Doug De Villiers


Extensive globe travel and international work experience has opened up the world of brand opportunity to this enquiring mind. Doug de Villiers has studied widely, pens papers and delivers talks on his subject. He has honed his professional skills towards Africa while at the reigns of branding and design specialist consultancy, Interbrand Africa.
Being a man with multi facets, Doug holds his family firmly in his heart and keeps a song in his head. He strums a few of his key notes here:

Doug De Villiers,  Definition Of Success  Never having to think or say, “I wish I’d done that when I had the chance”.

I Am Driven By  Fear of not making a difference, fear of letting my family, my friends, or my collogues down. Fear of having to ever admit that I did not do something when I had the chance.

My Highlights  I have always considered each of my positive (and negative) “life experiences” to be an ongoing collection of building blocks in the pursuit of a highlight or two. Of course some experiences obviously stand out like; getting my wife to agree to marry me (after chasing after her for about 7-years), creating 3 amazing kids including my daughter Hayley who has Downs Syndrome (I never saw that coming but wow what a blessing), surviving (physically and mentally) the Parabats selection & the war in Angola, travelling up the Nile and down the Amazon with my wife Marina, being appointed as a “Visiting Professor” at Stathmore Business School (I just love being called Prof…who wouldn’t), being a founding member of the Bunk Girls Motor Cycle Club (don’t be fooled by the name we’re a Blues Rock band comprising 5 of SA’s leading business & academic leaders), and learning how to make a decent fire in our pizza oven at home.

The Difference Between Good And Great  Good is what we sometimes naively think of ourselves, great is hopefully what others think of us. We should never consider ourselves anything but good and hope to hell that others find reason to believe we are/were great in some small way.

A Key Talent  I can talk…man can I talk, (getting me to shut up is the real trick). I’m also a pretty useful acoustic guitarist.

The Characteristics Of Success  Creativity and the ability to see opportunity where others see failure, intense curiosity and the ability to cut to the chase and see the core of the opportunity and/or problem, decisiveness and the ability to make decisions – popular or unpopular, leadership when times are tough (anyone can lead when times are good!

Principles I Live By  Family first, always, every day, every minute without fail. Period.

Critical Skills I Develop  The ability to see things from a new perspective. Yes, sometimes in an academic capacity, but most often simply from an experience perspective.

How I Use My Mind  I am blessed with ADD so it’s pretty busy up in my head. I also take the time to step away from daily business issues and just let my mind free to “roam the ridiculous” and look beyond the obvious.

Lessons I Have Learnt  It all comes around! I’m not a spiritual person, but somehow whatever we do has a way of circling back – good and bad – so play nice! Also you can do pretty much anything with a good spreadsheet – yes it’s sad – but damn true.

Dealing With Doubt  Grow a pair, get a plan, commit and get on with it.

Performing At My Peak  At the very last minute and under pressure – and specifically if anyone tells me it cannot be done.

Resources I Use To Stay Inspired  I read a lot – most often 3-5 books simultaneously – everything from business books, autobiographies, history, fiction, design & architecture etc etc. I am also significantly inspired by other people’s experiences and opinions.

My Future Dreams And Ambitions  Finish that doctorate I started 14-years ago, write something that will be remembered, master my Fender strat, learn how to spell, (give a damn about learning to spell), go for game walks on my own game farm with my family, with my sons as guides, and my daughter as the chef.

The Meaning Of Life  Life is about creating memories at every possible opportunity.

The Best Advice I’ve Received  “Don’t get old and think or say I wish I’d done that when I had the chance”. (my grandad Douglass Rogers)

Advice On Building Wealth  I saw a documentary recently that featured a pimply teenager – every second word was “like” – he was the world skateboarding champion. He collects Ferrari’s as a hobby. The lesson? Wealth comes from passion, sacrifice and sometimes the most unexpected places so look beyond the norm. (And if you’re lucky enough to “make some bank” for heaven’s sake learn to speak properly!)

On Inspiring Others  I love my own stories – yes they grow in the telling – but that’s how I remember them, and in some small way it perhaps shows others what a whack of passion, a small dose of fear and a plan can deliver.

I Am Inspired By  “Little things, small moments & big dreams”. My daughter playing the piano, my oldest son constantly cracking great grades, my youngest son’s absolute love of life (and drumming skills, and soccer skills, and tree climbing skills…!), my wife’s incredible artistic talent and her dedication as a mom, wife and friend.

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave  That I lived life to the full. That I picked myself up more often than I fell. That I laughed a lot. That others laughed with me. That somewhere, somehow I started a ripple on the water that became a wave in the ocean. That I arrived at the “next stop” with a song in my head and my family in my heart.

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