Trust is earned, Calm is contagious, and the right leader might not have domain experience.


When creating high performing teams it is essential that you get the interpersonal factors right, important that they have relevant skills and useful if the team leader has domain experience.


Why do I put so much weight on relationships and not as much on skills or domain experience? I have seen the perfect candidate on paper enter a team and ruffle feathers so much that everyone became less productive, I have been vastly underwhelmed by the delivery of technically brilliant people and I have seen leaders wreak havoc on departments, teams and projects by letting their ego get in the way and rubbing people up the wrong way.


As a leader you can look to your teams, Organisation and industry to gain relevant domain experience. As a team member you can update or add to your skills with training and by leaning on you colleagues, but you will struggle to change the personality or values of an individual that is just not suited to being a part of or leading the team.


When putting together or reviewing a team, looking into their values and persona outside of work is just as important as making sure they have or can be taught the right skills and can be added to the team for the right price. Underperforming or disgruntled staff often just need to be managed in a different way, and this is a lot less time consuming than going through disciplinary or dismissal.


As a leader, if you respect your teams boundaries they will respect yours, if you can deal with mistakes and errors logically and without blame they will mirror your approach and if you can keep your calm when the pressure is on then your team will respond accordingly.


Nothing you do for your company has as much impact as putting the right people round the table - Even if it's a virtual one.