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Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

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Now a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller

"I raced through Radical Candor --It’s thrilling to learn a framework that shows how to be both a better boss and a better colleague. Radical Candor is packed with illuminating truths, insightful advice, and practical suggestions, all illustrated with engaging (and often funny) stories from Kim Scott’s own experiences at places like Apple, Google, and various start-ups. Indispensable." ― Gretchen Rubin author of New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project

"Reading Radical Candor will help you build, lead, and inspire teams to do the best work of their lives. Kim Scott's insights--based on her experience, keen observational intelligence and analysis--will help you be a better leader and create a more effective organization." ― Sheryl Sandberg author of the New York Times bestseller Lean In

"Kim Scott has a well-earned reputation as a kick-ass boss and a voice that CEOs take seriously. In this remarkable book, she draws on her extensive experience to provide clear and honest guidance on the fundamentals of leading others: how to give (and receive) feedback, how to make smart decisions, how to keep moving forward, and much more. If you manage people--whether it be 1 person or a 1,000--you need Radical Candor . Now." ― Daniel Pink author of New York Times bestseller Drive

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 worked with a team to develop a class on how to be a good boss. She has earned growing fame in recent years with her vital new approach to effective management, Radical Candor.

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.

Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of the author’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published March 14, 2017

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About the author

Kim Malone Scott

12 books566 followers
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 a member of the faculty at Apple University, developing the course “Managing at Apple,” and before that led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google. Previously, Kim was the co-founder and CEO of Juice Software, a collaboration start-up, and led business development at two other start-ups, Delta Three and Capital Thinking. Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy advisor at the FCC, managed a pediatric clinic in Kosovo, started a diamond cutting factory in Moscow, and was an analyst on the Soviet Companies Fund. Kim received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA from Princeton University. Kim and her husband Andy Scott are parents of twins and live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,130 reviews
Profile Image for Luke Duncan.
78 reviews7 followers
June 1, 2017
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 and appreciate the focus on how to give good crisp criticism and praise. If I ever find myself in a place that isn't already practicing most of these things I'll probably end up recommending it to a colleague.

If you work in Silicon Valley at one of the larger tech companies you've probably already seen all of this in practice and can easily skim. If not, you'll probably enjoy the book.
Profile Image for Jaclyn Day.
736 reviews336 followers
September 1, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Peter Yang.
Author 1 book26 followers
May 31, 2021
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
Profile Image for Ross Blocher.
432 reviews1,387 followers
March 26, 2017
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 them: a quadrant called "ruinous empathy". Alternately, you can offer criticism without demonstrating care, and end up in the "obnoxious aggression" quadrant.

On top of this framework, Scott presents a number of personal examples and realistic, concrete practices that point toward a non-zero sum environment in which individuals and business can achieve great results. Even the ideas and observations that seem obvious are helpful reminders. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Vlad.
814 reviews33 followers
August 26, 2022
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 puzzling. Usually when someone gives lip service to a concept such as servant leadership but behaves another way, my first question is whether they understand the concept well enough. Maybe it's an education problem. But the author appears to be highly educated and widely read, and runs a company that helps companies implement management practices, so I don't think ignorance is the answer to the puzzle.

I don't know the answer. I'll never know it. But I have had the misfortune of working with executives who understand concepts like servant leadership, and use the language fluently, but who have terrible self-awareness blind spots (aided by a lack of listening skills) that keep them from seeing just how hierarchical they are. This is the most charitable interpretation. I hope it's the case here. Because the other situation (I've experienced) is that the executive is a sociopath, skilled at appearing to be a culture fit, but ultimately more skilled at using people for their self-enrichment and power fantasy fulfillment.

I wish I hadn't picked up this icky vibe, which other reviewers also noticed and commented on, because it made it difficult to suspend disbelief and judgment and really read with an open mind. The self-aggrandizement is just hard to get over.

