“I force my students to really challenge their minds to ignite both the right side of their brain and the left side of their brain. So they bring in critical and creativeness, and when those two things mix together, it’s just beautiful.” – Lilian Ajayi-Ore

Today’s Finding Brave features not only a disruptive leader who is realizing her own tremendous potential, but someone who has created a global movement showing others how to do the same in their own lives.

Lilian Ajayi-Ore is the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W), an award-winning not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City, with a reach of 3.5 million people worldwide. GC4W is one of the leading international non-profits of the millennium in the areas of gender equality, women’s  empowerment, and youth empowerment. Lilian was invited to create the first Teach Gender Equality certificate course for Microsoft Education, and the certificate course is being offered to 2 million teachers worldwide. She is a current doctorate student at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a degree in International Relations from Harvard, and has served on the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, working as policy negotiator in the second committee. Lilian is an award-winning humanitarian and leadership ambassador, who has been invited to speak at the United Nations (in New York), The World Bank, United Nations Development Program, Toronto World Leadership Forum, to name a few.

Lilian is currently a university faculty member at the School of Professional Studies at the New York University, and others. Her professional experience also includes working as the Head of Digital Strategy and Big Data Analytics for several Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies including Saks Fifth Ave, Comcast NBC Universal, Panasonic, IBM, Macy’s and Citibank.

Lilian’s insights will help you stand up for what you believe and truly embrace your potential. You’ll hear how you can pursue your passion and purpose, and why fear doesn’t have to stand in your way if you learn how to reframe and even embrace it.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • Why Lilian started GC4W and how she had to “step up” to create it [5:23]
  • The reason she didn’t walk away from something bigger than her, even though others told her to [12:13]
  • What Lilian did in those critical first few years to make GC4W stand out [14:23]
  • How she developed her specific teaching philosophy and the three components of her method that she uses to connect her students with the subject matter [15:58]
  • Where she has received pushback for her educational style [19:23]
  • Her practical advice for young people struggling to find their purpose and the very first step she recommends they take [23:23]
  • What can happen when you decide to turn fear into a positive emotion [29:58]
  • The female role models that have influenced Lilian on her journey and why she feels everyone needs people to emulate [33:23]

For more information:




Resources Mentioned:

17: Expanding Your Introvert Power and Leadership, with Jennifer Kahnweiler

Kathy’s TEDx talk “Time to Brave Up

Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy Called Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge

The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.


“With any idea that you have, you’ve got to start with the research. How are you creating value for the space, and where are you going to fall into it? What’s going to differentiate you from everyone else?” [8:19]

“Obviously we were evolving from all the things we were doing from the beginning. Finding your purpose, or finding a value proposition with what you do has to change. You have to allow the iterative process to take place.” [15:24]

“If you enable students and give them all the tools that they need, do different exercises to really get them out of their comfort zone and challenge them mentally, they will produce their best work.” [20:46]

“Set your mind on finding a way to uncover what your talents are using other people as an example.” [25:25]

“It’s about making value, or creating value for the space you’re in and really committing to it.” [27:02]

“When I feel afraid, I tell myself I’m on to a great thing.” [30:01]

“Find bravery moments. Not every moment is going to be a victorious one, but at least you were brave enough to do it.” [34:41]


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