Combating the “Resistance” in your Business

Seth Godin’a new book “Linchpin,” asserts that in order to be successful in today’s business environment we have to be “indispensable” in our organizations, and that all employees and managers need to be artists to be fulfilled and successful.

While this may seem like heady stuff, it really is critical and practical in the “informational age” we currently inhabit.

In the chapter titled “The Resistance,” Godin describes number of ways work is sabotaged by individuals and groups. In it, I recognized many dysfunctional corporate situations from my own work experience. The remedies Godin suggests are instructive, and more than that, they are essential recommendations for surviving and prospering in one’s profession or business enterprise.

Godin provides a whole new vocabulary to discuss his ideas, and you have to work through some of the terminology. At first it seemed a bit aggravating, but after a second read, you understand the usefulness of the new vocabulary.

Before we define “The Resistance,” there’s the concept of “to ship,” which means the critical need to ship out material -- an article, a sales presentation, an upgrade -- on time and on budget without being distracted by delays from co-workers, bosses, or internal angst. Godin provides a good story about Steve Jobs urging on an engineer with the need to ship. Jobs says: “Real artists ship”.

I believe you’ll share my opinion that nothing in business is more critical than the need to ship – to make the sale, host a successful conference, meet the client, write the blog. Not the excuses. However, one way or another, something inevitably comes up to block your ability to ship. This is the Resistance.

The Resistance are the multitude of factors that impede human accomplishment and corporate achievement. Fear is the cause of the Resistance, Godin contends, manifested in pride, vanity, distraction, procrastination, you name it.

It’s the reason why corporations, committees and individuals fail, when they really shouldn’t have. Distraction seems to be a saving grace for employees confronted by the choice between shipping out their work – their work of Art -- or yielding to the Resistance.

There’s much more, but my take away is that the focus on shipping out work, without the distractions or the fear, needs to become the priority for myself and my staff –  FYI, I wrote this entire blog in one sitting, without distraction from the Resistance . Recognition of the Resistance is an important first step in eliminating the doubts and fears and conflict that hinder our productive capacity.

What are some of your remedies to the Resistance at your business?

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