Rising Through Resilience: Christopher Novak of ‘The Summit Team’ On The Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente,
Excerpts from article published in Authority Magazine (10/27/21)
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
My first book, Conquering Adversity, was also a keynote presentation that I shared at conferences, retreats, and functions for thousands of professionals nationally and internationally. I am humbled to still hear from people whose lives were changed by its message about the hero inside each of us. But there was one particular moment that has always stood out for me. I had been invited to speak to about 40 at-risk teenagers. The director of the program had heard me speak at another event and wanted to share that message with this group of troubled teens. As I was setting up my presentation, she apologized over and over for what she expected to be a very unruly and rude audience for me. I told her there was no need to apologize and that I would deliver the same heartfelt message that I gave every time I stepped in front of an audience. Much to the director’s astonishment, those young people were incredibly attentive and polite. You could have heard a pin drop during my 75 minute talk and afterward they crowded around me asking dozens of follow-up questions. The director said she had never seen anything like it in 20 years of working with troubled teens. Inspired by her compliment I went to retrieve my laptop and there on top of it was a notecard. I opened it and inside one of the teens had written, “Thank you for coming and caring about us. I needed to hear you. You changed my life today.” It almost brought me to tears but it taught me a powerful lesson — words matter, written or spoken the words we share from our heart have impact. I became a better speaker that day because going forward I had a sharpened perspective on every keynote I gave. From that day on, I took the stage believing that there was at least one person sitting in that audience that needed to hear what I had to say. And, if no one else took anything away from my message, I would still have come to that event just to be the difference in that one person’s life.