“Put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you take action” – 60 seconds with Tony Barry, Chief Financial Officer for TELUS International

60 Seconds With | Tue 14 Sep | Author – Business & Finance

Tony is the Chief Financial Officer for TELUS International in Ireland/Europe, with about 2,000 staff in the Irish branch. Barry has been with the company since before the takeover of Voxpro. He now manages the finances of TELUS International and works directly with the executive leadership team. TELUS International offers CX centres to support any stage of customer growth.

What was your first job? 

My first job was as a trainee accountant.

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

I studied accounting in secondary school and really enjoyed the subject, so I decided to pursue it in college and build my career from there. That decision has taken me through so many interesting roles where I’ve been able to take on new challenges and grow my skill set. I joined TELUS International in 2014 and have been able to continue to hone my skills and take on a global approach.

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Having three kids and somehow managing to stay sane!

Career wise, would you do anything differently?

No. I really enjoy my role and profession and I’m very happy with where my career has taken me. I suppose I’m lucky as, from a young age, I knew that I wanted to work in finance and I had the opportunity to pursue it. I’ve been equally fortunate with the opportunities afforded me too, and have been able to use them to build a really fulfilling career. I don’t have any regrets, and I’m much more interested in looking forward than looking back.

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Enjoying what I do.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

There are things you can control and things you can not. When you’re faced with a problem, take a critical look at it to identify what elements you can and cannot control and then focus on the former so you can more quickly and effectively resolve it. Another important thing to remember is that when you are raising a problem or a challenge, always bring solutions with you too. These pieces of advice have really helped me throughout my career.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

By looking ahead and fostering collaboration. You need to give yourself and your team clear goals and timelines. That means looking ahead and identifying tasks, then setting realistic, achievable deadlines for them. In order to reach those goals, your team needs to be able to collaborate easily too. I always try to foster a collaborative environment where team members understand their own role, but also see the big picture and what the whole team is trying to achieve together. 

How do you handle adversity? 

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you take action. By trying to see things from their point of view, you can understand any gaps between your perspectives and then work together to try and bridge them. You need to be proactive too though. Prevention is better than the cure, so I always aim to keep clear, open lines of communication between myself and my team so we can stay on the same page and address any concerns as they arise instead of letting them build up. 

How do you relax?

With three kids, there isn’t a whole lot of time to relax, but they are a lot of fun. I love going swimming and cycling with them, and I’m a big fan of cooking too. 

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

TELUS International is committed to innovation, and our team in Ireland is an essential part of driving its growth. We are global leaders in delivering people-centred digital CX with cutting edge technology that looks beyond  “business as usual” to transform the way we operate and how we support our clients. For example, our latest AI data solutions capabilities are disrupting industries – from autonomous vehicles to agriculture – to help them create disruptive products and solutions to outpace their competitors. It’s a really exciting time to work for TELUS International.