Overall, the internal inconsistency of this book makes it a dangerous tome. The sort of "management bible" that can be used to justify many good practices and many bad ones. Already, in the short time it's been out, I've seen the book used by a bullying manager to deliver obnoxiously aggressive feedback labeled as "radical candor." I fear that this book will be a greater friend to legions of sharp-elbowed asshole managers than to the cowardly types who veer into "ruinous empathy" (which, in my experience, is usually a bigger problem with a company culture, and the individual manager isn't the right locus of attention).

My conclusion is that I don't think there's nearly enough attention and thoughtfulness around the "care personally" dimension of the book's core framework. Other writers and thinkers such as Fred Koffman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Frederic Laloux, Diana Chapman, Edgar Schein, and Marshall Rosenberg... to name just a few who are leagues above this book in terms of conscious attention to the human and humane elements of working well with others.
Profile Image for Michael McCain.
180 reviews
March 6, 2018
"Here's what Google and Apple do. Also Twitter. I don't know anybody at Facebook"
Profile Image for Gitanjali.
196 reviews7 followers
February 4, 2019
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 Costelo has no implicit bias OMG this made me laugh so hard. I refuse to believe that there exists a man who has 'no gender bias'

- POC/people with different cultural backgrounds are used merely as props. Example, how the Japanese struggle with giving feedback (made me roll my eyes so hard), a person from a 'different cultural background' had BO and Kim took her aside and gave her feedback and another example that I can't remember at the moment. Kim is from Silicon Valley and so this is hardly surprising that her perspective is white, privileged and so exclusive. It is disappointing though so I will call it out.

-The solutions in the book were clearly geared to organizations with unlimited resources. Example Kim wanted to get pregnant and she had a team in many different locations. So her boss, Sheryl helped brainstorm and ensured that instead of Kim being on the road, her team could come to her for a big offsite conference. Problem solved. Wow. Note, I would LOVE to live in a world where women's needs are met like this. Good for Kim that she had the privilege and resources to make this happen but this sadly far from the reality for many organizations and seems hilarious and almost sickening to read given the sheer disparity in opportunities for women particularly low income women of color.

There's more but I'm exhausted.
Profile Image for Emily.
706 reviews2,043 followers
April 27, 2022
This is a business book that actually offers a significant amount of practical advice to managers, starting from the basic "how to have a 1-1" to "how to implement the right performance review process for your company." I'm impressed by the amount of content. This is an actual book, not just an expanded TED talk. The framework is pretty simple: care personally about people, and challenge them directly. Healthy teams practice this in all directions.

It's impossible to review this book without first addressing the issue of Kim Scott's career trajectory. Every other sentence starts with "my coach at Google, Fred Kofman" (this one made me do a spit take), or "my business school professor, Richard Tedlow." She reconnects with Sheryl Sandberg at a wedding, she has ice cream with Andy Grove, and she watches documentaries sitting next to Larry Page. She constantly refers to her experiences at Apple and Google. It is eyeroll-inducing, as well as illustrative of just how interconnected tech is. It also brings up a central problem of the book (in my opinion), which is trying to fit Steve Jobs into the radical candor framework. It doesn't work! Just don't try it!

Some takeaways:

* Being direct in the short term saves you pain in the long term, even (especially) when it's awkward and hard. This is the most obvious point that people generally get wrong, because no one wants to have a hard conversation. I thought it was a helpful reminder that everyone is responsible for their own emotional lives; frequently managers try to manage emotions, when really they should be honest, direct, and willing to engage with their team members even when it gets emotionally messy.

* Guidance should be 2-minute conversations that happen between meetings. Don't hold on to it! Be as specific with your praise as you are with your criticism. Don't forget sincere and honest praise.

* There is a good/interesting cycle of meetings that Scott suggests to allow for healthy discussion and to clearly state when decisions are needed. I need to go back to this and see if any of it is practically applicable.

