Amanda Balson did a degree in human environmental studies, an MPhil in town planning and carried on learning into her first job, at DTZ, where she undertook a part-time degree in environmental assessment and management. Balson ran the firm's national planning team for several years, specialising in commercial work such as retail schemes. Around 10 years ago she joined Turley Associates and earlier this year she moved to Nexus Planning as a director.
What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
My main role is twofold: to build up the London team and then expand our client base. We are big in the public sector but are also building up our client base in the private sector. We have a business plan for London where the managing director and executive director set objectives against which I'm measured.
Q What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil these objectives?
Exceed your clients' expectations. You need to be responsive to your client, manage their expectations but surprise and please them to do well in a highly competitive working environment.
Show appreciation to your team and colleagues. People's abilities often exceed their self belief, so positive feedback can encourage them to develop their skills and careers.
Planning is technical but also political. It's essential you are able to tackle the political side of professional practice to be good at what you do and enjoy success.