Posts Tagged ‘stress relief’

Leadership: 9 Ways to Successfully Navigate Changes, Tragedy and Triumph – Implementing the Never Give Up Perspective

Friday, March 23rd, 2018
My entry into the world of professional speaking came about when I wrote my first book Kidjacked: A Father’s Story. It told the true events that rocked my world to its foundation. You see, when my kids Jonathan and Alexandra were 4 and 2 years old they were kidnapped and taken to the Middle East by the person I trusted most- their mother, my wife Liza! Leadership was not foremost on my mind, But as it turns out, it needed to be.

Yeah, I was devastated, lost and emotionally trashed. And yet, I accomplished what few people said that could ever be done. I located them, came up with a less than fool proof plan and eventually was successful in getting them home to America! And, I had the honor and pleasure of raising them…except for a few moments in the teenage years!

Today, my kids are grown, I’ve remarried and with the extraordinary help of my fantastic wife Meg, we raised two wonderful adults.

Today’s world is filled with horrific stories.
It’s difficult to pick up a paper, read an article online or talk to a coworker without discussing a school shooting, another woman being harassed or worse at work or cyber or personal bullying.

Okay, the bury our head in the sand approach is not working. And, we complain, almost in unison that this and that must end. Today! Yet, it all continues, we feel helpless and there often appears to be no end in sight. It requires individual leadership.

Feeling like crap, are you? Well, happily there IS something you and I can do. I learned it many years ago and I call it The Never Give Up Perspective.

Here’s how it works.
Are you old enough to remember when seat belts were often not worn in cars? No laws required it. How about drinking and driving? Smoking on airplanes? Same sex marriage? Legalized Marijuana? Laws, laws and more laws! So, how does change professionally and personally take root and grow into a movement and more? Here’s how change works and keeps going:

  1. Communication
  2. Sharing information
  3. Getting mad
  4. Losing someone/something you loved
  5. Doing something. Speaking up/speaking out
  6. Be brave
  7. Realizing that whatever you’re aiming for takes time
  8. Building a base of support
  9. Never ever under any circumstances giving up!

You have something(s) you’re passionate about at work. Something that MUST change.

We all do. Be that voice. Be brave. Know that others feel the same way and are looking for a leader to support.
You’ve seen the ugly in life. You’ve seen the inappropriate in the workplace. The leader is you. The first move is yours.

Moms got MAD and driving while drunk laws changed.

People did not want others smoking on the plane and in restaurants/bars. Laws were enacted.

People wanted people to marry whomever they choose. Laws were changed.

Seatbelts-new laws

Inappropriate behavior in the workplace- laws, regulations and PEOPLE being brave and speaking up!

Kids kidnapped– Moved forward, fell down many times and never gave up. So, did all of the women and men who made the changes above.

Safer gun laws that protect our children and citizens… Perhaps closer then we think!

As humans we’re often quick to complain, quick to judge and slow to react.
History shows us that it is often the act of 1 person that begins to move a cause or action at work or in society forward. A brave woman in Selma. A brave man in San Francisco, a group of mothers and more!

Please, don’t wait for that women to come forward. Don’t watch to see which man will speak up. Instead, be that person that so many are waiting for. It always begins with a single voice. Perhaps yours.

#METOO, gun violence, workplace harassment, bullying, cyber shaming. How do you deal with these things? Do you speak out against this and more?
Are you willing to be THAT voice of change professionally and personally? We’re counting on you! We counting on your leadership, communications and guidance.

Interested in having me speak at an upcoming event? Let’s chat.

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Scott Lesnick is a popular keynote speaker, author and trainer.
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Successfully Navigating Change in the Workplace

Thursday, April 30th, 2015


Human Resource is described as: the department of a business or organization that deals with the hiring, administration, and training of personnel.

Sure, but add the words human beings to the definition and it takes on a multitude of layers that can resemble a three dimensional game of chess! And change can cost billions!


When I decided to speak on change I quickly realized that this topic bridged the professional and personal lives of employees. After all, we’ve all been faced with change and understand all to well that it can sometimes be difficult at best.