* There is a pretty darkly funny chapter on gender politics where she refers to a "male colleague" who gets caught in a firestorm for "making an important and logical point about gender in the workplace." Drop THIS name, please!

* These skip-level meetings sound insane. Scott gathers all of her direct's reports and then has them do a collaborative feedback session on their manager. I guess you have to do skip-levels this way if you have a large team and can't spend the time to speak 1-1 with everyone. It seems really tricky to handle and I've never seen this done at a company before (though, of course, I haven't worked at Google).

* I read the revised edition, which includes a foreword where Kim Scott rebrands "radical candor" as "compassionate candor." The principle is still the same - care personally and challenge directly - but it centers compassion, because it's easy to misread "radical" as aggressive. It's interesting that the branding can work against the framework; apparently, it's easy to hear "radical candor" and interpret that as "be brutally honest," which is not the goal.
1 review1 follower
January 31, 2017
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 of personal values, cultural values (both company, as in ‘measure twice, cut once’ versus ‘launch and iterate’ as well as different norms in Japan and Israel), personal crises, the pressures, deadlines, competitiveness, and often the confrontation that are part of doing business today. 

Some books offer esoteric impracticable theory; others are just an overwhelming sequence of anecdotes. This book is a good balance of models grounded with specific examples and a very workable approach to put it into practice. It is consistently constructive and a helpful guide with very little “filler.” For example, I found the passages on gender bias (in particular) to the point and helpful and practical

If I had to register a complaint, it would be that counter examples and anti-patterns were not as evenly distributed as positive examples. A minor issue, indeed. 
Profile Image for Willian Molinari.
Author 3 books119 followers
April 23, 2021
I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. If you want to read the full review with my raw notes, check it here: https://pothix.com/radicalcandorbook/

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 performance of your team it makes a lot of sense.

People management summary: Have clear conversations with each member of your team, create growth management plans once a year, hire the right people, fire the appropriate people, promote the right people, reward people who are doing great work but shouldn't be promoted.

There are great tips here and I mostly agree with them.
515 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2018
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).

This book would appeal to those who want to hear about working at Google, Apple, Twitter, etc. If you can weed through the author's sometimes self aggrandizing, there are many good nuggets of useful, humanized ways of managing people and projects in general....It should receive 3 stars for that. It's all the other stuff that made ~240 pages hard to read. Upon finishing this book, I flipped back through and read much of the topics in BOLD print. Frankly, if you read this and just hit upon the bold - you're on to something good.
Profile Image for Yevgeniy Brikman.
Author 4 books610 followers
June 16, 2019
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 minute talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Tcr....

Here are some of the key takeaways I got from the book:

(1) Care personally. Challenge directly. Let's break this down:

- Care personally: If you want people to accept and act on your feedback and if you want them to reciprocate and provide genuine feedback to you, then they have to trust you and believe that you care about them. "Be professional" does NOT mean you should act like and treat everyone like an automaton. You should care. All business is personal. All business depends on relationships.

- Challenge directly: We are often told that, if you have nothing to say, you should say nothing at all. It turns out that as a leader, this just isn't true. You absolutely must be able to deliver criticism (and praise!) for a team to succeed. That means you have to challenge people directly and provide clear (not mean!), honest feedback. This will work so long as you keep the care personally aspect in mind!

- Great example of both items from the book: "I can see you really love your dog, but if you don't discipline it's going to get killed." The first part is the "care personally" bit. The second part is the "challenge directly."

- Another key point is to consider what happens if you don't do both items. You can picture a 2x2 grid where "Care Personally" is the y-axis and "Challenge Directly" is the x-axis. In this grid, "Radical Candor" is in the top right corner. The bottom right corner, where you challenge directly but don't care personally, is "Obnoxious Aggression" (you provide honest feedback, but you're an asshole). The bottom left corner, where you neither challenge directly nor care personally is "Manipulative Insincerity" (you're self-centered and either remain silent or act passive aggressively). The top left corner, where you care personally but don't challenge directly, is "Ruinous Empathy" (you're worried about hurting other people's feelings, so you stay silent).

