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Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (2017)

by Kim Scott

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5141436,911 (3.83)18
From the time we learn to speak, we're told that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. When you become a manager, it's your job to say it -- and your obligation. Author Kim Scott was an executive at Google and then at Apple, where she developed a class on how to be a good boss. Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring, it's obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging, it's ruinous empathy. When you do neither, it's manipulative insincerity. This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you're all proud of.… (more)
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
As a product of Silicon Valley, which has turned "failing up" into a science, Kim Scott is humble about being a good manager. Even here in the real world, odds are that half of our bosses will turn out below average. Her advice is simply to be straight with the people you work with. Naturally this is a business book, and her coaching philosophy is embedded in the golden quadrant of a chart so that executives take it seriously. Still, has the ring of truth. I've learned that if you tell people what you're doing and what you need to succeed, things tend to work out. A boss that doesn't have time for all that is headed for trouble.
  rynk | Jul 11, 2021 |
Although I'm no longer managing people, I've heard enough people mention this book that I wanted to check it out. The focus is around communicating clearly with people and teams as the way to be the most effective. Opting for empathy over insincerity and candor over aggression. The goal is to actually CARE while challenging people directly. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
If you have not read business books from Silicon Valley, this is not the one to start with. It has content and some excellent implementation advice but it is hidden beneath buzzwords, name drops and (earned) boasting about personal achievements that you may not be used to/reject if this is the first you read.

( )
  encima | Dec 27, 2020 |
Some great concepts and really gets you thinking about how to give (and get) honest feedback in a constructive way. Some of the suggestions at the end of the book will vary in usefulness based on your level (e.g. running an all hands isn't that useful to someone nearer the start of their journey). ( )
  _kbremner | Dec 13, 2020 |
I totally took my time with this book, which was a COVID blessing since the closed libraries extended the due date to beyond ample time. There is so much in this book that it was good to read it in short digestible sections and then sit with those sections for a while before moving to the next one. I suspect that not everyone can become a radically candid boss fully, that though the steps and processes are well laid out in the book, personality and circumstances will also play a large part. However, just having an interest in this book in the first place suggests one will be able to make much of it happen.
One criticism I have read of the book is all the name dropping. "At Goggle this...at Apple...." I believe you can see those anecdotes as name dropping, or as personal stories that hold credibility because they happened in famous and hugely successful companies. If they were all stories about CEOs and small businesses one has barely heard of, it would be harder to believe the methods can work. That said, there are still a lot of big businesses that do not have cultures like those found in Silicon Valley which may make it challenging to get buy in for this approach.
Either way, much of this book resonated with me. It is direct, punchy, practical and concise in ways that most business self-help books are not. There is no padding or needless repetition. Diagrams help rather than add gimmick. Sections are accurately titled and subtitled AND There is an index.
A how-to and reference useful now and in years to come. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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For Andy Scott, the miraculous mixer of romance and stability in my life. For our children, Battle and Margaret, who give us daily surges of crazy joy and sane inspiration. For our parents, who taught us everything. And for our siblings, who helped us find each other.
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Like most of us, I once had a terrible boss - a person who thought that humiliating people was a good way to motivate them.
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From the time we learn to speak, we're told that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. When you become a manager, it's your job to say it -- and your obligation. Author Kim Scott was an executive at Google and then at Apple, where she developed a class on how to be a good boss. Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring, it's obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging, it's ruinous empathy. When you do neither, it's manipulative insincerity. This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you're all proud of.

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