How does he manage?

Airport builder - Andrew Wolstenholme, project director, BAA, Heathrow Terminal 5

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

When did you become a manager?

I went into the Royal Engineers as a raw school leaver. I was soon in charge of 40 guys, all older than me, building bridges in Canada. I also served in Northern Ireland. It was like taking a degree in people skills. An army unit is the best example of an integrated team, working under very high pressure and always to a deadline. It taught me how to get people to deliver on the day.

What does management mean to you?

I've got 8,000 people going in and out of the site daily, and have to deliver a terminal the size of Gatwick at 4am on 30 March 2008 - that's a huge responsibility. To manage something on that scale, you have to break it down to manageable building steps. And you need to get your people involved. In the army, the most important person is the lance-corporal, in charge of five or six men. If you have them on board, they spread a positive culture. So it's vital for us to build enthusiasm among our supervisors.

What do you love/hate about your job?

I'm very lucky - I love my job, and there aren't many of this size you could put on your CV. It's brilliant to meet people with similar attitudes and aspirations for getting this project in on time. As I'm accountable for delivering £4.2 billion of infrastructure, it doesn't come without its challenges and strain. I don't enjoy meeting people who lack my level of enthusiasm.

MT Break

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime