One World in a New World

Zen Benefiel
4 min readDec 29, 2021

with Geoff Woliner — CEO of Winning Wit

We start off recapping our original meeting through a leadership conference for American Society for Training and Development (now Association for Talent Development) which has chapters in 147 countries. We talk about his transition from ASTD and why he made it. You may find a similar theme in your life now.

Geoff shares how he saw his position as Charter Relations Director as a way to learn from others around the nation and share what was working across the country to other chapters who were struggling. It gave him a way to help many by paying attention and connecting the dots like a holistic systems thinker. He mentions how chapters were a place of solace for those caught in the economic downturn in the late 2000s.

Zen mentions his experience in the aerospace industry in the late 80s and attempting to introduce interpersonal skills meeting with less than favorable results. 30 years later, the scene had changed in the human resource and instructional arena, which included highly motivated people with high integrity that really wanted to serve others professionally in ways that helped them grow.

Geoff’s book, Leaving 2020, is our next tangent and he shares that the book is about the trials and tribulations of people in the current times, going into and coming out of Covid. The impetus came after his business, like many others, disappeared. He’d been writing and speaking for public events and when public events ceased, so did his work.

He was faced with a catastrophic event, yet came out of it seeing an opportunity to perform differently, still loving what he was doing. “When something really profound happens, it doesn’t come from you, it comes through you,” Geoff says, acknowledging this is a common sense within artists, writers and creative sorts.

He talks about the theme of the book and the epicenter of activity, New York City, and how it affected the main character to the point where he jumps from a building. You’ll have to read the book for the ‘rest…

Zen Benefiel

Vulnerable and radically curious toward harmony among people and planet. Co-Executive Director of Live and Let Live Global Peace Movement and Foundation.