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Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  24,801 ratings  ·  2,065 reviews
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. While this advice may work for everyday life, it is, as Kim Scott has seen, a disaster when adopted by managers.

Scott earned her stripes as a highly successful manager at Google and then decamped to Apple, where she developed a class on optimal management. Sh
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
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Luke Duncan
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
As I worked my way through this book I wanted to hate it. It had enough of the grating Silicon Valley meets Ted talk tropes to assume it lacked substance. Name dropping of personal relationships with Larry Page and Sheryl Sandburg? Check. Quoting Steve Jobs and Fred Kofman? Check. Simplistic diagrams with arrows and what feels like modern Clip Art? Check.

But as much as I wanted to hate the book, it actually has solid substance. I've seen many of the practices discussed in the book used in person
Jaclyn Day
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Overly-repetitive business books are the hill I'm dying on now, I guess. Per most books in the genre, the best is always saved for last. In this case, the final three chapters are the most valuable and actionable. ...more
Ross Blocher
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Radical Candor is written for managers/bosses, but I'd recommend it for anyone in the workplace. Kim Scott's observations have wide application, and do a great job of prioritizing the need to treat everyone as a human being first-and-foremost. The title (as the cover image suggests) refers to the ideal quadrant on a chart with two axes: "care personally" and "challenge directly". It is important to care about the people you work with, but easy to let that care stifle the need to be honest with t ...more
Peter Yang
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book, minus one star for all the name dropping.
1. Radical candor = Care personally + challenge directly
2. Care personally starts with career discussions and good 1:1s
3. Challenge directly starts with asking for and taking criticism well yourself
4. Listen -> Clarify -> Debate -> Decide -> Persuade -> Learn, in that order
Michael McCain
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
"Here's what Google and Apple do. Also Twitter. I don't know anybody at Facebook" ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
There's a lot of good content here. But the author's advice isn't always consistent with the stated ideals. For example, there are many suggestions that sound like servant leadership, and many of these are solid and awesome. But there are as many or more pieces of advice advocating for a top-down, hierarchical style of management, including the author's frequent use of constructions such as "soandso reported to me" and "I had 100 people reporting to me," and so on.

I found this inconsistency puz
Dean Hachamovitch
I wish I had a time machine to send this book with a heartfelt “please read” note back in time to myself and to leaders, colleagues, and teams I worked with over the years. 

Kim’s book offers an approach, mental models, and a point of view that are useful, practical, and applicable for bosses and teams. (Typically I’d say leaders or managers; I’m reflecting her language here out of respect.)

Her writing and approach demonstrate strong awareness of the challenges inherent in this topic: the range o
Willian Molinari
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doist, audio, non-fiction
I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. If you want to read the full review with my raw notes, check it here:

A book every boss should read. It helps to create a culture of giving and receiving honest feedback and create great teams. It has many truths, you will notice many of them if you're working for a big company. You may not agree with some parts of it depending on how you see work and people but if you really care about people careers and the performan
Cathy Sites
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Part of me wants to give this 3 stars, and I am glad that I finished this book - mainly because I am glad to be finished with this book! A weirdly tough read that I could only read small amounts at a time, and I almost gave up on it when she wanted to hire her babysitter to work at Google (far too reminiscent of "Nanny-Gate" for those who have worked where I have previously - you know what I am talking about - the author casts herself as "one of those" people. Maybe a boss, but not a leader).

Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was a drag. A few observations:
- It's basically a collection of stories glorifying some big Silicon Valley names. My impression was she lifted up all those she's coached or those who've been good to her and provided her with career opportunities/pathways. The white friends club is real:
a. Sheryl Sandberg is the greatest boss of all time
b. Steve Jobs was the best at radical candor even though it's old news that many thought he was obnoxiously aggressive per the book's parlance
c. Dick Co
Irina Stanescu
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great book about management! Some new concepts and some heavily inspired from the Google management culture, which I've been fortunate enough to witness (and be part of for a brief period).
The key takeaway for me was learning how to move up on the "challenging directly" scale, while still "caring personally". Give people both praise and criticism as often as possible, don't wait for a perf cycle to come, and don't wait for them to ask for feedback. Same thing applies for asking for feedback. The
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No time for a full review right now. Suffice it to say "Radical Candor" is one of the best books I've ever read about the science or art of managing people and teams. I started reading because of the radical candor approach to providing praise and criticism, and was amazed how the book covers so many aspects of day-to-day managing,

Highly recommended!!!
Yevgeniy Brikman
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The content in this book is superb and critical for any leader. The delivery of that content could have been a bit better. So I found this book well worth reading, but I also had to re-read many parts of it, as I often found myself tuning out (either due to slightly sloppy writing or because some of the content felt like filler to pad out the book). If you're short on time, you can find some of (but not all!) the most important content from the book delivered much more effectively in this 30 min ...more
Simon Eskildsen
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this would be a book about just the concept of Radical Candor: to give feedback early and often, by both being direct and it coming through that you care about the person personally. The book gets a lot of shit because it's been misused in phrases such as: "Let me be radically candid with you, [feedback that is direct but does not demonstrate you care about the person's growth]." However, it turned out to be one of, if not the, best management book I have read. It is filled to the brin ...more
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Listened to the audiobook narrated by the author.
As an audiobook, I think a professional narrator might have been better.
I get that Kim does a lot of public speaking, but there is something about her voice that just came across as whiny throughout the book. Even knowing the content first-hand, it sounded like a reading.

