Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – Inland Region has a huge footprint, covering mainly the Free State, North West, the Northern Cape and as well as parts of Gauteng and Limpopo. “I lead a team of astonishing individuals who possess unique qualities, brought together to work as a collective that enables the growth of the company and its world-class brands,” James explains his position at Coca- Cola.
What he enjoys most about his work is connecting with clients and different stakeholders, as well as building long lasting relationships that provide mutual benefits to all parties involved. “At the end of the day everyone goes home happy,” he says with a smile.
Due to the circumstances he grew up in, James developed an ambition to reach greater heights so that his life can be easier. “Growing up poor and seeing how my parents were struggling to make ends meet, was a painful experience for me as a child. As a result I developed an ambition to pass my studies well, because that was the only thing that would grant me an opportunity to find a decent job in order to take care of myself as well as my parents.”
He says one of the key aspects of being a great leader is to take risks. However not all risks yields positive results. He says his worst decision was when he took a risk in investing in something that he believed was a good investment but it turned out to be quite the opposite. This resulted in a big loss for him.
James smiles when asked about the best decision he has ever made. “Getting married to my beautiful wife and having my amazing children, who support me in everything I do, has been the best decision I have ever made.”
His biggest inspiration in life is his parents because of the amazing work they did by raising him and his 10 siblings, “My parents are my inspiration as they raised 11 children with nothing but love and respect. They always believed in family and working hard to keep your loved ones happy, irrespective of what you have.”
When asked about the mind-set that has contributed to his success, James mentions the following quote: “Nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up.” He also throws in a little bit of advice: “Never quit on things that make you happy, because you will be reminded of that happiness when things do not go as planned and you have to fight your way back to success.”
James believes he can accomplish all his goals, achieve his mission, and clarify his vision, thus he always tries to achieve beyond his competitors. “I always knew I was destined for success and because of that, I stay motivated to achieve beyond my competitors. It is important for me to know my competitors and their trade, analyse my daily routines and not be predictable. Through networks and connections, I always ask for advice that aids in improving my methods.”
He believes keeping a healthy balance between his personal and work life is important. “When I am not working, I spend my personal time with my family or at the farm when I am not travelling between cities.” When he is overwhelmed with doubt he always reminds himself about that popular quote: “This too shall pass. If it doesn’t kill me, it can only make me stronger and a better person.”
One piece of advice he would give to anyone starting out is: “You are the only person that can never judge and hate yourself. Believe in yourself and continue to follow your passion and aspiration. Remember that prayer is always the cherry on top. Have faith and keep praying as you navigate through your journey to success. ‘FAIL’ stands for ‘First Attempt in Learning’. So if you fall, pick yourself up and start again.”
Get in touch:
051 400 2200
Text by Corn Koteli