Overcoming Obstacles

September 23, 2021

Our September 2021 topic was “Overcoming Obstacles in Corporate America—Supply Chain, Managing Growth, Uncertainty & Cancel Culture.”  Our topic was purposely broad to allow the needs of the individual Round Tables to discuss topics relevant to each group.

September 2021 Take-Aways:


Operate based on where you need to go, do not base decisions on fear.  If leaders are anxious, your staff will be anxious.  Remember:  2 Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” NLT

Look for change from the inside out.  1.  Get to know your team.  Understand their interests, skills, and strengths.  2.  Leverage their strengths fully.  3.  Fill in the gaps through hiring or training.

Think of recruiting as an attitude, always looking to fill positions in your company.  It’s no longer, “I have a position to fill, call the recruiter.  It’s not a check the box process anymore, but more like a flywheel.”

To combat uncertainty:  Have a plan for your business.  Work the plan and keep moving forward during these uncertain times, realizing the plan may change.  Having a plan in place will bring you peace. 

To combat cancel culture:  Know and review your core values daily.  One idea is to review your values every morning and then evaluate your progress/success at living those values each night.  Ask the question, “did I live up to my values today?”

How do you weather a storm?  Don’t compromise your values.

For those leaders who sometimes like to be in charge and do things their way without input from others, remember: “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

Grand Rapids: 

Companies can’t sustain high sign-on bonuses and exorbitant wages in the long-term.  It is critical to create a work culture that makes people excited about working for your company.

In addressing corporate obstacles and challenges, it is important to distinguish if it is truly a problem in the external environment or if is it a leadership issue that is keeping the company from responding to that problem effectively.

Accountability is becoming increasingly critical. We need to go back to management basics: assign clear responsibilities for addressing the challenges we are facing, establish measurable goals, and follow up.


“Uncertainty” varies by person/situation/industry.

Some are keeping to themselves and just waiting for the “other shoe to drop.”

Concerns in the banking industry are staffing and the high workload on the minimal staff that is in place today. There is conflict, stress and anxiety for those who have been essential workers and on the frontline since the beginning of the pandemic.

In manufacturing, supply chain is the biggest challenge.  In the energy sector, we are seeing a focus on development of leaders during this uncertain time.

Grand Rapids Breakfast Social:

The 10 points of Servant Leadership:

1. Listening

2. Empathy

3. Awareness

4. Healing

5. Conceptualization

6. Persuasive

7. Stewardship

8. Foresight

9. Commitment to the Growth of People

10. Building Community

Success these days requires out of the box thinking.  For example, in one company during the pandemic, there was an urgent need to implement alternate payment technology.  The manager made mass technology purchases quickly in non-traditional ways, allowing the business to quickly convert to curbside pickup.

We are social beings with a need for social interaction.  We are observing this in the in-person events we attend—high energy, lots of interaction and communication.

The dissention among people regarding masking and vaccines, and adamancy in the positions we take, creates nasty moments in social situations.  If you don’t agree with the position of another person, it is important to speak up, share your thoughts, without being nasty.  Speak calmly to share opinion and knowledge.

Positive change seen:  We have learned to carry on with our activities and events rather than fully canceling like we did early in the pandemic.  Modifications of the elements of events such as box lunches or pre-packaged food instead of buffets are now important to keep events going.

There is a Godly spirit in all of us.  The gates of Hell will not prevail.  As Christians, our eternity is secured, and we will take as many with us as we can as we propagate the Kingdom.


As leaders we should be developing a more inclusive feel to our companies and valuing people as partners because it is the right thing to do, not a means to an end.

It’s important to remember, Individuals are smart; people are dumb (the mob mentality).


We are connected to the King, so ask and you shall receive.  Always remember to ask and he will help.  We see his love in amazing ways.

Prayer is always helpful.  Ask God to guide your actions, words, and thoughts today.  We are very blessed.


This group discussed the roots of our struggles which are political and spiritual.  There is a need for us to shoulder up and stand.

Upcoming Events:

Our Q4 events begin with our Global Webinar, Friday, November 19, at 7:30am-9:00am led by Rodger Price, Owner & Founder of Leading by Design. 

For our Detroit friends, please join us Friday, December 17 at 7:00-9:00am for CBRT’s In-Person Breakfast Social, with guest speaker Rick Warren, Chairman & CEO of Weldaloy.

If you are unable to attend, subscribe to CBRT’s YouTube channel where you can review all past event presentations.