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Interview with Ania Lichota

With her success in leaving Poland and coming to London to become a financial executive, Ania Lichota inspires audiences with her fascinating story. Read her interview below.

How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

First of all I spend time with the client to understand what the current need is for the audience – inspiration, bedding down the values of the organisation, mobilisation of culture change, empowering or engaging employees, leadership growth, or something else? I study all I can about the company or event, its mission and the way they work. Then I weave my personal corporate, extreme adventure, company and leadership transformation experiences into a relevant and engaging story. After the event I seek feedback to enable my own growth.


What is your main motivation for being a keynote speaker?

The ultimate value for me is sharing. Untold experiences are like jewels locked up in a security box. When I hear comments – “Ania, thank you for this story, it’s changed my perception of what’s possible for me” – I rejoice. I grew up believing in reality and my own abilities, which turned out to be totally limiting and mostly false. But I managed to re-frame them for myself. If I can open up opportunities for others to grow and achieve more than they ever thought possible, I will keep sharing.


How do you engage audiences while sharing your personal corporate and adventurous experiences?

I tell my story as it was, openly and without limits – when I cried, when it was easy, when I had a cold sweat running down my back during difficult corporate times, when I stopped getting angry, when I understood true compassion and what lessons I took from it all and how they propelled me into life I did not expect existed. I share my vulnerability and myself in an authentic way. Audience can feel that instantly and get connected with me on a level of understanding that rarely happens in our busy lives. I call it a true encounter – it touches and moves people.


In your opinion, why is it so important to go beyond your comfort zone? 

When we operate in the known and comfortable we become complacent. The world (corporate and otherwise) is changing at a rapid speed and we cannot take our stability for granted. Going beyond our comfort zone on our terms prepares us for the unexpected and unplanned events coming our way and it makes us stronger in dealing with life. Any kind of learning includes a bit of pain, as you have to let go of your previous truths and assumptions. When that happens you are better prepared for a new cycle of experience. This journey never ends.


Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

Oh yes! It was at a conference for 250 senior financial directors. The event was planned for 90 minutes in the evening, starting at 18.00. When I realized that it was approaching 22.00 and all the sandwiches were eaten and the wine gone but we were still talking I knew some sort of magic happened in that room. Through my openness people started asking questions they never dared to speak out and that enabled us to go deeper into a process of exploring what’s possible for them.


Read more about Ania Lichota here!

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