(2) You must deliver feedback—both the praise and the criticism—so that (a) it does NOT call into question your confidence in their ability but (b) it leaves NO room for ambiguity or misinterpretation.

(3) One critical ingredient to accomplish the previous point is to avoid the fundamental attribution error.

- Focus on what someone did rather than who they are. The former is something the person can fix; the latter isn't.

- Example: "saying umm a every 3 words makes you sound stupid" rather than "you are stupid."

- Example: "this work is sloppy" rather than "you are sloppy."

- Example: "that's wrong" rather than "you're wrong." Or better yet, "I think that's wrong."

- Example: "US culture is very smell conscious, so you may wish to look into getting a deodorant" rather than "you smell" (dealing with sensitive, personal issues by focusing on the environment/surroundings).

(4) The job of manager or a leader is to get things done. And the way a manager or leader gets things done is through a team—which can do far more than just manager alone!. That means the goal of a manager is to get things right; this is NOT the same as the manager being right. In fact, managers are often wrong, so it is essential that the team feels comfortable enough to tell you when you're wrong!

(5) The first step to promoting radical candor amongst your team is to ask for it yourself.

- That is, you the leader or manager must be the first one to receive criticism (and praise!) from others. This is essential to establishing trust.

- Ask something like, "what can I do or stop doing to make it easier to work with me?"

- Don't let people get away without answering. It's very uncomfortable to criticize your boss, but it's essential! Simply waiting in silence (seriously, count in your head to 6!) will create a pressure that often gets the person to speak up. Alternatively, prompt further, "oh, so I'm doing everything perfectly then?"

- If this doesn't work, you may have to find an employee who you trust and is comfortable delivering criticism and asking that employee to criticize you publicly. Again, this will be hard for them, but get them to do it a few times, and others may become more comfortable with giving you feedback too.

- Your goal is to listen and understand, NOT to respond. The best response when you're getting feedback is, "thank you." Don't argue! After that, repeat the person's feedback back to them in your own words to make sure you understood.

- After that, you need to reward that feedback. Thank the person and act on what they said. Make it clear that their feedback has an impact.

(6) Praise is just as hard to deliver well as criticism.

- Too often, it doesn't sound genuine.

- Spend just as much time thinking about how to deliver praise as criticism!

- A good framework / mental model for praise is: situation-behavior-impact. That is, "In situation X, you did Y, which was valuable because of Z." E.g., "Mike, great job last week!" is not nearly as effective as, "Mike, great job on the the new dev tooling you introduced last week; it has made builds 50% faster, which is helping us ship software faster, and makes the whole team happier."

- Be thoughtful of what you praise. For example, making a huge deal of a promotion may incentivize everyone to chase promotions and titles. Instead, it may be healthier to praise hard work and accomplishment far more than titles

(7) Share feedback immediately.

- Do not hold back until a 1:1 or, worse yet, an annual review. Waiting too long has many potential negative side effects: e.g., if you don't praise good behavior right away, the person may stop doing it; if you don't criticize bad behavior, the person may keep doing it and find it hard to change later; if you discuss feedback too late, the person may not even remember the original incident.

- Instead, share feedback—both positive and negative—as soon after the event as possible. Pulling the person aside right after the event for a quick 1-3 minute chat is ideal.

- Always prefer to share feedback live, in person. That way, you can see the person's reaction, make sure the feedback is having the intended effect, and clarify things if necessary.

- Praise publicly. Criticize privately. Public praise has more impact and encourages similar behavior from others. On the other hand, public criticism makes people defensive, as no one wants to look bad in front of all of their peers.

(8) A big part of creating a culture of Radical Candor is holding meetings the right way.

- The mental model for debates is: listen, challenge, commit. That is, hear what everyone has to say. Challenge what they are saying through questions and discussion. Finally, make a decision and commit to it fully.

