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Alex Jenkins on the most unexpected part of being a director, and his biggest lesson learned (Q&A, part 2)

28th April 2021 |

As Alex Jenkins approaches two years in the role of Commercial Director, he looks back on the challenges of working in the construction industry, the surprises he encountered, and what got him here. (Here’s part 1 of the Q&A, in case you missed it.)

Most unexpected part of being a director:

I don’t play as much golf as people think!

In all seriousness, I felt like I understood the pressures of being a director, but until you’re actually in that position, with the weight on your shoulders, you don’t know what it’s like.

The responsibilities – having people’s livelihoods in your hands, for example – can be daunting, but I find work pressure to be galvanising, too. It keeps you grounded, keeps you ticking.

Toughest part of the job:

Time management is a huge challenge. Everyone wants a piece of you, and I want to take the time to spend on each project, with each team member. But you only have a certain number of hours in the day; you continually need to figure out how to divide up your limited time.

Biggest lesson learned:

You need to let everyone have a voice. In a fraught situation, it’s vital to stand back and really listen to all the voices in the room. Take a deep breath, rather than throwing yourself into the mix when you might not have all the information required to make a decision. Most problems can be solved by listening to everyone’s viewpoint and doing some outside-the-box thinking. 

The Corsham School

The Corsham School

Standout job:

The new sixth form centre at The Corsham School ticked every box of the Perkins ethos. We were able to deliver it early, on budget, and provide the type of space the school needed. The client was over the moon.

It was everything promised in our mission statement that got us the job in the first place, and got us over the finish line. Hopefully, we’ll have many more projects like it in the future.

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