Turner & Townsend’s UK managing director has made “quite a leap” over the past decade

Ten years ago Steve McGuckin was director of consultancy at Mace, having trained as an architect. Since then he has worked on the client side at Land Securities and is now in consultancy at Turner & Townsend.

In 2000, he said that in 10 years he wanted to be enjoying his work and working with good people. Has he achieved that? “Yes, absolutely,” he says.

“The main difference is that 10 years ago I felt I had all the time in the world. Now you have to value every year because ­ not to sound too morbid ­ you don’t know how many more you¹ll have.” How does he feel now he is heading part of a big UK consultancy?

“I wanted to be a managing director, so that’s great. I’d have been a bit surprised if you¹d told me 10 years ago it would be at T&T ­ not in a bad way. It’s just quite a leap from Mace.”

His career low point was when the funding was withdrawn from the Ebbsfleet project he was heading at Land Securities. “It was very sad. But it really was nobody’s fault.”

As to what he hopes to achieve over the 10 years, McGuckin is ambitious, but not in the same way as he was in his 30s: “Then it was achievement, achievement, achievement. Now there needs to be more time for enjoyment. I want to make a difference to T&T and the industry, but it’s not about progressing upwards. It’s about staying level and getting things right.”

Finally, what is his advice to the upcoming generation? “Three main things: enjoy the journey because the destination isn¹t as important as you think it will be; try to play it straight and do things you are good at; and make sure you develop and look after good people.”