- Ensure everyone gets an equal voice at meetings. Some people may be afraid to speak or always get yelled down by someone louder. You have to actively solve this: e.g., go around the room and explicitly ask each person, one at a time, for their feedback; before a meeting, ask loud people to pipe down or quiet ones to speak up.

- With difficult decisions that require lots of discussion amongst many people, there are often two competing desires: one desire is to get all the arguments and options out on the table; the desire other is to make a decision (where someone wins and someone loses). By separating these two desires, you can make meetings more effective. That is, hold one meeting where the explicit goal is to discuss and gather all information about the topic but NOT make any decision. This meeting allows no egos and provides no winners or losers; the sole outcome of this meeting is a document shared with all relevant parties that contains all the relevant options and arguments. Then, once enough information has been gathered, you hold a separate meeting where the goal is to make a decision from amongst all the options.

- Another important tool in complicated debates is to have the parties switch roles part way through. That is, if two people are arguing about a topic, force them to assume the other person's role in the argument half way through the debate. Forcing everyone to articulate the other argument ensures you fully understand that argument.

- One more useful tool: the obligation to dissent. If everyone at the table agrees, that's a red flag, and one person must take up the responsibility of presenting the dissenting view.

(9) The quality of your feedback is measured not at your mouth, but in the ear of the person receiving it.

- Even if you think you're doing a great job of delivering praise and criticism, the ultimate judge is the person receiving it. If they aren't getting the message—if they don't feel like you are caring personally and challenging directly—then you are not being radically candid.

- The approach to radical candor that works for one person may not work for another. You need to customize it to each individual. This requires building a personal relationship and understanding how that person thinks, feels, and works.

- Teach each person the 2x2 framework and explicitly ask where you fall on it.

(10) The steps to introducing radical candor at your company:

- Get. The first step is to encourage others to be radically candid with you. Best place to do it: the 1:1 meeting.

- Give. Start being radically candid with others. Give feedback as soon after the event as possible! Be humble and helpful.

- Gauge. Regularly check if your feedback is being received the way you expect.

- Encourage. Tell everyone in your company about what you're trying to do and encourage them to do the same with each other. Make sure everyone talks to each other and does NOT merely try to bad mouth others to you.
Profile Image for James Brown.
74 reviews2 followers
August 2, 2021
Read this for work. Two things are for certain: Kim Scott has worked at Google, and also she's worked at Apple.
Profile Image for Paul Fulcher.
Author 2 books1,305 followers
March 30, 2023
The key underlying idea is a useful one and I think the author’s suggested renaming of it in the updated version as Compassionate Candor gives a rather better feel for what she means, even if the tech people she idolises do seem, even in her anecdotes, to stray more into the Obnoxious Aggression quadrant even when delivering their Radical Candor.

The book itself contains a lot of ideas and suggestions - a bit too many unless you really want to implement the rather cheesy program wholesale in your business. But the sheer amount of area covered means there are some useful ideas to takeaway and some challenges that made me sit up. E.g. she has a rather different take on Christopher Wren and the three brickmakers than most, including myself.

your job is not to provide purpose but instead to get to know each of your direct reports well enough to understand how each one derives meaning from their work.
Profile Image for Simon Eskildsen.
215 reviews969 followers
June 7, 2019
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 brink with practical advice on leading teams through various situations. One Russian analogy in the book is about a guy who loves his dog so much that when he needs to amputate its tail he cuts off an inch of his dog's tail a day. Summarizes things well.

A rough, ultra-condensed summary of some points I liked. Teams cannot be just super-stars, they need a healthy mix of them and rockstars that serve as the foundational bedrock of a team. She stresses again and again that you can't ignore your highest performers. If they did well in a meeting, but you think they can do really well, give them that feedback. It's too easy to focus too much on your low performers. It reminds me of a study that airlines increase revenue more by elevating mediocre experiences to excellent (e.g. by offering good service and a free drink) than by attempting to lift negative experiences to mediocre. People change their growth trajectory from year to year. It can be a disfavour to them to assume they want to grow as fast or as slow as previously. Let your long relationship compound, not rust.

