Leading by example

by Darren
WIF Helen Jnl 5 15

A Marketing Services Manager who believes it is important to lead by example and that women have the unique talent of being able to multi-task.

When reflecting on the rapid career advancement of this dynamic woman, it becomes evident that she has contributed to the growth and success of the company. Helen de Villiers, Marketing Services Manager at Belgotex Floors, is the woman in question who embodies these very characteristics, and then some.

Helen joined the company in 2007 as marketing assistant to former CEO Daniel Dolpire and, within a year, she was promoted to the role of Marketing Manager. Since then, Belgotex Floors’ Marketing Department has grown in line with the company’s ever-expanding product portfolio.

Helen’s induction into the working world began with a part-time job in sales at Moffat Optical while she was still studying. This position gave her a good grounding in retail and sales, including customer service, merchandising and point of sale, which stood her in good stead for her responsibilities at Belgotex. After graduating with a BComm Marketing Honours degree, Helen furthered her retail training with a short stint for Telkom to repay her study loan. This introduced her to consumer exhibitions – a further foundation that forms part of Belgotex’s consumer activity.

Even though many view the flooring industry as being dominated by males, Helen believes a job is a job, whether you are male or female. “It’s your approach and personality that makes the difference, and I believe that by growing your staff or your peers, you grow yourself,” she says.

Helen does, however, believe that women are at the forefront when it comes to their multi-tasking talents. “It’s those ‘juggling’ Super Mom characteristics that make us valuable in management,” she continues. “Instead of only being task-orientated bosses that give instructions, we play several roles within a company – from adviser to confidante or comforter, to instructor, to ear-on-the-ground. These days, EQ is as important as IQ.”

Helen highlights that she adds personal values such as honesty, integrity and humility to both her individual roles within the company and the company itself. “These three values have such a knock-on effect on all aspects of your performance – from ethical and respectful conduct to taking ownership and accepting responsibility, to producing good work and recognising the value of others’ input or expertise through collaboration,” she explains. “I believe in leading by example and not expecting someone to do what I wouldn’t be prepared to do myself.”

She goes on to say that Belgotex is a progressive company with innovative products, which is why she likes to think that she adds a youthful approach that will change the way the company engages with its customers in future – possibly by creating an understanding of the ‘connected economy’ and new media such as Twitter and Facebook that will help the company to stay relevant in a fast-paced industry.

Helen concludes by offering some invaluable advice to specifiers. “Listen to your customers and understand their needs and the demands of the area before you start selling your big idea,” she states. “Seems pretty obvious, but all too often we’re so attached to selling our idea or product that we miss the point.”

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