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How do you overcome resistance?

To move forward personally and professionally, leaders must learn to overcome resistance. Seeing resistance as not only inevitable, but a growth opportunity help leaders improve their competencies and inspire others to overcome resistance.

How do you overcome resistance?

The leadership journey often mirrors mountain climbing. The scale of difficulty often increases proportionally as the leader progresses through tasks or assumes higher levels of responsibility/authority. As resistance increases, it can produce poor team morale, leader "imposter syndrome," and poor performance if the team has an improper mindset.

To overcome this situation, leaders need to adjust their mindset and see resistance as an opportunity for growth. They then need to communicate this mindset shift to their team for maximum performance. Additionally, identifying the type of resistance puts challenges into proper perspective. The type of resistance often determines the course of action needed to move forward.

Jeremie Kubicek states that resistance typically falls into one of three categories: Barriers, Hurdles, and Gaps. Barriers are things you can't change. Hurdles are things you do have the ability to overcome but are going to require work to do it. Lastly, Gaps are things you need to fill in before moving on. These forms of resistance take many forms. They may manifest as interpersonal issues, leadership limitations, technological issues, organizational dysfunction, or other limiting factors. Kubicek reminds us that your barriers might be someone else’s Hurdles or Gaps. Teams allow members to complement the abilities of others to overcome weaknesses through collaboration and move the group toward success.

“It Is Not the Mountain We Conquer, But Ourselves"- Sir Edmund Hillary

By identifying the type of resistance, leaders can orient their teams toward maximum performance and overcome obstacles. If you need coaching resources or would like to learn more about this concept, you can contact us at

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