The hard truth about soft skills

TL:DR — there’s nothing soft about great leadership

Photo by rob walsh on Unsplash

The 5 Ps of Fast-Growth Leadership


  • Why should people join your team?
  • What would make them want to be part of what you’re building?
  • What are the underlying values that drive the way you want to build the company?


  • What are the skills and capabilities you’re missing in the team right now? What are you likely to need in 6–12 months time?
  • How will you turn these lists of skills and capabilities into well-defined roles that can be easily understood by potential and existing team members?
  • What determines whether a candidate is ‘the right fit’ for the role and for your company? How will you find and recruit ‘the right’ people? How will you integrate new people into your team and ensure they can contribute their best as quickly as possible?
  • How will you protect the safety and wellbeing of your team under the inevitable pressure of fast-growth?


  • How would you describe the culture of performance and pace you’re trying to create? How well have you communicated that to your team?
  • How consistently are you setting goals and expectations for all team members?
  • What are you doing to unlock discretionary effort within your team?
  • What approach are you taking to giving and receiving feedback?
  • How do you hold people accountable? What do you do if someone in the team is not performing?
  • How are recognising and rewarding performance?


  • How are you creating opportunities to listen to your team? What are you listening for? What do you hope to hear? What do you fear hearing?
  • How will decisions be made within the team as you grow? What decisions should you be delegating to others?
  • How well are you creating scalable collaboration within the company and with your external partners?
  • How are you encouraging and managing productive conflict within the team? Can you tell the difference between productive and disruptive conflict? To what extent is an absence of conflict impacting your progress?


  • How will you actively create opportunities to develop and grow the talent within your team?
  • How are you supporting your team members’ learning and development goals?
  • How will you ensure that you continue to innovate as you grow?



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