Friday’s Change Reflection Quote - Leadership of Change - Powerful and Ruthless Leadership Resistance


Happy Friday!

On this day, April 21, 1989, tens of thousands of students and citizens gathered at the Martyr’s Monument in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate Hu Yaobang, whose funeral was to be the next day. During his tenure, Hu tried to push the country towards a more open political and pro-market economic system, which won the support of many students from the country’s elite universities. The protesters came with a long list of grievances, asking for greater freedom of speech, higher salaries, and controls on inflation. Following Hu’s memorial on April 22, the students presented a list of demands to the government. They were rejected. This was the beginning of the mass demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, prior to the Chinese government declaring martial law in May of the same year, which led to the June Massacres. On June 4, 1989, the Chinese army used gunfire to break up a peaceful protest in Tiananmen Square, wounding and killing many hundreds, possibly thousands, of demonstrators. The final death toll will probably never be known.

Many people still remember one of the most iconic photographs in history, taken by Jeff Widener on June 5, 1989, a day after Chinese troops began violently cracking down on pro-democracy demonstrators. The photo shows an unknown man who risked his life demanding democratic reform in front of four tanks belonging to China’s People’s Liberation Army. Known as “Tank Man”, the protester’s identity has never been verified, and some believe that he was executed for his actions. While personal freedom has increased in the 21st century, China is still opposed to democratic reform, and both the photo and the events at Tiananmen Square are subject to media censorship. Change professionals trying to implement organisational change will often meet leaders who have something more important than the change goals, they want to keep the status quo. Powerful and Ruthless Leadership Resistance.

“The most powerful and ruthless resistance to change will come from leaders who care not for their fellow human beings, but for the status quo and their position of authority

Change resistance is inevitable, ignore it at your peril! Resistance is the reaction by the organisation, departments, or individuals when they perceive that an organisational change coming their way could be a threat to them. Without further awareness and understanding, this resistance will cause fear. It will trigger actions that negatively impact the pace of organisational change implementation, adoption of new ways of working, and benefit delivery. Change resistance can be a major obstacle to achieving change adoption and benefit realisation.

Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat drink and be happy.

Further Reading: Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change Volume 3

Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®. He advises CEOs on how to prepare and align their corporate leadership teams to successfully lead their organisation's change.

For further reading please visit our websites: Peter F Gallagher: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge Volumes: Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK) Books: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, & C available on both Amazon and Google Play:

Leadership of Change® Volume 1 - Change Management Fables

Leadership of Change® Volume 2 - Change Management Pocket Guide

Leadership of Change® Volume 3 - Change Management Handbook

Leadership of Change® Volume 4 - Change Management Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume 5 - Change Management Adoption

Leadership of Change® Volume 6 - Change Management Behaviour

Leadership of Change® Volume 7 - Change Management Sponsorship

Leadership of Change® Volume A - Change Management Gamification - Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume B - Change Management Gamification - Adoption

Coming soon:

Leadership of Change® Volume C - Change Management Gamification - Behaviour

~ Leadership of Change® Volume D - Change Management Gamification - Sponsorship

~ Leadership of Change® Volume E - Change Management Gamification - Leadership Teams

By Peter F Gallagher

Keywords: Business Strategy, Change Management, Leadership

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