Leadership in FM: Q&A with Facility Fusion Power Speaker Scott Lesnick
Join Facility Fusion Power Speaker Scott Lesnick on a remarkable journey where he shares how he devised a daring plan to reunite with his two small children who were kidnapped to the Middle East. His powerful signature keynote, Kidjacked, will teach you about resilience, successfully navigating change, perseverance and overcoming obstacles in your professional and personal life.
Q: What are you passionate about?
Scott: The first thing that comes to mind is running. I’m a runner. I’m also passionate about speaking because I get to speak at organizations and many conferences, probably 40 a year around North America and beyond. I’m passionate about spending time with my wife, my dog, and friends just hanging out and traveling.
Q: What advice would you give to young leaders in the profession?
Scott: My big advice to young leaders is to always seek out a mentor. Find somebody else who can up your game, who you can talk to...so you can learn from others who have been where you are going. When you are done talking to those that might be able to help you, always ask them, “What can I do for you?” It has to go both ways. That takes relationships and helps them grow and build a stronger foundation.
Q: What would a young leader want to look for in a mentor?
Scott: When you are looking for a mentor, you want to find the individual or a couple of individuals who are really pretty darn good at what they do but they don’t have a ginormous or huge ego. Their feet are on the ground. They aren’t thinking that they are the best. Look for the person who is talented, who has earned their stripes and been able to achieve and grow. Also, you want to make sure that they are open to communicating. The last thing that is really important in any relationship is somebody who listens well.
Q: What business trends do you think are on the horizon for 2023?
Scott: Artificial intelligence and machine learning is going to grow exponentially and really have huge impact on business, on how we make decisions at our jobs, how management and leaders make decisions and impact everything from agriculture to healthcare and even fertility.
2023 is still going to be the year of the employee, where the employee still has power that they haven’t had for a long time and they can help make decisions regarding where they want to work whether it be hybrid, remote or in-person. It’s important in 2023 for employers and organizations to realize that they have to have these open discussions with employees and one size does not fit all.
Last, it’s really important for leaders to be trained how to lead better and how to lead different generations and connect all of us. Companies retain employees more when DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) is intact, where communication is open and the sharing of information, ideas and knowledge is encouraged. That’s going to continue to be relevant in 2023.
Q: Labor shortages are no surprise to FMs. What advice would you have for attracting and retaining talent
Scott: It’s interesting but the number one generation in America that uses Twitter is Gen Z. If you have job openings or job opportunities, you want to be posting them on Twitter as well because that is one extra advantage you will have over the competition. Also, listen to your potential hire and make sure you are able to deliver what they really want. It takes so much time, effort and money to onboard folks that once you get them you want to keep them.
Last, I would encourage managers every 3-6 months to sit down with individuals. I know this takes time, but it’s important. I would sit down with them and ask, “What else can I do for you? How are we doing?” And just listen. Don’t take it so personally. Just listen. This lets you know if they are looking or not. This lets you know if they want to stay or not and it gives you an opportunity to learn what you can do to retain them.
Q: The industry demands that FMs become resilient to change. What advice do you have to embrace chance in a positive way?
Scott: You can fight change all you want but you’re going to lose. What we need to do as individuals is to adapt. Change occurs. Who can we talk to about it when it happens? People forget how often they adapt in their personal lives and take that mindset to work. Succession planning and the sharing of information can also help these conversations for facility managers.
Q: Can you give us a quick synopsis of what you plan to speak about at Facility Fusion?
Scott: It’s based on one of my books. The keynote takes you on a journey, a true story, about how I got my kids back from the middle east after they were kidnapped. In it, I talk about the challenges I went through personally and professionally and the challenges we all go through. I learned how to open up to people more. It’s meant to educate, inspire and motivate folks.
Scott is a sought-after global leadership keynote speaker that has spent 24 award-winning years leading sales teams at Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company. He's recently presented at TEDx and his book Lifejacked: Life Lessons on Leadership was published to critical acclaim.
Want to see Scott live? Join us at Facility Fusion 2023.