Self-Leadership in a Changing World  

To thrive in a changing world, it is no longer enough to simply have the right knowledge, competencies and technology. Research has shown that 75% of job successes are predicted not by IQ but “by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”*

The key is found in cultivating self-leadership with the right perspectives and habits of mind about change.

Rob Lilwall is an ordinary person who, through taking an adventurous attitude to life, has achieved the extraordinary. In the last two decades, he has embarked on expeditions by bicycle and on foot, covering over 80,000 km of the world’s land surface. These have included an unsupported walk across the Gobi Desert in winter; pedalling over the war-torn passes of Afghanistan; and being the first person ever to drag a bicycle across the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.

In his energetic and interactive keynote and masterclass, Rob transports his audiences into the world of adventure, while expertly drawing powerful parallels with the ever-changing challenges of ordinary life, and providing practical strategies to overcome them.

To date, he has given his presentations to over 40,000 people around the world, with recent clients including HSBC, InterContinental, Hewlett Packard, Symantec, ABB, MDRT, Nike and UBS. Rob is based in Hong Kong, frequently speaks in Asia Pacific and is available to speak worldwide.

*Shawn Achor, lecturer in Positive Psychology at Harvard University

Inspirational keynote and masterclass topics

  • CHANGE: what attitude should we take towards life's only constant and how do we thrive in the middle of it?
  • RISK: how do we find the right balance towards risk-taking that is both intelligently calculating, and yet appropriately bold?
  • RESILIENCE & SELF LEADERSHIP: how do we live and work wisely and intentionally, so as to maintain good judgment, clear goal orientation, and high resilience for the long-haul?
  • COLLABORATION: how can we build a culture which recognises that “we don’t have to make it on our own”, and so become better at both giving and receiving help along the way?


  • Fresh insights into change and its relationship with the opportunity to grow
  • Out-of-the-box, real-life stories that go straight to heart, bypass audience cynicism, and convince listeners of the benefits of inter-dependency
  • Practical, research-supported strategies for cultivating the Attitudes of Adventure in our lives: goal-setting, self-care, resilience, collaboration, calculated risk-taking, and problem solving.
  • A half-day masterclass is also available which includes activities and interventions for building the Attitudes of Adventure more deeply into real-life practice.

Ideal for

  • Conference keynote
  • Talent development
  • Staff development
  • Awards banquets
  • Senior management meetings
  • Sales conferences
  • Incentive trips
  • Company offsites

Formats available

Rob can deliver his motivational messages in a standalone keynote presentation (ideal for opening or closing a conference on a high note), or alternatively as a half-day or whole-day masterclass which includes additional activities and practices for building the Attitudes of Adventure more deeply into daily life.

In previous years, speakers at Asian Private Banker's Family Office Summit have included Kenneth Taylor ("The real hero of Argo") and Al Gore (45th Vice-President of the United States). This year we had Rob Lilwall, and he certainly did not let us down.  Through a combination of endearing humility and granite determination, Rob delighted and motivated a riveted audience.


Rob brings a degree of authenticity that is difficult to find these days. His message is grounded in humble personal experience and connects some very real and essential elements of human nature to the business world. Refreshingly different!

Rob Lilwall spoke at our Annual Conference for our Sales and Marketing teams. Not only was his speech engaging, funny, and inspirational but Rob also demonstrated how it was relevant to the key themes of our conference, specifically tailoring his presentation after a detailed briefing with us. I cannot thank Rob enough.

Rob's style, his content, and his character captivated the room, and the level of engagement was palpable. He made every person feel as if they were having a personal conversation with him. I encourage anyone looking for these types of experiences and results to share your needs with Rob; I guarantee he will deliver beyond expectation.


Rob is extremely easy to work with and is prepared to adapt and dovetail his presentation and style to what may suit your business need, although I found that no adaptation was required and his natural style works perfectly well and this is further enhanced by his approachable nature and a willingness to share. I would strongly recommend Rob and believe if you are looking for an inspirational thought provoking presenter then you will not be disappointed.

Rob's story is inspiring, motivational and hard hitting, delivered in an extremely engaging and fun style. He correlates his story to the many real world challenges of work and life. His listeners are left with powerful messages on how to navigate adversity with fortitude, humour and a sense of adventure.

Rob was one of our keynote presenters at an event for 2,000 of our top performers. Rob easily found ways to link his stories to the daily challenges associated to our line of work, and was able to complement with real life experiences that made him ever more credible as a speaker. I highly recommend Rob and would not hesitate to work with him again in the future.

I recently leveraged Rob Lilwall as part of a company quarterly business review. He was nothing short of amazing and very good at linking his life experiences with the corporate and professional world. Rob speaks with conviction, passion and eloquently describes the importance of team work, setting goals and powering through adversity.

Rob worked with us to be part of a session for our senior key talents. Rob came across as extremely personable and the authenticity of his experiences made his sharing extremely powerful. Candid, humorous and yet thought provoking, he managed to weave his experiences in line with the principles we were advocating in the session. 

I attended a client event hosted by my firm recently and found his presentation generated feelings of inspiration, admiration and in some cases consternation as he navigated through dangerous terrain and situations. I think all of us in the room took something special away from his speech, including a great deal of humour.

Rob pitched his delivery perfectly at the audience and used his amazing experiences to encourage us all to ask ourselves what we are really capable of - just the message I was looking to communicate! Rob has a disarming charm and wonderful tendency to downplay the audacity and magnitude of his achievements... I spoke to all of the attendees afterwards and they all gave great feedback. It was the ideal uplifting and inspiring way to end our annual sales conference.

I highly recommend Rob’s sharing for companies who are looking to inspire their organizations to take the next lap in their transformation journey. We all need a sense of adventure, resilience and grit to achieve our goals – not unlike Rob’s adventure across 30,000 miles through Siberia and various parts of the world!


Rob spoke to our senior Asia Pacific leadership team at the MEC regional meeting. We have a talent manifesto of "Don't just live thrive", and we wanted people to be inspired by someone who has truly thrived in their life. Rob took us on his three year cycling journey in a very inspiring, amusing at times, thought provoking way. He opened up the minds of those in the room to focus on a goal, and be resilient, and often creative in achieving it. He spoke for an hour and it seemed to pass in a minute. Highly recommended.