BRIAN JAKINS

Financial Mail - - CROSSWORD 1977 - Africa re­gional vice-pres­i­dent of sales, In­tel­sat

What is your big­gest re­gret?

I don’t re­ally be­lieve in re­grets, but if I had the op­por­tu­nity to rewind my ca­reer path, I might have se­lected one in the area of sports man­age­ment. Grow­ing up I was pretty good at rugby and sev­eral other sports. Un­for­tu­nately, our coun­try was not part of the in­ter­na­tional sports arena at that time, so op­por­tu­ni­ties to pur­sue sports as a ca­reer were lim­ited.

What is the one in­vest­ment you wish you had made, or made ear­lier? What was your first job? What’s the one book ev­ery­one should read be­fore they die? What’s your big­gest in­dul­gence? Which phrase or word do you most overuse? How do you han­dle stress? What are your top tips for deal­ing with stress? Who is your favourite hero of fic­tion? What’s the worst air­port you’ve been in?

I re­ally wish I had been taught about in­vest­ing into tech shares, like MTN or Naspers which are all home-grown com­pa­nies that have done in­cred­i­bly well in the in­ter­na­tional arena. I did a trade in tool and die mak­ing. As a young­ster grow­ing up we were al­ways told to do some­thing with our hands be­cause you can al­ways fall back on it when life throws you a curve ball. Killing Keb­ble by Mandy Wiener was re­ally thought-pro­vok­ing and hits close to home in that the un­der­world set­ting op­er­ates in plain sight around our daily lives. I also think Hitler and Churchill: Se­crets of Lead­er­ship by Andrew Roberts is a good read — very in­ter­est­ing con­trast in lead­er­ship styles . . . or not! Cheese­cake or a Whippy choco­late bar. “When I was grow­ing up.” This is eas­ier said than done. It af­fects all of us dif­fer­ently as we ap­ply our trades in busi­ness and daily fam­ily life. I would ad­vo­cate per­spec­tive in all things and have com­fort in the knowl­edge that noth­ing neg­a­tive lasts for­ever. In time, it will pass. Joe and Frank in the Hardy Boys books by Franklin W Dixon. De­pends on the time of day but JFK and La­gos Air­port have equally high sour points in my book and I travel quite a bit.

Tell us about a hid­den gem in Jo’burg/cape Town/dur­ban that not many peo­ple know about.

You have to try The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town.

Nom­i­nate your 8th won­der of the world?

I work in the space tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try and have ex­pe­ri­enced a rocket launch tak­ing two of our satel­lites into space. That had to be right up there as the 8th Won­der of the World as it re­ally is “rocket science”. That . . . and Mex­i­can beer!

What do you con­sider the most over­rated virtue?

To obey or be obe­di­ent.

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