I have finished my careful reading of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott in my preparation for this Friday’s First Friday Book Synopsis. Here are a few first thoughts.
#1 – It requires a serious time investment to manage a group of people. Of course we all knew this, didn’t we? But, this book will help any manager understand more fully that managing people requires time invested in each individual person. And the time adds up, person after person. In other words, since management is about getting work done through others, then helping those others operate at full effectiveness is worth every minute of time invested.
This book provides a tangible, practicable plan on how to invest those hours. But, make no mistake; this is a multi-hour, every week, week-after-week job.
#2 – Quit beating around the bush! That’s my one phrase summary of the book. Ms. Scott uses a simple but profound formulation for this role:
Radical Candor = Care Personally + Challenge Directly.
First, you establish that you care; then you challenge directly. This is not a harsh approach, but a caring approach. And because it starts with care, then the direct challenge aspects are actually very caring indeed.
So, in other words, quit beating around the bush.
#3 – I think this is going to be my strong recommendation going forward: For years, I have said that every new manager/supervisor should read Encouraging the Heart by Kouzes and Posner as the one book to read to understand their role. I will now up my recommendation to a two-book reading assignment. Start with Encouraging the Heart, and then read Radical Candor. Any manager who reads these two books, and puts the insights learned into practice, will do a much better job managing others.
I’ll write more about Radical Candor in a few days.