “The hierarchy and the command-and-control environment in business are giving way to a culture with more flexible and collaborative leadership unrelated to title or years of experience. An organic, flexible change plan is essential.”

Three Ways Leaders Make Powerful Connections by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Great leaders create a “connection economy” around them. The connection economy rewards value created by building relationships and fostering powerful connections.”

Do It All…Or Do It Well by Erin Schreyer. Key quote: “Unless you’ve set realistic goals (in terms of both the quantity and achievability,) you can’t do it all. In fact, I would encourage anyone to set a smaller number of goals that each go deeper.”

The Mirror Test by Tal Shnall for Lead Change. Key quote: “You have to be willing to change your behavior if you want different results. You have to be willing to take the necessary action to get what you want.”

Who Is Claudette Colvin? Courage. by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “And, just as Claudette Colvin, our name should embrace courage. In troubled times, we must find and exhibit our courage to right a wrong and stand up for a core belief. In good times, we must find and exemplify courage in the way we lead ahead in the way we need to grow and change.”

Inspiring Millennial Leaders: Food Recovery Network by Molly Page for Thin Difference. Key quote: “Still only in their second year, it’s a very exciting time for the Food Recovery Network. They currently have 52 chapters across the country and have recovered and donated more than 240,000 pounds of food. As they continue to build relationships with partners and expand to other Universities they’ve set a goal to have 75 national chapters by May of 2014.”

Lead with change in mind. Lead with change in your actions. Lead well in the week ahead!

Reading Behind to Lead Ahead: Week of September 23, 2013

Highlighted below are several posts from members of the Authentic Leadership Dallas and the Lead Change communities. Change, trust, and vision…. key leadership topics highlighted and required to lead fully and effectively.

How Leaders Can Step Up and Change the World by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Choosing to show up in a situation whether at work or community, we are making a statement. We are leading by what we say and how we contribute. Not all leaders are alike. They all come in different shapes and forms, but the one thing attributed to great leaders is that they chose to show up and lead regardless of their title or position.”

Building Trust Between Generations – Six Ways by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “No matter our generation, trust begins with us. We need to take the necessary actions to build trust between generations. It is the way to learn from the lessons of history while working together for a better future.”

The Value of Vision by Mike Henry (Lead Change). Key quote: “A compelling vision pulls you forward. It encourages others to join and changes the world. Is your vision one that will pull you through the hard times? Is it one that will energize others to believe, trust and act?”

Lead well in the week ahead!