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!







Ready to Lead in the Week Ahead? Insights to Energize.

Leadership is many things and we need to do as much as we can as often as we can to embrace and engage others. Some of the leadership thoughts from the past week highlight ways for leaders to stay a step ahead while continuing to work with others as progress is being made. Doing this is a leader’s challenge and a leader’s way!

Leading Through Mistakes by Jon Mertz on Lead Change. Key quote: “A certainty in life and work is we all will make mistakes at various points in time. When we do, the goals will be to limit the consequences, take corrective actions, and learn the most from them. Sounds simple, right? However, in both leadership and culture terms, we seem to complicate these goals.”

How Great Leaders Handle Difficult Conversations by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Every difficult conversation is an opportunity to improve the circle of trust. Assumptions and doubts block the development of trust.”

Why Your Change Needs A Word Of Mouth Strategy by Patti Johnson. Key quote: “Create a word of mouth strategy in your communications plan. Remember the informal ways to help spread the word and build momentum. Think organic sharing, not sequential.”

Leading is Learning by Jon Mertz for People Results. Key quote: “Leaders often hear or state a simple principle: Never, ever give up. An equally important one is: Never, ever stop learning. Being a leader is a high calling, demanding us to open our minds and embrace others in what they offer.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Also, please join us on May 9th for Leadercast! Details are highlighted here.

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!

Lead Ahead: Week of January 13, 2014

Being energetic, successful, and fearless are all traits we want from leaders. Many of the highlights from the past week embrace these themes, and what we do is our choice. Being mindful in how we choose to lead is one of the key decisions to make. We need to make these leadership choices well in order to lead well.

How to Unleash the Energetic Leader Within? An interview between Tal Shnall and Achim Nowak, a performance coach. The topic is on four levels of connection and how we can become the energetic leader.

What to Do When Facing Unexpected Change by Patti Johnson for Success Blog. Key quote: “Change happens that was never part of the plan. We may face a job loss, a transfer, a new job or an illness that changes everything. These changes can make us feel like bystanders. Yet, in the midst of surprise, fear and disappointment, there are still choices.”

Leadership Development Carnival – January 2014. Many members from Lead Change participate and the carnival creates an engaging reading list to enhance your leadership skills.

Fearless Millennial Leader: Miki Agrawal on Thin Difference. Key quote: “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up. It’s true what they say, it takes 10 years to be an overnight success.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Lead Ahead: Week of December 9, 2013

As Dallas begins to thaw this week, it may be from the sparks of calls to act more fully as leaders. Writers from Lead Change and Authentic Leadership Dallas amped things up and rightfully so. There is a leadership gap present, and this gap may be growing, unless we do something to step up in how we lead. As you read through the key quotes and click-through to read the full posts, it may be time to ask:

What can I do to become a more engaged leader and lead in a more purpose-driven way?

It is time. Lead well in the weeks ahead!

How to Lead Without Authority: 4 Easy Strategies by Krista Kotrla. Key quote: “Step up. Speak up. And brave up. Embrace responsibility even if you are faking it at first. Is it really fair to expect people to follow you and trust your ideas if you seem unsure of yourself or unwilling to accept full responsibility? Ask to take on new projects. Dream up a new initiative. Mess up, own up and describe what you learned from the experience. Try again. Deliver. Get results.”

Coherent Leadership by Mike Henry. Key quote: “We are coherent when our actions line up with our words, when people can understand what we’re trying to do and when we are sincere and uncomplex. Our actions will align with our most basic, primal leadership principles.”

How Leaders Create Positive Change? by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “A transformational leader focuses on positive change to help others to look out for each other, to be encouraging and harmonious, and to look out for the organization as a whole. With this leadership mindset, the leader enhances each person’s talent, morale and performance of his followers through positive change.”

Nelson Mandela Lead from the Back of the Room by Patti Johnson. Key quote: “Richard Stengel, editor of Time magazine, spent years interviewing Nelson Mandela and collaborated with him on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. In an interview with Voice of America, Stengel said, ‘Lead from the front is the more conventional kind of leading that we know—getting up on the podium and giving a speech or saying follow me. But leading from the back is a different idea.’ Nelson Mandela embodied this idea of leading from behind. He provided the example and the values and let others lead.”

Craving Leadership by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “The real answer to address the leadership craving is this: All generations of leaders need to be engaged. The only way to solve the leadership challenges is by working across generations, understanding perspectives, and sharing experiences. By reaching across generations, we will close the leadership gap and enter a new era of trusted, engaging leadership.”

Are you ready to lead more completely?