Kim has one of the fairest chapters on letting people go I've ever read. Assume for a moment that it's their role, not their person. What would have to change? What role might they be able to do excellent in? Look at their bright spots. When you approach performance-management this way, even if it doesn't work out, you can be a reference in finding them a new job if you fundamentally don't believe they suit your business. I have yet to see this in real life, but I can see how you could get there. There's a lid for every pot.

There's much more in the book, but today if someone would ask me: "I am a new manager. What is the first book I should read?" It would be Radical Candor. Kim knows her shit, and she's learned from the best.
Profile Image for Irina Stanescu.
17 reviews8 followers
May 2, 2017
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. There's always room for improvement!
Profile Image for Bill.
8 reviews11 followers
March 6, 2017
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!!!
Profile Image for Shelly.
39 reviews
June 8, 2018
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 for an asshole that publicly humiliates subordinates it's not necessary to have a supervisor hold your hand and coddle you because, why: it makes you feel better about going to work? If your boss doesn't take the time out to give you a summary of how good you're doing at work and pat you on the head, then you should look for another job. In what universe is that sound advice?!

The audience is strangely schizophrenic in this book. Is she writing for subordinates to bring up the "Radical Candor" to their boss--the environment of constant feedback as if the subordinate didn't know "I'm not f*cking up at my job?" If you need a supervisor to constantly tell you you're not f*cking up your job, you've got bigger problems than this book can solve. There is another spectrum of this book that reaches out to supervisors, managers, etc. asking "Are you being radically candid to those working for you?" Here's the thing, if your boss is an asshole, chances are they're not reading this book and will never adhere to the advice administered in this book. If you try to discuss the "radical candor" you've learned after reading this book to said asshole, chances are you're going to be getting a lot of attention at work from now on (and not the kind, reassuring attention you wanted).

My boss isn't my parent, and they shouldn't have to be. This book is telling you that you shouldn't settle into a job where your boss isn't parenting you. I would not recommend this book, to anyone, for any reason.
Profile Image for Jacques Bezuidenhout.
383 reviews17 followers
June 11, 2018
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 steering of topic into name/resume flaunting. Yes she has held high esteem positions at unicorn companies and probably deserves the recognition, but damn.

A lot of how these Silicon Valley companies operate will probably never apply to me. Which makes half the case studies a bit irrelevant.

That being said, as per most business type books, there are small nuggets of information that makes the book worth the read.
It is not necessarily rocket science, but gets explained in a great way as to why it is important, and how to apply it.
Things I'll remember:
- Care on a personal level
- Give honest feedback and criticism directly
- Get things done

Probably not a book a would walk around promoting to everyone.
It is probably better to share the good parts, and point them to youtube snippets summarising the nuggets.
Profile Image for Camille.
293 reviews47 followers
November 18, 2019
I read this book so I could more skillfully shit talk Kim Scott and this book. If you want to be a good boss and human, read (and apply) NonViolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. If you want to be a good boss and human, work on yourself. Meditate, pray, get into community with others, care for others, and commit to a life of service rather than domination.

Kim Scott's busywork of packaging putrid cruelty and hierarchy as some great gift to the Working Man strives for the heights of neoliberal pomposity. But what else do we expect from these "oh aren't we so very smart" Silicon Valley types? While the world burns, they pat each other on the back and spew out drivel like this. The world is waking up though. Get ready.
Profile Image for James Patrick.
34 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2021
Currently reading.

I am so disappointed in this book. If there was ever a book trying to justify a purely overhead position this would be the one. Scott spends most of her time name dropping the many CEOs and vice presidents of multi-billion dollar companies that she's led, inspired, and advised. Scott overemphasizes the importance of communication and the cycle of teamwork except every single story is about how she's been responsible for the growth success of huge billion dollar companies. It's like reading a book on servant leadership which just focuses on the leader.

