Making the leap from award-winning dancer to successful businesswoman, Debbie founded Jack Hammer and subsequently turned it into one of the top executive search firms in the country. The company is rated in the top 3 executive search firms in SA and through their IRC partnership, in the top 3 globally. Jack Hammer consults to many of the region’s top blue chip corporates, global multinationals, and private enterprises, with a focus on senior management, executive and board level appointments.
For almost 20 years, Debbie has invested in helping people get the best of work and life – building a team of impassioned professionals within Jack Hammer, and finding great leaders for organisations throughout Africa.
What are you most passionate about?
Aside from spending precious time with my family, dance, and trail running …. I’m really passionate about inspiring change in all of our work environments, so that we can all have the best of work and life!
- What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Pre-kids, I used to be an adrenaline junkie – jumping out of aeroplanes, paragliding off mountains, microlighting over big waterfalls (Vic Falls), swinging off bridges. Post kids, I wouldn’t consider doing ANY of those crazy things!
- How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I own more than I should, because I wear very few, and all of them are selected for comfort (not style). No big heels for me, even though they look gorgeous.
- If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
If it’s me cooking, then it will be something with eggs. My speciality is scrambled eggs, actually.
- How would people communicate in a perfect world?
If you need to use an emoticon to convey your intention or tone in a written sentence, then rather pick up the phone and have a conversation – or better yet, a face to face meeting.
- What do you work toward in your free time?
‘Free time’ is a bit of a weird concept to me. Whether I’m working at business, or hanging out with my kids, or sitting and watching the sunset, I aim to do all of these with an awareness and intentionality – so that I’m there, in the moment, and don’t miss out on that experience.
- If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
That can happen overnight, actually, on any given day! But once I’ve deleted all the spam, anything that I’m cc’d on, all random newsletters and ‘offers’, I’m probably only left with about 30 items that I should spend time on. Close to first would be notices from my daughters’ school – as a working mom, I need to pay attention to this stuff, as there’s usually a lot of it!
- Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful.
Sea, mountain, sunset.
- What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?
Stop using straws in restaurants, and other single-use plastics, where possible.