How to be Radically Candid

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

The Relevance

Having a horrible boss can make you feel bad… but being a horrible boss can feel even worse. Berating other members of your team is exhausting and counter-productive. So how do you get the most out of your team without becoming a monster? Kim Scott thinks she has the solution: radical candor. Her unique approach involves pruning your management style down until it reflects the best aspects of your personality.

She firmly believes that it is possible to be – in her words – a ‘kick-ass’ boss. It boils down to two rules: be open and be direct. Embracing these simple but fundamental changes allows you to forge strong bonds with your team and effectively tackle problems without having to leave your personality at the door of the office. Drawing on her experience in Silicon Valley, Scott not only lays out her management theory for how to be a good boss – she gives you a toolkit for achieving it too.

The Story

Far from being a dull treatise on management theory, Kim uses insightful examples at every turn. She gives us the inside line on what makes companies like Apple and Google tick, how Silicon Valley has become the Mecca of management, and reveals why its distinct culture has become an integral part of the tech industry. Her anecdotes cover a wide variety of difficult dynamics using (often hilarious) cautionary tales as a black box for bad bosses. She then underpins these scenarios with how Radical Candor could have improved the outcome – it makes for compelling reading.

Capitalising on her vantage point as an insider, she reconfigures our preconceptions about management, painting Steve Jobs as soft-centred and Google as hard edged. The arsenal of tactics supplied for implementing her philosophy will allow you to stride more boldly onto the battlefield of management.

The Creator

Before moving to Silicon Valley, Kim graduated with a BA from Princeton University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In a wide-ranging career, she has worked as a policy advisor for the FCC, manager of a pediatric clinic in Kosovo and as the creator of a diamond cutting factory in Russia – experiences that come to the fore in this, her first book.

Subsequently, Scott has co-founded Juice Software, a collaborative start-up, and been involved as a Business Development Lead at Delta-Three and Capital Thinking. A butterfly of the tech world, Scott has been on the books at Youtube, Google’s ‘Adsense’, and Apple University. Thanks in part to her coaching of CEOs at Dropbox, Qualtrics and Twitter, her reputation as a management guru is secure.

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