The CEO Magazine’s 2020 Executive of the Year Awards is kicking off this November in a virtual event unlike any other. Here, industry leaders across Australia will be recognised and celebrated for the incredible work they’ve done over a challenging period rife with bushfires, floods and, most recently, COVID-19. The black-tie event will feature a panel of judges composed of esteemed business figures such as Libby Roy, Optus Managing Director SMB.

Libby recently left her position as Managing Director of PayPal Australia and New Zealand to embark on the next chapter of her career with the role at Optus. A strong track record of leading growth and profitability in a variety of businesses including payment, credit card, financial planning, superannuation and more made Libby the perfect fit for the telco’s SMB initiatives.

“I’ve just started at Optus, leading the team responsible for looking after small- and medium-sized business customers,” Libby says. “I am loving getting to know the business and the team.

“Obviously, it is a difficult time for many small businesses as we all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. However, maintaining connectivity and pivoting business models to cope with the restrictions is key for business. And I will be working hard with the team at Optus to assist these businesses during this time.”

Described as resilient, caring and hardworking, Libby absolutely thrives on helping others. “I like to play the role of team coach, bringing together a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and skill sets,” she explains. “I love working across the team to help them achieve more than the sum of their individual contributions.”

When working as a team, Libby advises that it’s important to be receptive and to watch out for what you don’t know. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” she says. “Just acknowledging that there may be things you don’t know leads to a more open mind. Working together requires listening and taking on board other perspectives. There may not be one right answer, and it’s better to move forward than to get stuck.”

“I like to play the role of team coach, bringing together a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and skill sets.”

To keep fluid in her day-to-day motions, Libby relies on a morning routine. Whether it’s yoga, weights, Pilates or paddling out on her surf ski, having this dedicated ‘me time’ is crucial. “It doesn’t matter what exercise it is; it’s my time to reflect and focus on me,” she shares. “This sets me up for the rest of the day, ready to deal with whatever comes my way.”

A firm believer in “happy works harder”, Libby says the key to success lies in the fulfilling and the fun. “Most of us spend a considerable time at work, and I think it is important to make sure that work is enjoyable,” she stresses. “If we look after the team and then they look after the customers, then the business will take care of itself.”