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Radical Candor: How to Be a Great Boss without Losing Your Humanity

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  11,423 ratings  ·  1,103 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
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 12th 2017 by Pan Macmillan UK (first published March 14th 2017)
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    Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
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    Showing 1-30
    4.19  · 
    Rating details
     ·  11,423 ratings  ·  1,103 reviews


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    Luke Duncan
    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
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    Ross Blocher
    Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
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    Jaclyn Day
    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.
    Willian Molinari
    Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: doist, non-fiction, audio
    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.

    Here are my notes about this book:

    * At apple, we hire people to tell us what to do, not the other way around
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    Peter Yang
    Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Great book, minus one star for all the name dropping.
    Takeaways:
    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
    "Here's what Google and Apple do. Also Twitter. I don't know anybody at Facebook"
    Simon Eskildsen
    Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Vlad
    Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
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    Bill
    Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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!!!
    Irina Stanescu
    May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Dave I
    Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Should be mandatory reading for all managers. Extending beyond the framework the anecdotes are relatable and relevant.
    Yevgeniy Brikman
    Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Cathy Sites
    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).

    Th
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    Amy
    Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Amy by: Katherine
    Giving and receiving criticism are two of the most difficult parts of being a boss. This book takes that reality and addresses it head on. I really, really enjoyed and appreciated it. It is somewhat niche as the author's main case studies come from Google, Apple, and Twitter. However, a lot of the principles she mention carry over into every day life. Even as someone not currently managing people I found a lot of her principles just good advice for every day relationships.
    One thing I particular
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    KJ Grow
    Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Nikolay
    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  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Courtney
    Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    stormin
    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
    ...more
    Stefan Kanev
    Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Colin Gooding
    Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...more
    Shelly
    Jun 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    ...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
    ...more
    Paige
    Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The central concept/framework is gold. I'm giving it five stars pretty much just for that one chapter. I also really appreciated how extensive the "how-to" section was - half the book! Love the focus on actually changing behavior.

    I didn't love everything about this book, but now that I'm done with the library copy I'm ordering one for myself. So that's an automatic five stars.
    Jen Greseth
    Great content, and I happen to agree wholeheartedly with most of what the author advocates. There are some practical tools here that would definitely generate great discussions... I'll take some of it to my own leadership team. That said, this could have been an article. And - as has been previously mentioned - there's a ton of self-congratulation and name dropping in this book.
    Olga Shatokha
    Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    One of the best books I’ve ever read. Finished audiobook and ordered a paperback to have it handy.
    Loved Kim’s voice and intonation, I even can forgive her neglecting HRs here and there :)
    But seriously great advice in every sentence. Must read for everyone working in a team, not just managers. If all people would start moving towards radical candor the world would become a better place.
    Ethan
    Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: backburner
    Fav quote on feedback: “You need to do that in a way that does not call into question your confidence in their abilities but leaves not too much room for interpretation … and that’s a hard thing to do.” - Jobs
    RJ
    Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Teamwork depends on communication. Alignment, autonomy, and accountability—the building blocks of happy, productive teams—won’t happen without it. Nor will useful feedback, or personnel conversations that are anything more than downright uncomfortable. Small surprise, then, that Kim Scott’s Radical Candor measures managers by their ability to share timely, direct criticism, and devotes its bulk to helping them deliver.

    The first rule of Radical Candor is to “care personally.” Readers won’t need S
    ...more
    Russel
    Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
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    213 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
    ...more
    “Make sure that you are seeing each person on your team with fresh eyes every day. People evolve, and so your relationships must evolve with them. Care personally; don’t put people in boxes and leave them there.” 11 likes
    “The essence of leadership is not getting overwhelmed by circumstances.” 6 likes
    More quotes…