Thankfully, 28 years of helping others navigate change at a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company gave me insight I share with groups from coast to coast.  As HR professionals, we’re called upon by Ceo’s, Presidents, first year employees and everyone in between to assist in various levels of change. I call it “Fractured Time” because it depletes energy, decreases productivity and places fear into otherwise strong workers.



Happily, I found many women and men who were able to navigate change and even thrive during difficult times. Here’s how they did it.

  1. Eliminating Fear

Think it’s easy, we’ll guess again. I’ve seen giants fall to change and $35,000 a year employees navigate it so well they received promotions.

I began to notice that those who understood that changed occurred all the time were much better equipped to make it through unscathed. One person described it this way.

“Today, we’re facing this direction and next week we’ll be facing another direction. What’s important Scott is that we continue to face in the direction our company is in and make personal adjustments along the way.”

So true. How about you? The great unknown that fear places upon us will slow you down to a crawl if allowed. Change occurs and we can do little to stop it. However, we can do much to increase our chances of making it through the change. Begin with eliminating fear. Make it your friend. Come to some sort of agreement. Okay fear, I acknowledge you exist but I’m in control! Successful women and men know this. Sure, it bothers them and makes work/life interesting. The key is in how we choose to deal with it.


  1. Personally Speaking

We face change at home all the time. It can follow us to work in our car or on the train. Pretending it doesn’t matter won’t make it go away. Dealing with it will.

Someone once said- We speak about someday dealing with that or someday dealing with the change that’s glaring us in the face when someday isn’t even a day of the week!

Our complex lives leave little time for relaxation. Is there a way to gain back some precious time that runs through our hands like sand?

Once again, our ability to confront change head on and deal with it can bring the most positive results. These include: More time for you. More time to give to others and the change that was staring you in the face just a day ago is now a thing of the past. Ahhhhhh…..

And of course, you squashed the fear and succeeded. Way to go!



  1. The Payoff- The Secret

DYK? Managers, bosses and companies are always watching our performance. Duh! We’re all graded on it and given raises and promotions, in part for our good performance.

Most of us answer to someone with a higher position at work. At the end of the day we go home and become the non-work us leaving that world behind. Our lives are full, we need some rest and then it’s back to work in the morning.

At the office, change affects us, connects us and sometimes directs us. If you’re looking for a promotion, if you like receiving that yearly raise, if you’d like to stay employed than you have a distinct advantage over others. Remember what I mentioned above? There is a direct correlation between perception and advancement. If your manager remembers your Ninja-like skill of successfully navigating change you will be looked upon as a savior. Why? Because, you made a difficult situation pertaining to change easier for them to navigate. And, trust me; they also remember the staff that did not assist them as well. They complained- a lot. They couldn’t handle it well. They poisoned those around them.

In the meantime, YOU kept it together. YOU successfully navigated change. YOU are the one that will be remembered as opportunities arise.

Was it easy? Heck no! Did you make it? Heck yes. Are you better for having done so?

YES, yes you are!


Violin Me!

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

My neighbor Sophie is 19 and plays the violin like an angel. A music major in college, she is home for the summer. I’ve known her since she began playing at age four.

Yesterday she had a lesson with a friend and a lady from the symphony. Windows wide open I received yet another in the magnificent series of Sophie’s “free” concerts.

A couple in their late 20’s was walking by, coffees in hand and pushing a stroller with two small boys. One was crying as they stopped in front of my house to calm him down. No luck!

As I watched the meltdown continue, I asked them to come and sit by me and listen to the music.

“It’s a free concert, you’ll love it.”

Three minutes later Josh stopped crying, everyone was smiling and no one was speaking. The power of music once again washed over ALL of us as we sat looking off in different directions.

When they left, the mom (Kate) turned, smiled and said softly “Thank you so much.”

Kids need music. Adults do too. It cuts through to our very core, releasing dopamine to the pleasure senses of our brain, making us feel great.

