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BizTrends 2018


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#BehindtheSelfie with... James Wilson

This week we find out what's really going on behind the selfie with James Wilson, general manager and VP of WE South Africa.
Wilson says, “That’s me in the spotlight…”

1. Where do you live, work and play?

Parkhurst, Illovo and all over this great city I love to call my home!

2. What’s your claim to fame?

My current job. I’ve never experienced exhilaration, joy, terror, excitement and challenge on this level – and that’s all before my first cup of coffee.

3. Describe your career so far.

Terribly exciting!

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

Besides raindrops and roses? Joburg would top the list at number one, closely followed by Highveld afternoon thundershowers and of course my irreplaceable family and friends.

5. What do you love about your industry?

The people, the people, the people.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

Every day is different, but typically the average day includes some type of trouble-shooting. Meetings planned and unplanned are de rigueur. Then, of course there’s the daily avalanche of emails.

7. What are the tools of your trade?

The tools of communication are typically character traits. Resilience, passion, tenacity, the ability to inspire and be incredibly practical and level-headed are all essential.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

Small, independent agencies just starting out. They’re not duty bound to shareholders or anyone in fact and, as a result are producing some incredibly creative, inspiring work.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

We could certainly collaborate better – collaboration will keep the industry going for years to come. That, and an improvement on how we are perceived and valued, which arguably boils down to impact and measurement.

10. What are you working on right now?

Our BEE deal, which I’m really proud of.

WE South Africa establishes B-BBEE development trust

Coinciding with International Women's Day, WE South Africa has announced the establishment of the WE Development Trust...

8 Mar 2017

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.

Where to begin? Organic growth, out the box thinking, bubble to the surface, blah blah blah. My current personal favourite is ‘it’s not your fault, but it’s your problem.’

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

Either when I’m showering or the early hours of the morning. Answers come to me when my mind is cleared. I keep Post-Its next to my bed. So, typically when I’m not attached to an electronic device.

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

I am double jointed. This freaks people out completely!

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

I couldn’t exactly be a technophobe as I head up a company that specialises in the tech sector!

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

The last 20 calls I’ve made, literally. A few open emails – about to reply to someone.

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

Be enthusiastic and fearless. Be prepared to do anything. A great attitude will pay off in dividends.

Simple as that. Despite the avalanche he referred to, Wilson says he is happy for anyone to contact him at any point over and be sure to follow WE SA on the following social media channels: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity, the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017, and can be reached at .