Sep 14, 2012

How Overcoming Obstacles Builds Company Culture

I recently finished reading the book “The Transformative CEO; Impact Lessons from Industry Game Changes.”  The book offers detailed and engaging interviews and quotes the authors (Jeffrey J. Fox and Robert Reiss) obtained by speaking with over 250 of the world’s top CEOs. One of the topics in the book that really resonated with me was how the most successful CEOs embrace every obstacle as an opportunity.

At, I have seen first hand how overcoming challenges builds company culture and helps organizations become strong.  In fact, it’s important to me that each employee is aware of the challenges we face as an organization.  There is something special about putting the obstacle in front of a group and then joining together to find/build innovative solutions.

I’m especially excited about 1 of that challenges that we are currently working on solving.  We have identified a significant obstacle that has been happening with a segment of our customers.  Once we have identified the problem, I wanted to make sure to communicate the challenge to the rest of the employees in our office.  So, during the last company meeting, we brought up the topic and made sure that we had a good grasp of the scope and size of the challenge that we were dealing with by getting comments from members on our team.

As soon as everyone in the organization knew about of the challenge we were trying to tackle, that’s when the fun began.  Employees got excited about trying to figure out how they can help find/build a solution.  It was especially encouraging to see cross-department collaboration happening.  The team’s creative wheels started to spin and everyone was focused on the same common goal of overcoming this obstacle.

While we haven’t yet implemented the solution, I can visibly recognize how the process has created unity and teamwork.  The culture of the organization is then strengthened and individuals feel a sense of “winning” or “accomplishment” as they contribute to overcome the company’s most significant challenge.

I get the impression that some organizations have a tendency to hide the problems by sweeping them under the rug.  Then, they will get together with a very small group of higher level execs and try to solve the problem behind the scenes.  Personally, I feel that this type of approach is detrimental to an organization and the leaders lose credibility.  Embracing and exposing challenges can often be painful, but the organization will definitely be better/stronger by embracing the challenge and attacking it head on.

How Overcoming Obstacles Builds Company Culture


As Lendio CEO, Brock’s passion is to make small business lending simple for the 30 million Main Street businesses in the U.S. At age 24, Brock was recognized by Utah Business Magazine as one of the Top 40 Under 40 business professionals in Utah. In 2006, the Utah Technology Council named him Utah’s Emerging Executive of the Year. He’s also been included on vSpring Capital’s v100 Top Entrepreneur’s list six times in the last seven years.

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