Director of the Year Awards 2018 – Toby McCartney, CEO, MacRebur

Toby McCartney - Director of the Year Awards

Every day over the Christmas period, we’ll speak to winners from the recent IoD Director of the Year Awards. Today it’s Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur, who won the Start-Up award

‘There is no failure; only feedback’

MacRebur is a business that uses discarded plastic to make stronger and longer-lasting roads. McCartney had his eureka moment while working with a charity in southern India, helping people who work on landfill sites to gather potentially reusable items. His business is now helping to tackle the plastic waste epidemic, one of the world’s most serious environmental problems.

What’s been the most pivotal moment for your business so far? “Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Voom competition in 2016. The moment that he announced MacRebur as the winner of the start-up category was a real turning point in my career.”

What have been your biggest challenges? “Taking on employees and learning how to become a manager. I had never needed to manage a team before MacRebur. It has been a very steep learning curve for me.”

What advice would you offer other new entrepreneurs about navigating turbulent times? “I would tell them that there is no failure; only feedback.”

What’s the key to great leadership? “Building a culture of trust and rapport, as well as having the ability to step into multiple perspectives and see the world through different eyes.”

The best business book you have read? “Rich Dad, Poor Dad [by Robert T Kiyosaki].  It has the ability to change your mindset into the entrepreneur’s mindset.”

How will you ensure effective corporate governance as your business grows? “By appreciating multiple perspectives – and learning from mistakes.”

The biggest lesson you have learnt so far? “That I can’t do it alone, I need good people around me who I can trust and share successes with.”

What’s your aspiration for 2019? “We have a specific growth target. I want to look back in 12 months and pat myself on the back for meeting it while managing a happy team.”

Entries are now open for the 2019 IoD Director of the Year Awards – click here for more info and to nominate

Click here for more winners’ interviews

About author

Director magazine

Director magazine

Director is the magazine for business leaders. Free to IoD members and available to purchase through subscription, each edition is full of insightful interviews with entrepreneurs and company directors.

No comments

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.


Cover of Creativity by Sir John Hegarty

John Hegarty on creativity

Advertising legend Sir John Hegarty (BBH's co-founder) calls upon 40 years of experience to produce 50 provocative insights into the creative process