Next time you or one or more of your children are having “one of those moments” do what I do-sit outside and listen to Sophie play. If you don’t have a Sophie nearby, then put in those ear buds and get lost in some tunes as you watch the world unfold into a gentler place.

Yoga Kicked My Butt

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Revisions on Kidjacked are complete. I’ve handed it off to an editor so that she can fix all the boo boo’s I’ve made.

I decided to take up the practice yoga some time ago. Life balance and all that internal stuff should be good for me, right?

My teachers are a lady named Rose who’s 70 and a lady named Janice who’s 40.

Let’s begin with Rose.

At 5’ nothing and 105 lbs she is neither weak nor meek. She constantly shouts out “I need to see it for it to count,” referring to the pose we are suppose to be in.

For heaven’s sakes, I’m a long time runner and I lift weights too. So how in the world is Rose hurting me? For starters, I’m holding poses longer than I thought is humanly possible. Muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons are being stretched beyond belief. All this is happening, while my blood is rushing one way and then another way throughout my body trying to catch up with the rollercoaster ride she’s putting it through. After class, we sit and have green tea and homemade cookies. We talk. It’s nice. I’m always more calm than when I rolled out my mat an hour earlier.

In Janice’s class, she’s constantly reminding us to breathe as if it doesn’t come naturally or something.

Her poses are tougher and she helps correct out postures which is great. Again she’s back to the breathing thing and then on to more core work.

I thought this stuff was fun. Just a sensible, deep and ancient practice for women who didn’t really like to work out. A way to get together and talk while doing a little exercise without overexerting themselves too much is what I presumed.

Well, I was young and foolish. This is hard! This is good. This is tough.

My mates who went to one class refuse to go back complaining that it’s “too much work.” I remind them that our days of playing football and full-court basketball are over.

Back in my class full of women I’m thankful for the constant reminders to breathe because I’d forget otherwise. I’m so focused on getting the pose right that I often stop for five seconds or more until Janice reminds us. Saving me from almost fainting once again, I lose my balance in the middle of a pose and end up on my butt. Smiling, she assures us that yoga is not a competition and that each class you take is different from the last.

Kinda like life. Every day brings a new adventure filled with opportunity and challenges for us to meet head on. I’m okay with that as long as I remember to breathe.

Finger Painting Can Reduce Stress?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

I’m busy revising my manuscript “Kidjacked- A Father’s Story while working full time. The entire process is akin to having bamboo shoots shoved between my finger nails without making much noise. Impossible!

I was venting to my friend Sandy who’s the mother of three and a wonderful painter. “Try finger painting”, she exclaimed. A teacher of hers in college liked to talk about the healing factors painting provided. Looking at her like a dog would his owner and tilting my head, I reminded her that I could barely paint a stick figure.

I needed to reduce my stress and was happy to drive to the hard to find local art supply store. As I walked in I immediately knew that I was in a foreign land surrounded by canvas, paint, easels and brushes as several content customers filled their carts. I found a large pad of paper and five colors of paint. I was tempted to buy brushes too, but my mission required I digress back to age three where my less- than- advanced skills in sketching came to an abrupt halt.

Back at home, I spread the newspaper from Sunday out on the table, opened my pad and paint jars and began to create absolutely nothing. Where the hell is the paper towel? I can’t mix the colors on my fingers! I located the roll on the counter and went through half of it in twenty minutes. Stress was building, not decreasing. I really suck at this, was all I could think until I decided to close my eyes.

That’s when it happened. A natural flowing of fingers creating art that was below an elephant’s artistic sense was occurring, but I was having fun. I stopped thinking and simply let it flow and as I did I began to physically feel stress release through my fingers. I smiled. I laughed. I mixed colors that had no right meeting each other and didn’t care.

Tonight, as I look back at four days of stress reducing art with a glass of Jack Daniels and ice, I can’t really decipher any figures. There are no bodies, buildings or monuments that pop out, but damn if it didn’t reduce my stress. Now, if I could just get the paint out from between my finger nails, life would be a fantastically painted bowl of fruit.