Leadership Learnings: Mission, Resistance, Slow Change


A healthy leader (healthy: self-aware, humble, competent, caring) is constantly thinking about the organizations mission. Mission first above all else. Mission helps shape decisions, values, practices, and culture.

What’s the goal? Purpose? What are we trying to accomplish? All mission driven questions.


Sticking to your core mission will, without a doubt, cause resistance within you (as the leader) and the organization. Organisms like stability. They learn to stabilize over a period of time for balance and steadiness. Biologists call this homeostasis. So when the leader is focused on a mission and it requires making changes, the system will naturally resist. It’s normal. Expect it. Prepare for it.

Slow Changes from the Margins

Tod Bolsinger (author of Canoeing the Mountains) talks about a process of observing, interpreting, and interventions as a means to come up with new innovations that meet the new needs. They’re initially experiments in the margins that won’t rock the boat too quickly. But it will rock it.

Peter Senge says:

“The key to their survival was the ability to run ‘experiments in the margin,’ to continually explore new business and organizational opportunities that create potential new sources of growth.”

Peter Senge

There are so many changes caused by tech, climate change, customer needs. A leader will be more prepared as they’re learning perennial leadership wisdom to face the changing tides.

NOTE: One of my new favorite definitions on leadership….

“enabling a [team, company) to grow so they can face their greatest challenges and thrive

Bolsinger, Tod E. . Canoeing the Mountains

Bolsinger offers us wisdom for when the resistance comes and we’re trying to strategize:

  • Start with conviction
  • stay calm
  • stay connected
  • stay the course.

SquarePatch’s mission is driven by purpose, meaning, and joy in the marketplace through our services of leadership, employee, and organizational care. It’s a holistic approach of engaging and equipping leaders and employees to face challenges and thrive!