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Landing Opposition in your Leadership

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Opposition in leadership is always expected as people have diverse minds, values, goals, and motivations. This chapter tackles how you could filibuster opposition to ensure you are not derailed from realizing your dream. In this case:

• Is it right for a leader to cross the floor to the opposite side?

• What would happen if there were still no consensus?

• What fuels opposition?

• What is the most effective way of combating opposition?


The future is always clouded with uncertainty, especially in the leadership arena. When leaders make every effort to uplift the spirit, pride, and morale of their followers or subordinates, they will acknowledge that there will always be those people or things that may derail them into losing focus of their goal or realizing their full potential.

Is opposition harmful or undesirable? Of course, it is not the best thing to happen to a leader, but it could be a blessing in disguise. You will acknowledge that people have diverse minds, values, and aspirations. They also have different ideas about how to get there, which could create conflicts, disagreements, and opposition. However, the determining factor comes in the handling of resistance.

When handling opposition, you must look at the source of the resistance. You would be best placed to look at any unbecoming team dynamics or dysfunctions and ensure that you deal with them as fast as possible. The most practical solution for this is enhancing the communication structures and supplying a better relationship between the team members.

You would have to change the personnel and set an example for them. It would be essential to acknowledge that the team members may have worked together in the past and possibly had a bad history. This creates a form of insecurity as the team members find it more challenging to be open with each other or even freely share.

Creating a conducive environment for reducing insecurity or vulnerability would also be your prerogative. It would also be important that your device is a uniting factor so that all can feel like a team and not individuals.

There is also bound to be opposition from team members who are pessimistic about processes of morale building. In most cases, these team members would be a bit reluctant to throw themselves entirely into the fray as they are unsure about what would happen. This calls for patience and tolerance from the leader. You would also acknowledge that people would not buy into an idea instantly. It is a process that will take time; therefore, they will understand with time.

When facing opposition from a vast majority

There may also be opposition from internal politics or organizational structures. You will acknowledge that as much as changing these would be a bit of a hassle, you should not try to change the systems. Acknowledge that you will never find perfect cultures in any organization and work the best way you know how a prerogative would be.

Opposition can also be fueled by ambitions, agendas, and the competitiveness of individuals in the team, making communication exceedingly tricky. Discouraging these behaviors would also be imperative. You can always sort this out by aligning the individuals' aspirations with the organization's goals and setting rules to enhance cooperation.

Chances are that other teams will envy your dedication and the development of the team you lead. This may be driven by their desire to join your team and therefore turn into hostility toward you as the leader. You can always enhance communication with the opposing side or ignore the source, knowing that many people would negatively respond to a success story.

Listening carefully to the opposition

Opposition is not only limited to day-to-day work, values, goals, etc.; there are times when you will need to negotiate with others on different grounds. Your dealings with others will decide how much control you have over the followers. Negotiation could also be with your team members. To start with, it would be necessary to know the motivation behind the opposition. Is it a deliberate act to derail the process, or does the opposition have a genuine concern for the group's welfare or team?

You would have to stand back and have a clearer view of the situation.

It would be vital that you do not react until the opposition has been entirely unclothed. Is the opposition drawing its legitimacy from your earlier actions?

You would have to evaluate your view of them as this decides your body language or the response you give.

Look into what is influencing them to act the way they are. This will give you an idea of the concerns' legitimacy and enhance your response's quality. In addition, it would help to know where they are coming from, so putting yourself in their shoes will be imperative to understand their point of view.

One of the most effective strategies for beating down the opposition is giving a new face to the problem. Making it look like a problem is effective for all of you; therefore, you must tackle it by collaborating.

Many people would be open to collaboration rather than constant aggression. While on this, you would be best placed looking at the problem as a separate entity that both of you need to tackle. This has a uniting element as you incorporate your needs and theirs.

Leaders Blueprint: So, What Do Followers look for in their Leaders?

"Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led." - Stephen Covey.

This chapter deals with the qualities of the leaders that the followers would admire. It is more like the followers' view about the leaders' attractive rates. What do they look for in leaders when deciding whom to be loyal to? In this case, you will know:

• importance of humor in leadership

• impact of pressure as well as a vision on the subordinates

• importance of the leader’s history in commanding loyalty from subordinates

An overview of what followers look for in leaders

As discussed in earlier chapters, there are various forms of leadership. All leaders derive their power from somewhere; therefore, the source decides their nature and how they lead.

One thing you will acknowledge is that the style of leadership that an individual takes on can be the uniting or the dividing factor as far as the followers are concerned. These qualities decide the difference in leaders from the perspective of the followers. What are the most admirable qualities of leaders from the perspective of the followers? These qualities determine the difference in leaders from the perspective of the followers. These qualities decide the difference in leaders from the perspective of the followers.

1. Ability to make quick decisions.

How quickly can you, as a leader, decide? Sometimes will demand quick decisions, especially when there is a deviation from the course. This, however, does not undermine the importance of making decisions based on facts and complete information.

2. Vision

A vision makes for a deviation from the usual routine. Seeing ahead challenges the juniors; therefore, there is motivation. This especially marks the moment of achievement with excitement as the goal has been achieved.

3. Ability to take pressure

Getting a hold of yourself, even in anger, is probably one of the most admirable traits. There will be instances when you will want to hit the roof. However, the difference between you and others will be marked by your ability to keep cool. You are not showing panic when everyone else would is very admirable. It makes you look infallible.

What makes leaders admirable to their subordinates?

4. Ability to listen

As much as leadership comes with the right to say and be heard, it is essential to acknowledge that the subordinates have their voice about their likes and preferences. Paying attention to their voice is very desirable. This could be the source of new and creative ideas. Listening to their voice, especially in decision-making, safeguards their dedication as they feel like they are working on their brainchild. This could be the source of new and creative ideas.

5. History as a winner.

Every person would like to identify with a leader known to be a winner. A history of achieving the desired goals reverberates as people feel the winning streak can be replicated even in other projects. In this case, there is an element of certainty.

6. Does the leader care?

This is mainly about the welfare of the followers or subordinates. Doing things you never needed to do to ensure that your followers are comfortable has a pull effect. Many are the time when this breeds loyalty and dedication from the juniors.

7. Being able to push the followers to the limit of their career

This underlines the element of nurturing growth in the subordinates leader's career, especially about the training programs and imbuing values, goals, and purpose in their job. It is all aimed at helping them reach the epitome of their career.

8. Incorporating humor in your dealing with them

This is aimed at relieving the tension, especially in the communication between the leader and the subordinate. It is one of the easiest ways of connecting with their juniors and has a motivating effect.

The effectiveness of a leader in the control and influence of a group is a desirable aspect. Some things set apart different leaders. Some leaders will be termed as successful, while others may not be phenomenally successful.

What skills, qualities, skills, and principles do successful leaders apply? The publication supplies all these and the qualities that followers admire most in their leaders. You do not have to wonder how you can manage the opposition in your organization anymore. You can now go on and be the leader that society needs.

Believe in your ability to bring that change to the organization, group, team, or society.

Good luck.

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