James is a career expatriate, having worked for the majority of his career in Strategy and Finance. His most recent position was Chief Strategy Officer of Angola Telecom, based in Luanda, Angola. Having worked his way up from the lowest level analyst roles, James has made his way to more senior positions such as Director of Finance in Latin America or Operations Director for the Global Wholesale Business at British Telecom.
James has an MBA in International Business and Finance and Bachelor degrees in Journalism/Marketing as well as Business Administration. He speaks English, German, French, Russian, and Portuguese as a result of living / working in the USA, France, Austria, Germany, Brazil and Russia. When not hard at work, you can find James concentrating on growing the non-profit Global H2O.
Besides my career development, I have been honing my skills on some of the highest mountains in the world. I discovered this wonderful sport in 2002, after I was released from a failed startup funded by Telefonica and Sonera. I used the package to repay my remaining MBA loans and the rest went towards a trip to Kilimanjaro, where suddenly I found myself watching the sun rise atop the 6000 meter volcano. It was the most religious experience I ever felt and I was sucked in immediately.
I was in such a spin from the experience that I began to consume adventure books like I never had seen a book before. First was the great picture book of the 7 Summits, then Seven Summits by Dick Bass. Into Thin Air, The Other Side of Everest, etc etc. Educational books on Mountaineering were next. Soon, I began to realize that Marathoning was a very two-dimensional sport (distance and time) whereas climbing had third and fourth dimensions (Altitude and “Space”).
To me the space aspect was most interesting of the sport. Space to me meant reserve energy to return home in one piece. In a marathon, if you bonk or have an injury, you just get a cab home or an ambulance to the hospital. On a mountain, you don’t have this luxury.
Since that point in time, I have climbed to the summit of Elbrus (in Russia), McKinley/ Denali (in the USA), Aconcagua (in Argentina), and Vinson (in Antarctica), Everest (May 2010), Kosciuszko (November 2010). I have also participated in expeditions to Cho Oyu in 2009 Everest in 2005 and Aconcagua in 2004. The completion of Kosciuszko in November places me among the first 300 who have ever completed the 7 continental summits. Apart from this, I am constantly training for marathons to maintain the base for training for greater challenges.
It goes without saying that the sheer beauty and extremes of nature that I have experienced add to the sports aspect. Being in the nature makes me feel alive and helps me to understand better how much excess we have in our daily lives. It frightens me to see how we allow ourselves to pollute this beautiful planet simply because we are too lazy or feel that certain issues are not worthy of our time.
In 2009, I founded Global H2O in the USA, followed by formation of the organisation in Germany and Austria in 2010 and the UK in 2012. The charity is focused on raising funds for clean water projects around the world. As of February 2013, the charity has created a lifetime supply of clean water for more than 50,000 people.
Fund raising activities include coaching, team building events, guiding expeditions, dinner lectures/ speeches, motivation talks and product testimonial.
Nature in all her beauty and great force is in my opinion the ultimate teacher. Every time I venture into the mountains, I find myself learning and improving on the management skills which I have acquired over the years. Communication, coordination, control and feedback are the true tools of a manager and I believe that they are put to the test in the harsh environment above 6000 meters.
In my talks with companies, groups and organisations, I do my best to convey the aspects of management and how the mountain experiences relate. I work with teams to build confidence in setting appropriate targets, in setting direction/ taking decisions, and in management of change in tough situations.
Organizations interested in hiring me for any of these services need only write and explain their needs to James@globalh2o.org and I will work to create a product which helps achieve the required affect.
I hope you find these pages here informative, interesting and entertaining. I look forward to your feedback.