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

Leading in a Non-Leadership Role

The September Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting is almost here. We will meet on September 17, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and other details there.

Our focus for the September meeting will be on leading as a non-leader and resolving conflict as a non-leader. At times, we are not leading the effort, project, or initiative. We do have a responsibility and opportunity to guide and facilitate the work to be done, however.

To prepare for the meeting, this post outlines the agenda and some material to read (if you have time). There is no commitment to attending our meetings. Just come, participate, listen, and help us all continue to grow as leaders.

Leading as a Non-Leader – Highlighted Articles

7 Simple Rules to Being a Leader, No Matter What Your Experience by Rajat Taneja, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Electronic Arts.  The article highlights simple principles to lead, no matter your role. As the article states: “Leaders are everywhere. Some of the most inspiring leaders may not have fancy titles or sit in the corner office – they’re the team members who are working hard and not worrying about the credit. Everyone can be a leader. No one should ever underestimate the power of a single individual to ignite passion for greatness in an organization.”

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by by Gary Hamel and Polly LaBarre. The interesting elements in this article are the different attributes highlighted to non-leader leaders. It is interesting that Jimmy Wales, the found of Wikipedia, has no contributors reporting to him yet Wikipedia is “the world’s largest compendium of knowledge.” Now that is leading as a non-leader.

Resolving Conflicts as a Non-Leader — Highlighted Articles

Leadership and Conflict by Mike Myatt, Chief Executive Officer, N2growth. The article outlines 5 tips to handling conflict. As Mike points out: “I believe resolution can normally be found with conflicts where there is a sincere desire to do so. Turning the other cheek, compromise, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, finding common ground, being an active listener, service above self, and numerous other approaches will always allow one to be successful in building rapport if the underlying desire is strong enough. However, when all else fails and positional gaps cannot be closed, resolve the issue not by playing favorites, but by doing the right thing – lead.”

Resolving Conflicts on the Team by Marty Brounstein from Managing Teams For Dummies. Yes, there is a Dummies guide for managing teams! It does come down to behavior — our behavior and the behavior of others. As this article states: “Finding out with your team members how best to deal with conflict situations begins when you recognize positive team behavior and negative team behavior.” Check out the desired and undesired behaviors.

A final relevant article is this HBR one: How to Manage Someone You Don’t Like by Amy Gallo. It really comes down to this at times: “What should you do if the person you manage drives you crazy? If the behavior is a performance issue, there’s a straightforward way to address what’s irking you — but what do you do when it’s an interpersonal issue? Is it possible to be a fair boss to someone you’d avoid eating lunch with — or must you learn to like every member of your team?” This article highlights some key points to remember and use.

Our meeting agenda is:

  • Forty-five second introduction:  What do you want people to remember about you after the meeting? (10 minutes)
  • Question 1: How do you lead when you are not the designated leader? In other words, how do you lead in a non-leadership role? Highlight a key practice or approach. (25 minutes)
  • Question 2: When in a non-leader role, how can you help resolve conflicts that arise? (25 minutes)
  • Discuss Leadercast and other activities. (5 minutes)
  • Networking time after meeting….

Looking forward to our real, leadership conversations!