How do they do it? Mark Johnson

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 13 Apr 2015

 Mark Johnson

Johnson Brook managing director Mark Johnson is a chartered town planner and surveyor and runs a team of 10 planning and environmental specialists in Leeds. He started work in 1980 on a deep-mine surveying apprenticeship, which led to him becoming planning manager of a number of open-cast mines in the north east. Johnson was headhunted to head up property firm Dacres' town planning consultancy and latterly formed Johnson Brook Planning. As well as membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute, he has an MSc in minerals economics from Mid Glamorgan University.

Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?

First I have to ensure we have a secure future with a full work programme. I have to motivate and support my team and keep a close eye on local authority land-supply targets and changes in policy. The team and I measure success in our objectives by reputation - a good proportion of our work is based entirely upon success in obtaining planning approvals at local level and at appeal.

Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?

A. Don't be afraid of taking bold career decisions.  Having made several career moves, each change of direction has enabled me to widen my experience and commercial awareness. I thoroughly enjoy being MD of my own company and appreciate the lessons learned throughout my career to get to this point.

Don't hold back from entering into local dialogue early. The more you discuss your projects with those that live locally, the more informed you will be to guide the project forward in a positive manner.

Keep your workforce happy and informed. Engagement, empowerment and on-going training is the key to a successful, motivated and professional team.