Poland’s risk managers’ association’s president reveals all in a quickfire Q&A

What are you thinking about right now?

I’m heavily engaged in developing a stronger risk management profession in Poland and also contributing to Ferma initiatives with a Polish attitude to risk: Poles are brave and action-oriented, but don’t always like planning ahead. This shows up not only in our history but also our position during the Second World War – our soldiers fought together with many European nations. A famous Polish writer, Waldemar Łysiak, once said: “Wherever there is a fight for freedom and independence you’ll find a Polish citizen.”

What is your most treasured possession?

Perhaps possession isn’t the right word, but I treasure my family, values and open mindset to people, ideas and cultures. I was told by my parents to speak, understand and interact with people regardless of their social or work status, or appearance. They also told me to listen to others and not to take things at face value.

Who is your greatest hero?

My heroes are all the people who dare to change their lives or situations and who overcome difficulties. We all meet many unsung heroes while travelling, passing people on the street, in our jobs, families and friends. You can’t fake bravery, as it arises from deeds and actions, not from talk. Secondly, you need passion in whatever you do, regardless of whether it’s in business or a hobby you love – then you are the world’s best performer in your domain. Passion releases determination and persistence in reaching your goals – motivation is not sufficient.

What’s the biggest risk you have taken?

I’m taking it right now. I can’t give you many details now, but the results will be visible within two years and it has a lot to do with the risk management profession …

What is your greatest fear?

This is a difficult question to answer. I could tell you that I’m not afraid of something, but then I might be when I actually face it, and vice versa. My fear relates to the efficiency and credibility of the economic system, that is, the dark side of human nature, for example, greed.

Tell us a secret?

I wanted to keep it secret, but it looks like I can’t get out of it. I’m passionate about collecting railway models (H0 scale 1:87) and railway landscape modelling. I also collect weathered models of houses, stations and buildings that look realistic and not like plastic toys. I share this passion with my nine-year-old son.

What makes you happy?

Being surrounded with people who share your vision and passion, and who are enthusiastic about what they do, regardless of whether it be collecting stamps or a sport. Passion makes us optimistic, like wearing rose-tinted glasses but maintaining a reasonable dose of reality.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt?

You have to retain your humility, but really believe in yourself. We have yet to learn how to manage the paradoxes around us.