Josephine Buys


After leaving her role as the founding CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa (IAB SA) Josephine Buys, a dynamic and no-nonsense leader in the publishing and marketing industry in South Africa is now the new CEO for Publisher Research Council (PRC). Her interview below typifies the way she goes about life. It’s straight. It’s black or white. This is a woman who knows where she comes from and certainly knows where she’s going:

My Definition Of Success | I used to think it was success in my career, I now know it’s getting the life/work balance right.

I am driven by | Seeing others succeed.

I think my ‘MAGIC’ comes from | Having been ‘brewed’ in Ireland. I’m proud of my Celtic heritage.

The Difference Between good And Great | Work ethic. Respect for others’ valuable time.

A Key Talent | Tenacity. I firmly believe ‘failure’ is a learning opportunity and so I rarely give up. Unless, on reflection, I realise a task I have set myself is unnecessarily stressful, I recalibrate.

Characteristics Of Success |Integrity and punctuality.

Principles I live by | Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat a good friend.

Critical skills I have developed | Actively listening.

How I use my mind | Mindfulness. I have discovered that making time for mental wellbeing is just as important as keeping physically fit.

Most important lessons learnt | Do not expect others to do as you do. Meeting deadlines, delivering error free work, turning up on time etc… Humans are not all the same and if your expectations of others are too high, you will consistently feel let down.

Dealing with doubt and fear | Public speaking is known to induce fear in many, I’m no exception. However, I had an employer who also became a mentor who pushed me out of my comfort zone and onto the stage! Over the years I have learned tips to “bring the butterflies into formation” by knowing my content well, practicing, breathing steadily, enunciating and picking several friendly faces in the crowd from left to right to create flow of delivery. I still get nervous but once I’m speaking, I actually enjoy it!

Performing at my peak | Planning carefully, making sure I don’t over-promise and under deliver. Prioritising my health and wellness.

Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | Reading; whether it be immersing myself in a great novel, a favourite magazine or online. Listening to podcasts. Wise and funny peers (wisdom and laughter are valuable gifts). Taking regular breaks to get fresh air, cycling on the promenade with the ocean to inspire me is a favourite pastime.

My Future Dreams And Ambitions | To mentor young people, give them access to educational and job opportunities and inspire them to reach beyond their own dreams.

Balancing high performance with happiness and contentment |  Sometimes success comes at a cost. Again, it’s about finding the balance and committing time to yourself as you would a friend or loved one.

The Best Advice I’ve Received |  “No” is one no closer to a yes (in sales in particular).

Finding new talent and Motivating my team | I identify people in every day circumstances whose work ethic I admire and keep them in mind when opportunities for hiring occur. Being in the trenches with my team inspires and shows them that while I expect hard work, I lead by example and the result is a motivated and successful team.

I am inspired by | My mum, Nelson Mandela and Richard Branson. For their strength of character, wisdom and inspiration.

The Legacy I would like to leave | Access to education and job opportunities for our youth. If we can change the world for a single child, we can change the world.

Interview Questions

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