When Employees are Leadership Resistant Be Irresistible!

 Reading time: 3 minutes

Some Employees Seem Immune to Leadership

It shows up in various ways. Some employees resist your leadership in a silent unspectacular way. They simply avoid contacting or engaging with you. Others are more openly rebellious and challenge you in various ways.

The Reasons May Vary

There is no single underlying reason why someone is leadership resistant. In fact there can be many reasons:

  • Some people may have been poorly managed in the past.
  • Others have experienced a high turnover of leaders. So now they want to see if you’ll actually stick around before they pay too much attention to you.
  • Others may hold a grudge, because you landed the job, they had their eyes on. Or they had hoped that someone else would become their boss.
  • Some people feel smarter than you and this makes them rebel against being led by you
  • Then there are people who have a general psychological problem with authority figures
  • And there are those who value the technical skills related with their profession so highly, that the only leader they are prepared to follow is someone who understands the technical aspects of the job better than themselves.

All of these are quite common reasons for people to put up various forms of resistance to accepting your leadership. 

How it Appears May Differ

Just like the motives to resist a leader can be many, so can the appearances vary greatly.

  • Some simply come across as quietly skeptical
  • Some frequently appear angry or defensive
  • Others more or less openly look for ways to criticize your actions
  • Still others simply seek to minimize the time “they have to waste” on engaging with you. 

You Have to Deal With It

No matter what the reason and how it appears when someone on your team is resisting your leadership, you have to deal with it. You have to dissolve it and eliminate its impact in the day-to-day interaction with you and with other team members.

Not just because your own success depends on it. The motivation and success of everybody else on the team is influenced by how well you tackle those who oppose you.  

The Cure: Mastery of the Leadership Deliverables

If you’ve ever experienced one or more of the above varieties of employee resistance, you know that it feels immensely annoying.

A common first step to take is an effort to improve the general relationship with the people in question. But improving the general relationship does not solve a problem of leadership resistance.

To overcome the challenge of leadership resistance among one or more team members, one thing comes firstThe employees need to see that your leadership is in their best interest. 

To show employees how your leadership is in their best interest, you need a solid grip on the leadership deliverables! 

The only leadership method, that teaches you leadership deliverables is Direct Leadership®

The reason it will help you overcome leadership resistance from your employees is that it makes your arguments crystal clear and directly linked to employee performance.

First, look at the right side of the figure below, where employee performance is subdivided into 7 categories:

Then look at the left side, where you see 7 ways in which leaders must contribute perspective.

The Direct Leadership® method teaches you a complete set of leadership responsibilities that each directly relates to one of the 7 employee responsibilities.

This means that when you intervene in a situation you can explain precisely how a particular employee behavior impacts their own or other people’s ability to perform according to these generic employee performance standards.

When you consistently argue and ask for what you want with this kind of clarity, few people will remain resistant to your leadership.

These 7 leadership perspectives are an essential part of the leadership deliverables taught in the Direct Leadership® method. 

Learn the Direct Leadership® method and become an irresistible leader.

The online course Direct Leadership® - The Essential Leadership Deliverables is all you need to get started.


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