This is more c executive BS that serves little to no purpose in the real world of management. do you remember when you got out of college and 2 years later you are hiring 10,000 diamond cutters in Russia? Or how after a couple years you had a failed start up and we're now leading all of YouTube and all of AdSense?

Didn't you wish there was some type of management that helped you prepare for that type of job which 05% of managers get? I know that my education at Cornwell, harvard, Princeton and Yale just didn't really cover direct communication. And I'm barely struggling trying to manage only 750 people while also writing novels in my spare time as a hobby 🙄🙄🙄🙄

There are two type of managers in this world: those who went to Dartmouth and got their MBA from Harvard... And the rest of us lowly mortals who ended up working our ways into management.

This is a classist garbage book. Scott offers zero insights to people with practical management experience.

Managers who actually have to work their way up the ladder will already understand the concepts in radical candor. However as much as I loathe Scott, I highly recommend the book for assistant managers and younger managers who struggle with the concept of conflict and direct communication.

Scott is disingenuine when she's talking about radical candor. But the principles of radical candor are valuable in your professional and personal life. I really do not like the first part of the book which is a bunch of anecdotes related to how great Scott is as a leader.

There are a lot of successful people with brand ideas who speak from the heart. Scott is not a genuine writer. And her refusal to talk about anything outside of multi-billion dollar company management is asinine. (And if you do manage a large corporation with billion dollar revenues I would not put much faith in this book because she does not go into the intricacies of actually managing large Enterprise corporations)

From a pragmatic perspective she's missing a key element of the majority of managers. From a operational standpoint she is willfully ignoring how those successful companies like Google operate which allow managers like Scott to succeed in, and finally she lays down more unrealistic expectations about work which negatively affect the majority of people who would ever need to learn about radical candor.

As far as I'm concerned this is C level junk. We need to stop pretending that CEOs and other executives know anything about practical management. This is garbage.

Alternatives to this book that are really great are Fierce Conversations, start With Why, The Dichotomy of Leadership, and the Art of Being Assertive.

knowing that Scott travels in the circles she does I'm not surprised her book is so popular. I think a lot of that popularity just comes from her ability to boot lick C level executives so they buy books for their staff.

Was not a fan but the principles of radical candor are valid.
Profile Image for Regis Hattori.
124 reviews8 followers
March 16, 2022
Initially, I thought the whole book was about the Radical Candor Framework but it is only about 20% about it. In my opinion, a title like "How to be a good boss (this is the term the author likes the most instead of leader or manager)" would better represent it. But this may obfuscate the most appealing part of the book which is the Radical Candor Framework itself. Although there is good advice in other areas, I think this part is the most valuable for non-bosses and could deserve a separate book. You can find some summaries on the internet but even the author's summary on youtube lost some important details. I saw the video some years ago and it didn't convince me as the book did.

I am not willing to become a boss but I see much value in reading about it. First, because even if you are not the boss, some guidances and techniques are very useful on how to deal with pairs. Second, it helps you better communicate with your boss and evaluate it. This is especially helpful because that way you can also help your boss to become better. Or quit the job when you evaluate that your boss is not good enough. It also helps you to evaluate companies based on the bosses they have.

I also really liked some discussion about gender bias and "Super Stars vs Rock Stars".
Profile Image for Nikolay.
99 reviews81 followers
November 20, 2017
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.

Profile Image for Dana Kraft.
420 reviews9 followers
May 10, 2017
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.
13 reviews
March 20, 2021
من کتاب صراحت تمام عیار از انتشارات آریاناقلم رو خوندم. خیلی کسل‌کننده پیش میرفت و نتونست خواننده رو با خودش همراه کنه. برای من کتاب مناسبی نبود.
Profile Image for Sawyer X.
128 reviews
March 10, 2022
This book should be mandatory reading for all managers. Having learned the lessons from this book the hard way (from screwing up or seeing others screw up), I appreciate seeing these lessons written down so well for everyone to learn.

