The Higher the Leverage Point the More Resistance

The higher the leverage point, the more the system will resist changing it.

When you're in the trenches, experiencing first hand all the deficiencies of an organization, it is common to think that you know all the solutions to the problems you're observing and all you're lacking is the power to implement the necessary changes. While solutions are often the right ones, getting more power is quite often counterproductive as people always change their behavior when facing authority. Some people have aversion to authority and will resist any change just because it comes from position of power, while other people will follow blindly any orders coming from above. But very few people will be unaffected by authority and will actually give a full consideration to proposals coming from the position of power and change their behavior or way of thinking.

When talking to top managers, it's always interesting to hear how powerless they feel. Even though they formally have all the power to change things, organization's inertia, rigidity of people, and market circumstances effectively make them impotent. The only real power top managers have is in hiring/enabling the right people and firing/disabling the wrong people (I highly recommend you watching Moneyball with Brad Pitt). That's why top managers don't lead projects in their organizations, but sponsor them instead as they understand that removing obstacles is more difficult task than being the leader of the pack moving in the right direction.

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