What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first sales role involved selling advertising when I finished secondary education. Later, I got into IT sales with leading security distie Wick Hill.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
For intercontinental travel, it would definitely be a plane; for claustrophobics such as me, it's definitely not the 7.30am train to London Waterloo.
For getting out on the road and spreading the word about our wonderful new solutions for the UK market, though, it's a car every time. Life on the open road, windows down, music up: I just need to remember to turn it down a mile before arriving at the meeting.
If you were teleported to another planet that could support human life, how would you try to communicate with the locals?
Through the medium of interpretive dance. If that failed, I'd just smile a lot. Growing up at a time when films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET were all the rage, life outside this planet has always fascinated me - although the same era gave us Jaws, which has prevented me swimming in the sea for over 30 years.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2015?
Is it socks and sandals?
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
I would imagine CRN wouldn't sanction it. I would have liked to come up with a funny database joke or anecdote, but having Googled it, I am pretty sure there are none that are funny. Perhaps you should have a competition?
If you were competing in the X-Factor, what song would you choose to win over the judges and why?
Something by The Proclaimers, and I'd use a full-length mirror for the added effect of having a ready-made twin. That said, I have formed my own boy band made up of middle-aged men: we're called Wrong Direction.
Are you going to the next CRN Channel Awards?
If I'm invited, of course.
What never fails to make you laugh?
Nitrous oxide, but lots of other things too like Modern Family, Alan Partridge, Sean Locke, Simon Pegg films, and of course, I love that sales training film, The Office.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Climbing the plum tree in my parents' garden. Dad cut it down when he laid the patio. Mum had left the day before he laid it - never to be heard from again.
What are you reading?
Lots of Italian cookery books, in anticipation of our family holiday in Campania.
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole?
The team - no one person is more important than another.
What was your most important lucky break in life so far?
Meeting my wife almost 20 years ago at Wick Hill; three children later I think that's as lucky as I could ever have imagined.
These boots are made for walking. Discuss!
I would never be seen dead in "outdoor gear". Trainers are for walking, boots are for football.
Is nature or nurture more important when it comes to the work/business environment?
Salespeople have certain characteristics that lend themselves to the job; they have other ones that can be nurtured, too. Coaching is essential and everybody can still learn something every day.
What would you do or who would you be if you could be reincarnated?
I would hope to be given the opportunity to live as happy and healthy a life in my new skin as I have had so far in this one. That said, I'm not exactly finished with this one yet so I'd rather live forever than be reincarnated.
James Mills is sales director at TmaxSoft
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