1. How would you describe your political/leadership style in three words?
Committed, because you need to set your targets, believe in yourself, and convince your team to come on the journey with you to achieve your targets. Political journeys are usually treacherous and commitment is the motivator to help you resist. A good communicator, because it is important to make your goals clear, delegate and understand the difficulties that your team members may encounter, and transmit your ambition. Fair, because it is the basis of mutual respect, correctness and an important value when dealing with difficult decisions.
2. What one item would you save from your house or apartment if it was on fire?
I would never call them ‘items’, but it would certainly be my cats. Catching all five while the house was on fi re, and ensuring their safety, would leave me with very little opportunity to save anything else.
3. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
The fact that I entered the world of politics, surprised even me. I come from a business background. Politics is not my natural habitat, but I found that representing the citizens that have placed their trust in me, as their voice in Europe, is very satisfying. Just as fulfilling is being able to influence and draft legislation. I wish I could be a ‘people’s representative’ without having to be a ‘politician’, but that seems impossible. Apart from that, people might be surprised that I was an athlete - I was a discus champion and a record holder.
4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
Free time? What’s that? I am silly enough to forfeit ‘me time’ for work. The gym clothes I bought at the beginning of my mandate, with the intention of going to the Parliament gym, still have the tags on them. The only time I relax is when I go on holiday, which is not as often as I would like.
5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?
This is very difficult to answer as I devour books like a famished hyena. However, a set of books that impressed me are those by Jean Sasson. The subject matter deals with the huge challenges faced by Middle Eastern women, in their fight against absolute discrimination, lack of respect, as well as legalised violence. The Princess trilogy - true events seen from the eyes of a rebel Saudi princess - is particularly impressive.
For more 5Qs, get to know Laima Andrikienė.