Stuart Ladbury-4

How did you get into the construction industry?

“I’ve been in the construction industry for 37 years.  I originally thought about being a vet, but I was good at art, technical drawing, and maths.  So, a careers advisor suggested taking on a diploma in building studies and I’ve never looked back.”


What has been your career path so far?

“I started work as a trainee Quantity Surveyor for a large family construction company based in Kent with a fantastic training programme that covered all aspects of building contracting including quantity surveying, site management, buying and planning.  At the same time, I studied for my OND, then HNC followed by my MCIOB.

A few years later I switched to the management side of the business and had the opportunity to work on many large-scale building projects from the ground up.  I went from Trainee Site Manager to General foreman, to Assistant Site Manager and finally Site manager.  It was a full grounding in the industry and really helped me appreciate all aspects of it.   I worked on projects for pharmaceuticals, schools, offices, bridges, infrastructure and even satellite works for British Aerospace.  After 12 years, I then moved on to work for larger contractors and got involved with civils works and football stadiums.

Around 12 years ago I pivoted into the fit-out part of the construction industry.  I began working in hospitality and got to see another side to construction.  It’s so wonderful to return to a project you worked hard on and see the finished result of a beautiful hotel lobby, guest suite or restaurant, that people can now enjoy for many years.

For several years I worked at other companies in the fit-out industry and it’s so interesting now to see the schemes I lost to BECK when we were bidding against each other.  There are always lessons to learn and grow from.”

What has your BECK journey been like so far?

“I joined BECK as a Project Director working in the Luxury and Lifestyle part of the business.  My career path is now firmly in fit-out and BECK are a fantastic company to work for.  The schemes I have worked on so far have been much more structure focused, prior to the fit-out.  It’s been an opportunity for us to let clients know we are a one stop shop.  We can take on everything for them, from base build to final fit-out.  Some clients have had previous painful experiences with a separate base build company, and we can take away that stress and see their project through from start to finish.”


What does your new role involve?

“I will remain focussed on the delivery of our projects, but I am now also involved in the strategy of the business, with a focus on quality.  We are always looking at new ways we can manage our projects, streamline our processes, and build on our client experience.

I will also be looking at the business side of things such as how we deliver, our reporting processes our programme stability and finally, health and safety.”


What are your plans?

“A key focus will be to develop more BECK teams to add to our already great staff base.  Also making sure we have the right people in place to deliver our schemes to the high standard that BECK is known for.  I have always valued the power of positive relationships, so I’ll continue working hard on those for both our clients and our internal teams.

Our teams are made up of the right people, with the right backgrounds and experience, with the right support available for them.  My priority is making sure our teams are supported.  Plus, that our relationships with both existing and new clients are maintained and strengthened, through delivering an impeccable service and a high-quality finish on their projects.

It’s important to ensure a team comes together and is fully blended.  I want to know the strengths and weaknesses in every team so we can meet their training and development needs.

We are delivering some fantastic schemes and I want to make sure we all achieve the most out of every project, every time.   That means our clients receiving the right product at the right time, and the team at BECK delivering something that we are extremely proud of.  It’s key to make every project journey as smooth as possible for all involved.  Putting the focus on people on both sides.

I’ll be focusing heavily on the programme for each project.  To maintain the programmes, we must have ownership and accountability.  That doesn’t mean that every person on the team is going to get it right every time.  But taking accountability when reporting in is vital, as is communicating honestly to our clients.  So, we all know where we stand, what we are doing to solve any problems, how we will reach our clients expectations and even exceed them.”


What type of manager are you?

“People are my biggest focus.  There are so many avenues you can go down when you come into this industry, so I want to ensure our staff are all in a position which is the right fit for them.

I also think it’s key to reward our staff when they have excelled and empower them to be confident decision makers.

In my new role I see this as being an opportunity to distil what I have learnt throughout my career and hopefully pass on my knowledge and the lessons I have learned, to our younger teams.  I have been lucky enough to work across a wide range of industries and varying sized schemes.  As a result, I have gained knowledge in all those different areas.”


What is your mindset for work?

“Balance!  Everything is about balance.  We can work some phenomenal hours in this industry, but I want our teams to also feel valued.  For them to know we care about the balance in their lives of work, family, and other commitments, while we continue to deliver world class projects.”