The book started of pretty well, and the concept of radical candor getting explained was intriguing.
But from about half way it becomes a bit of a drag. Repeating things and steeri
Jun 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
What to say about this book? I didn't enjoy it. Not. One. Bit. I stopped reading it for quite some time, but I had to finish it for a corporate book club. For clarity, that was the ONLY REASON why I finished it. This is a giant book of 8 chapters, three of which just re-hash, revisit, and repeat the first 3 chapters as if the reader had no short term memory and required another briefing of the subjects covered.

A boss is a boss, a manager is a manager, and while it's true no one wants to work fo
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
This was way better book than I've expected.
Kim gives great advice based on her experience as a worker and as a boss.
Toni Tassani
Dec 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
You can watch a video and get an idea of the 2x2 Radical Candor framework, and it is great. However the book goes into Performance Management techniques, and how to be a better boss (in Silicon Valley). After having read "Crucial Conversations", this book is not adding more and is specific to management, not to relationships.
The book starts with a correction: instead of Radical Candor now she prefers Compasionate Candor.

Some ideas:
- “boss” evokes injustice, “manager” sounds bureaucratic, “leade
KJ Grow
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I heard this author speak at a conference and thought her presentation was compelling, especially as I am someone who has a tendency toward the "ruinous empathy" realm and struggles with challenging directly. I read this book right before our annual performance review cycle and ended up having some of the most productive, illuminating conversations with my direct reports I've ever had. I really appreciated that the anecdotes and examples in the book were personal and real-world, not the fuzzy, u ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most versatile, yet simplest management book I’ve read. The main strategy is to put the relationships with the people you work with first – try to be clearer with them and care more.

In addition to the grand strategy of “challenge directly and care personally” the specific tactics Kim Scott offered made a lot of sense and in the months after finishing the book I’ve tried many of them with mild to great success.

Nay Keppler
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is SO great. Even though many of the examples are taken from companies like Google and Apple and Silicon Valley startups, the concepts and activities are completely applicable in most workplaces. I would HIGHLY recommend this to new supervisors, long-standing supervisors, folks aspiring to be supervisors, and even folks who just want to learn better communication skills. I will certainly be working to be radically candid from here on out.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best business book that I have ever read. It simply validated my
thoughts on management and I like when books reaffirm my beliefs. Haha. I truly believe that every boss needs to read this. It's a game changer.
Dana Kraft
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, business
Meh! There was nothing wrong with this book, but I didn't see much new in it either. The title is appealing, but its your standard management book sprinkled with lots of praise for Google and Apple. ...more
Dave I
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Should be mandatory reading for all managers. Extending beyond the framework the anecdotes are relatable and relevant.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book over a year ago, but I didn't get the notes I took transcribed into Evernote until today, so my overall memory / impressions are hazy, but I do have some specific reminders of the book.

One of the things that I liked the most about it was that I really like hearing from people who have worked hard in practical jobs. Too much of our conversation and impression about modern life is driven by precisely the people who know the least about it: academics and creatives. Academics work h
Stefan Kanev
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It answers one question – how to be a great boss. And it does it well.

I should have read this book a long time ago. I was happy to find I was doing some of the things, but there were so many more I haven't considered or appreciated in importance. I will be rereading it soon.

The idea is simple – first, you should care personally about the people that report for you, but second, and as important, you should challenge them directly. You're not doing anybody a favour by not telling them when they do
Beth White
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is without a doubt the best leadership book I have read to date. So much so that I have every intention of going out and buying this book that I had originally borrowed from the library so I can highlight the heck out of it to refer back to all the absolute gems of wisdom Kim Scott has to offer based on her history of management in companies such as Google and Apple.

Kim provides a vulnerable, honest and utterly refreshing view of management and the lessons she has learnt along the way. Newl
Colin Gooding
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I already knew a lot of the main talking points here from co-workers and I like to think that I'm both empathetic and honest in my conversations with others already, but the book has a lot of little tips on how to be more constructive with feedback without being mean and highlights a lot of a good examples of how to use Radical Candor in different situations.

Kim Scott has had an interesting career, working for several different high profile companies, so it's interesting to hear her perspective
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Absolutely love the core concept. If you talk about changing one thing in your life or professional career that could make the most significant impact, this would be it. I truly wish the title was Radical Candor: How to be a Kick Ass Person. The hyper focus on the boss aspect diminishes the important nature of being radically candid with everyone in our lives. From parenting to being a good friend, or even just a good person to someone you see on the street, radical candor is a concept the world ...more
Konstantinos Boulis
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wish I would say that I learned a lot from this book but the sad truth is that I did not.

It is a poorly organized book with a simple (yet powerful) statement on caring personally about your people and at the same time delivering hard and sometimes critical feedback to them.

After the first 20 pages, I think there was nothing more to say.

The author is describing all these stories that make the book a smooth read but do not add much in value. Also, about 1/3 of the book is on a feedback cycle of
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Kim Scott is the author of Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. Kim is also the co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., which builds tools to make it easier to follow the advice she offers in the book. She is also the author of three novels.

Prior to founding Candor, Inc., Kim was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other Silicon Valley companies. She was

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