Non-Fiction Book Review: Radical Candor

Since we’re in the drought of movie season, here’s another book review:

Staff Member Book Review: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Being a retired school teacher, I’ve been to plenty of workshops where the presenter spends the first hour telling you what they’re going to tell you. Annoying, right?

Well, the good news is, reading a book version means you can motor to the first chapter and cut to the chase. So even though Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor: Be a Kick Off Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (2017, St Martin’s Press) does start out that way, the depth and width of information provided is well worth the opening chapter.

Ms. Scott, a manager at two of the most prominent companies in America (Google and Apple), insists that akin to child rearing or dog training, constructively criticizing employees toward growth is essential for success. Scott insists this is ‘not mean, but clear’.

Scott devotes a significant chunk to a manager’s self-care, similar to the mantra of my Masters in Counseling training, “if you haven’t figured yourself out, how you can help someone else?”. Scott encourages managers to take care of themselves and to “figure out a recipe to stay centered” as key to their own ability to govern. Again, the book provides concise and realistic strategies to achieve all of her propositions.

I don’t think I’m giving away any ‘spoilers’, but one other particular concept I loved were the terms rock star and super star as applied to employees. Scott defines rock stars as employees who are wonderfully consistent (think Bob Seeger “Like a Rock”) while super stars are employees looking for career advancement. Scott makes the point that both types of representatives are valuable to a company and that each need guidance (praise for the latter, incentives and stimulation for the latter).

Stop in at BookStore One located at 12 S. Palm Avenue in Sarasota to check out Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor. You’ll go far in life by adopting Scott’s suggested practices like I did just now (her GSD wheel- containing the elements needed to Get Stuff Done).

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