Having said this, I've had a few issues with it.

1. This book mentions names. A lot of names. It's important to give credit where credit is due, but this book sometimes feels like a name-dropping marathon. There are a *lot* of small anecdotes, but it gets tiring after a while.

2. The author has experience with large, massive companies. The book can read like a love letter to silicone valley. Every CEO of every major company is the most brilliant person; every manager seems to be an absolute genius; we should all learn from how these large companies manage. However, over time, we've seen that the culture in many of these companies is not great. These companies include ruthless managers, untenable standards, unfair evaluations, unnecessary overhead, oversight, etc. Many of these lauded brilliant leaders were proven over time to be bullies who some people were able to work with, not people to admire.

3. It's not entirely clear who the book is aiming for. Is it for the low-level manager of a small company? Is it for the CEO of a billion-dollar company? The book shoots arrows in all directions, but both the anecdotes and suggestions on what to do usually fall on either of these and less often on both. Much of the advice in the book can be applied to all levels of managers. Still, it's hard to generate a corpus of recommendations for a single person due to the widely-ranging targets of each anecdote and suggestion.

4. There is an inherent assumption that the reader should be a manager. All too often, the managers I've seen (whether above me or as peers on my level as a manager) were not suitable for the job. There was no section on when to *not* help others become managers but surface their interest in it to not result in a good outcome for those they will manage.
Profile Image for Diego Eis.
Author 6 books145 followers
February 14, 2019
"Building trust in any relationship takes time because trust is built on a consistent pattern of acting in good faith."

Unir um time é algo difícil. A maioria dos gestores que conheço, principalmente os C-Levels, ficam preocupados em estabelecer uma cultura na empresa toda. Mas uma cultura não se impõe, ela é orgânica. A forma como os integrantes do time se relacionam é como a cultura se espalha pela empresa inteira. Mas para que as pessoas se relacionem melhor, é necessário que os chefes, gestores e líderes saibam como criar um ambiente onde as pessoas confiam umas nas outras. E confiança só vem com honestidade.

Esse livro é um dos melhores livros que já li sobre Soft Skills e comportamento. Nunca me identifiquei tanto com as experiências e os acontecidos que a autora descreve. São erros tão comuns que tanto líderes "experientes" e líderes novatos cometem.

O livro da dicas importantes sobre como se importar mais com todos. Sobre ter empatia, se colocando cada vez mais no lugar do outro afim de tentar ajudá-lo.

Todos os líderes, principalmente líderes de áreas técnicas, deveria não apenas ler, mas estudar todos os pontos expostos no livro.

"boss’s ability to achieve results had a lot more to do with listening and seeking to understand than it did with telling people what to do;"
12 reviews32 followers
February 22, 2019
Bardzo nierówna książka. Pierwsza część jest rewelacyjna, naprawdę spokojnie 9/10, otwiera oczy na mnóstwo aspektów zarządzania zespołem, których nie byłem do końca świadom. Przede wszystkim na główny aspekt, czyli wartość szczerego feedbacku w pracy (w życiu w sumie też) - sam wielokrotnie nie mówiłem prawdy, bo nie chciałem kogoś urazić, ale brutalna prawda jest taka, że wszyscy ci ludzie, których nie chciałem urazić i tak już z nami nie pracują…

Anyways, po naprawdę mocnym wprowadzeniu nie mogłem się doczekać części praktycznej, rozczarowałem się więc podwójnie. Ogólnie mam wrażenie, że wszystkie amerykańskie książki o zarządzaniu brzmią jak instrukcja do drukarki - naciśnij “print” i będzie performance :)

Tak czy siak polecam, tylko skończcie w połowie, bo im dalej tym gorzej!
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