Managing Director Europe
“First and foremost, I'm a proud Yorkshireman, husband and father of two daughters,” says Damian Farr, Europe Managing Director at DPR construction. “I’m an electrical engineer by profession, and I guess I was always destined to be in construction, growing up around my dad – a stonemason who could transform Yorkshire’s famous stone into pretty much anything, though I was more drawn to the pipes and wires if you will. I've always enjoyed the process of creating and building things, and I’m a passionate advocate for the built environment and its potential for good.”
His career got off to an auspicious start. “I started in the industry as a student engineer with the UK’s foremost electrical and mechanical engineering contractor, and my first experience of a job site was spending three years at the Sizewell ‘B’ Nuclear Power Station - a huge engineering construction project with thousands of people on site, and a budget that ran to several billion pounds.”
Farr worked his way up through the industry before assuming his current role. “Having spent the first third of my career with my first employer growing and learning, I moved on to a couple of UK-based general contractors, mainly specialising in technical and complex engineering construction projects, where I took on different major project leadership roles before growing into national and regional management positions. Before joining DPR in the middle of 2017, I had been leading a division of my previous company that specialised in building at significant scale in the mission critical sector across Europe. The opportunity to join DPR – who are recognisably one of the world’s foremost technical builders – and help them create something very special in Europe was really appealing.”
Farr favours a form of leadership based around providing for his team. “I was a disciple of Blanchard’s servant leadership model before I knew it had a name, and I find Marquet’s intent based leadership model equally compelling. The principles of both are similar in that as a leader, you should constantly be trying to find what people need to perform well, and then try and provide it to them along with intent so they can live up to the organisation's values and vision. Leading from the ground up, being an enabler and making sure our people have what they need is certainly how I like to work, and in DPR I found an organisation that has built its entire success on similar values. That really resonated with me - I have a sense of belonging in this business that I seem to have always been looking for.”
That culture favours a shared leadership approach that Farr appreciates. “it's not about ego or the personality of the leader, it's about empowerment and best practice - several minds are better than one. Of course, we all make mistakes and graze our knees from time to time, but that's the approach I'm trying to live up to everyday.”
Even with that philosophy in mind, It’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. “It's all very situational. You have to think: what does this person need from me, now and in the future to be successful? Do I need to coach, direct or help delegate? Or do I just need to listen or support? Only then can you think about what they need, and how you might be able to help them get to where they need to be.”
We wanted to bring our services directly to the customer, and the eventual development and expansion of DCU flowed from this.