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Entrepreneurs & Leaders Insight: Frank Durrell
“Project delivery teams often receive the brunt of dissatisfaction...”


Frank Durrell is the Head of Digital for Recruitment Marketing digital specialist agency TMP Worldwide. Frank has led the agency to award-winning campaigns for their clients, standing out as a thought leader in the space of candidate activation and social-emotive engagement, helping clients see the value of emotive and engaging brand destination sites such as The AA's new careers website.

His focus on agile teams and effective team-working jibe with the principles of Gorilla Theory, and so Frank was happy to give some insight into his views on project managers and project success metrics.

What is the importance (as head of digital) to you of team spirit in a busy digital agency?

The challenge in digital is the extremely disparate skills and personalities involved to deliver the complete solution. This reduces amount of common ground and is what causes many of the conflicts and struggles. Coupled with this are typical agency pressures of delivery to quality and time. We are also often asking people to do things they may never have done before which also adds to the stress. Team spirit will make or kill an agency. The most important things in any agency are vision, clients and staff. Leaders create vision, staff help them realise that vision and clients buy into it. Without great staff, working together as a team, it's impossible to create this sellable proposition. Without sales, the agency will not survive.

At the end of the day, we should enjoy and be challenged by what we do. Sometimes we enjoy it more, sometimes we are challenged more, but there should always be an overall healthy balance.

People need to feel they and their work are valued and respected. This means honesty. When they do a great job tell them. When they so an unsatisfactory job, tell them. Be honest about your vision, be honest about your plans as much as you can, and be honest with your opinions.

How do you (as head of digital/Senior Management) support the delivery team in TMP?

You need clear roles, trust, respect and a clear hierarchy of responsibility throughout the team. Everyone's role should be valued and respected and the individuals in it must be right and feel right, and empowered to deliver their best. If you start on the principle everyone wants to deliver their best.

Everyone wants themselves and the company/project to succeed. And everyone is honest and trustworthy. Then if these things are proven to be wrong, learn whether you can accept the downsides for the benefits, or decide to make a change.

Traits you find in the most effective project managers/leaders

- Honesty
- Listening skills
- Respect for others
- Clarity and ability to get to the point quickly
- Calm
- Detailed-oriented
- Passionate about the product
- Knowledgeable about the specific solutions they are creating
- Being a facilitator not a dictator

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