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5 Thoughts On Dealing With Leadership Resistance

By Steve Kane Updated on November 19th, 2015

By Steve KaneOvercome Your Obstacles

Gemba Academy recently conducted a one-question survey. The question was “What are you struggling with on your continuous improvement journey?” The most common response was related to dealing with leadership resistance or reluctance.

It was abundantly clear from the survey results that many people deal with the frustration of not being led on their Lean journey. Oftentimes leaders were seen as an obstacle, keeping people or organizations from being Lean.

For the respondents to our survey and others who share their sentiments, here are five quotes to help you with your struggles.

“Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others”

~ Gerald Jampolsky

Let go of any desire you might have to change others.  You can’t force others to go along with you on your journey.  You can, however, invite them.  Practice Lean to the best of your abilities within your area of responsibility.  Be an example for others to follow.


“People are naturally resistant to change that is forced upon them.”

~ Dale Carnegie

Getting your boss to buy into your idea of how an organization should be run will likely be an up hill battle. Show, don’t tell the benefits of Lean through your own actions and accomplishments.


“Trade expectations for appreciation and your whole world will change in an instant.”

~ Tony Robbins

Appreciate the opportunities you have to share and implement Lean practices whenever and wherever you can. Use Lean principles to make your work better and easier. Appreciate the opportunities to help others (especially your boss) learn from you and grow.


“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

~ Vincent Lombardi

Don’t give up on being Lean. Your commitment to excellence is about you. By consistently demonstrating excellence, others will take notice and want to learn. This is how you influence others. This is your contribution to the organization.


“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

~ Napoleon Hill

Lean is a journey. It will be long and sometimes difficult, especially if you are going it alone. Don’t let the actions or inactions of others dissuade you. Stick to your principles.

Become the leader who removes the obstacles to Lean.

  1. Hosea

    November 22, 2015 - 2:21 am

    Good quotes on leadership with an aspect of change management. I like it!

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