Leivers, 36, is managing director of Planning Manager

What has been the hardest challenge you have faced to get to where you are now?

Setting up my own business in my 20’s having just embarked into Fatherhood and leaving the security of a good job brave move ! The hard work and long hours have thankfully paid off and the company continues to grow even in these challenging times

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

If I am not sat in a yacht in Monaco working remotely or in a pedalo off the coast of Great Yarmouth then Planning Manager will continue to grow with the aim of trebling our staff numbers and turnover. In 10 years we would like to see Planning Manager in the prelims section of tender documents sitting alongside and advising the whole client team.
Hopefully I would have done my leg on the Clipper round the world yacht race that I have deferred this year, I have chosen the Southern Oceans from South Africa to Western Australia.

Where do you see the construction industry going in the next year, three years and decade?

Year 1 : Unfortunately I can’t see much improvement in the industry in the next 12 months with current public spending cuts and also a number of Olympic schemes being completed. The commercial side will help fill some of this void but we are some way off the peaks we have seen previously.

Year 3 : Work load will now be picking up and Planning Manager Ltd will be busy with claims that relates back to tender prices and construction periods that have been cut to the bone to try and win work and keep staff employed during the recession !

Year 10 : Clients will be using dedicated planning resources amongst their teams and workload will be high with Industries such as Nuclear being in full swing. Raw materials prices will also be at an all time high. Collaborative planning and achieving high environmental standards will now be the norm.

What has been your career high point so far?

Being chosen for 40 under 40 is up there as planning is being recognised as a key part in the successful completion of projects. My main high point has been the progression of my 1st trainee who has exceeded all my expectations.

And the low point?

Seeing some good companies struggle in the recession and two companies going into administration who owed us significant sums of money that put a serious strain on the cash flow.

Who is your hero?

As a Nottingham Forest fan it has to be Brian Clough for his ability to motivate his team and no nonsense approach. Me and my brother managed to get his Autograph at Trent bridge one afternoon when we were young and he had seen us messing around with the seats. When we asked for his autograph he took hold of my arm and whispered to us ” Now then young man this is a cricket match not a football match so you two need to sit down and be good ” The autograph was signed ” Be good Paul, love Brian Clough” and as you can imagine we did sit down and behave for the rest of the game!

If you could take one thing with you to a desert island, what would it be?

One of Planning Manager Ltd more unusual projects was in the planning of a Super Yacht worth over 50million, which had everything you could think of on board. For obvious reasons this would be my item of choice to moor on the desert island !