Robert Hubbard

Rob Hubbard MSc (Const. Law) MRICS FCiArb MInstCES MCIHT is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor with over 29 years of experience within the industry, Rob brings key experience in the commercial management having completed projects across a wide range of infrastructure markets, including all major disciplines within the building & civil engineering industries.

He is a Director at George Corderoy & Co with responsibility for civil engineering and infrastructure.

What is your ideal day away from the day job?

A day out road cycling, watching my beloved LCFC or just spending quality time with the family

What does a typical day look like for you?

A ‘typical’ work day for me is one of three types really. If I’m working out of our Leeds office, I normally drive in and head to the gym for a strength session with my trainer followed by a day in the office undertaking chargeable work, chatting to the team or completing necessary admin. If I’m in Manchester, it’s an earlier start – walk to the local station, change at Leeds and work on the train, the day is similar to a Leeds office day. Otherwise I’m out and about meeting existing or new, prospective clients at various locations across the north of England.

What did you want to be growing up?

A Banker!

Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?

I don’t recall anyone specifically inspiring me growing up. I knew that I wanted to expand my boundaries from the village that I grew up in in Leicestershire.

What is your proudest moment?

Professionally it’s a tie between gradating from my MSc in Construction Law & Dispute Resolution course at Leeds Becketts or, achieving MRICS chartership status, the ‘badge of recognition’ for QS’s worldwide.

Is there a part of your career you wish you could have another chance at?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I hadn’t made some of the decisions that I had on the way things may be have been different and I might not have gained the experiences, or met the people that I have so no, I’m satisfied with my journey.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? 

Buy my train ticket if I’m travelling, then shower, clean my teeth before grabbing a coffee and a bite to eat.

What gadget can you not live without.

My Iphone!

What’s your favourite book and why?

I don’t really have a favourite book but my preferences are either biographies or spy/espionage books. I’ve almost always got a book on the go.

Which woman/man in history inspires you?

Politically, Margaret Thatcher, she totally committed to what she believed in and wouldn’t let anything or anyone get in the way. Sporting – Gary Lineker, never booked in his professional career and I saw him on his debut for Leicester. Professionally – One of my old bosses who is now a senior director in one of the ‘big’ construction firms. He commented on one of my staff reviews that one day, I might make it to Senior QS…that’s always inspired me to learn more, do more, achieve more.

What’s your motto/favourite quote in life?

‘You don’t know what you don’t know’

What’s your mindset anthem – the song that is always guaranteed to pump you up?  

Too many to mention!

What has driven your passion for diversity in your industry / sector?

The people, the diversity, I love the subjectivity of disputes and watching structures grow out of the ground.

What’s the biggest myth about your industry / sector?

That you need to be ‘this or that qualified’ to achieve. I started with no qualifications and nothing but enthusiasm

What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever been given? 

To step back and view alternate opinions, to be open with use of language such as ‘could, may, might’ and always leave the door open.

Best career advice you received and why?

When I was 20, I attended an open evening and said that I wanted to be either a quantity surveyor or a civil engineer. The guy who was talking to me, who had clearly drawn the short straw said ‘be a QS like me’…so I did!

What is the best lesson you have learned in business?

Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is reality.

How do you maintain your and your team’s daily motivation and inspiration despite obstacles, pushback or setbacks?

Every challenge is a learning opportunity, get to know your people and understand what motivates them as individuals. Be fair but firm.

How can networking and support organisations help the next generation of surveyors on their way up?

Nobody knows everything, talking and sharing issues is highly valuable and often serendipitous.

What tips do you have for managing your inbox?

Sort emails between ‘sent to’ and ‘copied to’ Work though ‘sent to’ emails on a priority basis and then leave the ‘copied to’ emails until you have time. Its amazing how people copy you into emails but then expect an action in return.

What keeps you awake at night?

It used to be all sorts of things, budgets, results etc. Now I sleep well in the understanding that If I can’t control it, I shouldn’t worry about it.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That no matter what is thrown at you, it goes on.

How do you relax?

Spending time with friends and family, training at the gym, watching football, cycling.

What does the surveying profession mean to you?

A lot, it allows me to provide for my family, meet loads of really interesting people, get involved with major infrastructure projects and much more.

Top advice to those starting out?

Build a relationship with someone more experienced who you can learn from and who is willing to share their knowledge and experience. There’s time to chase the money when you know what you’re doing!

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the work you do.

I’m a director of George Corderoy & Co who are the oldest firm of QS’s in the UK, if not the world having continuously traded since 1780. I manage two of our offices in the North of England, dividing my time between Leeds and Manchester. We work on a variety of infrastructure projects on a national basis for a wide range of clients incorporating most of the major infrastructure projects in the UK.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Find a mentor or a coach and learn from them.

How has the industry/sector changed during your career?

Much, much more diverse and inclusive.

What advice do you have for someone looking to negotiate a new salary?

Know what you bring to the firm, your added value but be realistic.

What advice do you have for manging work and life?

Plan and organise your days, know when to stop and when to carry on. Sometimes it’s the right thing to give extra, just not everyday. Take a proper holiday, switch off.

What advice do you have for developing self-belief and confidence?

Be confident, not arrogant. Learn your subject matter from someone who is recognised as knowing more than you and then ask appropriate questions.


Twitter: Bert_Hubb

LinkedIn: Rob Hubbard