25 — Kim Scott — Radical Candor: How to be a Kickass Boss


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"Radical candor doesn't mean you'll never have to fire anyone. It just means that they won't be surprised when you fire them." - Kim Scott

  • Why should every CEO get their whole company to critique them?
  • What radical candor did Sheryl Sandberg drop on Kim Scott after a presentation at Google?
  • Why do leaders need to get comfortable with challenging directly?
  • How can you make someone feel good about being fired?

What's So Radical About Candor? What Every Boss Needs to Know

Kim Scott has quite the resume. After getting her BA at Princeton and her MBA from Harvard, she led teams at both Apple and Google, and she has coached the CEOs of some of the top companies in the world, including Dropbox and Twitter.

Today, Kim shares the groundbreaking conclusions that led to her best-selling book Radical Candor — and tells you what you need to know to become a kickass boss.

How to Disagree Respectfully, and Why Your Colleagues Will Thank You For It

As someone with an almost scholarly knowledge of the art of criticism, Kim Scott knows that it's impossible for people to build good relationships if they can't disagree with one another in a respectful way. Your team can't be innovative if they're afraid to say what they really think.

Kim explains why the success and culture of your firm depends on your ability to give and take criticism in a way that is fair and kind, but unashamedly honest and true. It's not being cruel to be kind — it's being authentic to thrive.

Why Every Leader Needs to Ask For Feedback, and How to Do It Right

There's one exception to the "praise publicly, criticize privately" rule, and that's if you're the CEO. Kim hacks efficiency and addresses power imbalance by soliciting direct feedback on the regular.

But what's the leader with 30, 40, 50, or more people under them supposed to do? We discuss the feedback framework at the top, and how radical candor ahead of time saves challenges (not to mention meetings!) down the line.

Key takeaways:

  • Clarity is measured at the other person’s ear, not at your mouth. The emotional response of the other party will help you better understand how your message landed and to adjust if necessary.
  • The phrase “soft skill” is over. From the Marine Corps to the head of global organizations, feedback, listening, and communication skills should be top of your agenda, whether you're hiring or leveling up your personal qualities.
  • Find out what your recipe is and follow it every day. Taking care of yourself is vital. If you put your wheel out of alignment, you're not only doing a disservice to yourself — you're doing a disservice to your team.

Links And Resources

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