Notes from Radical Candor by Kim Scott
Author: Kim Scott
Two principles of Radical Candor:
A manager should personally care about their employees, and
challenge them in their work.
Be honest and direct.
Start by highlighting the good points when criticizing.
Being lazy, not helping people improve
Misplaced fear of hurt fealings
If you really care, be honest. (Even if that means expressing criticism. Don’t sugar coat.)
Let people go for the right reasons (page 189). Do due diligence:
Make every effort to help them improve
Don’t let them negatively impact the team
Get an impartial 3rd-party opinion
Leadership should be collaborative:
Listen to what people say
Create time and space for people to develop ideas
Allow for healthy debate
Persuade your company that the team’s ideas are good
Two ways to listen (depending on your personality) (page 82):
Tim Cook style
Silence encourages honesty
Support the dreams/aspirations of your staff.
You must understand people to know what these are.
Conversations (page 174):
Write a growth plan for each employee (and keep it updated)
Think Time (page 209)
Block time to think, and hold that time sacred
An extremely successful—and busy—CEO I know fought this by blocking two hours of think time on his calendar every day. He wouldn’t move it for anyone.
Ideas for 1:1 meetings (page 200)
Mastering reactions to others’ emotions (page 125)
The next time you spend two hours helping somebody edit an email until it’s just two sentences, don’t feel you are wasting your time. You are getting to the essence of the idea, which allows the recipient to absorb it quickly and easily. And you are teaching an invaluable skill. (page 93)
Blue Sky (created by Scott Forstall, who built iOS team at Apple)
People came up with a project they wanted to work on and could apply to Blue Sky. If approved, they got two weeks off from their day job to further develop the idea. (page 91)
As the boss, you are the editor, not the author. (page 89)
Getting the Best Employee Ideas (page 86)
Be careful not to label people as “high performers” (because performance output can change throughout your career). Better labels for reviews (page 74):