Kim Scott‘s new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017) entered the Wall Street Journal business best-seller list at # 7 in the list published today (April 1-2, p. C10).
The book is # 1 on two Amazon.com sub-categories, and has also appeared on the prestigious New York Times best-seller list. As you are aware, we rely heavily on that list as the source for our selections to present at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.
Here is how the book is described on Amazon.com:
“Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging it’s ruinous empathy. When you do neither it’s manipulative insincerity.
“This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you’re all proud of.
“Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of the author’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.”
You may not be familiar with Kim Scott. She was an executive at Google and then at Apple. Kim is also the co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., which builds tools to make it easier to follow the advice she offers in the book. She is also the author of three novels. Prior to founding Candor, Inc., Kim was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other Silicon Valley companies. She was a member of the faculty at Apple University, developing the course “Managing at Apple,” and before that led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google. Previously, Kim was the co-founder and CEO of Juice Software, a collaboration start-up, and led business development at two other start-ups, Delta Three and Capital Thinking. Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy advisor at the FCC, managed a pediatric clinic in Kosovo, started a diamond cutting factory in Moscow, and was an analyst on the Soviet Companies Fund. Kim received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA from Princeton University. Kim and her husband Andy Scott are parents of twins and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Adapted from her website: http://www.kimmalonescott.com/biography/).
We have determined that we will feature this book for the May, 2017 book synopsis in Dallas. Continue to monitor our website for information.
On Friday, June 3, I present the best-selling book, Sprint: Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2016) at the First Friday Book Synopsis at the Park City Club in Dallas.
To obtain information and register, click HERE.
Here is a brief biography of each of the three authors, as presented from the book’s website. I am sure you will agree that their backgrounds are quite diverse.
Jake Knapp created the Google Ventures sprint process and has run more than a hundred sprints with startups such as 23andme, Slack, Nest, and Foundation Medicine. Previously, Jake worked at Google, leading sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X. He is currently among the world’s tallest designers.
John Zeratsky has designed mobile apps, medical reports, and a daily newspaper (among other things). Before joining Google Ventures, he was a design lead at YouTube and an early employee of FeedBurner, which Google acquired in 2007. John writes about design and productivity for Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Wired. He studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin.
Braden Kowitz founded the Google Ventures design team in 2009 and pioneered the role of “design partner” at a venture capital firm. He has advised close to two hundred startups on product design, hiring, and team culture. Before joining Google Ventures, Braden led design for several Google products, including Gmail, Google Apps for Business, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Trends.
I wish I were as optimistic as Chris Anderson, who wrote today, “Anyone Can Give a Memorable TED Talk,” in the Wall Street Journal (April 30-May 1, C3).
You can read the entire article by clicking HERE.
Anderson, who is the President of TED, has a new book that hits the market next week entitled TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).
He gives these tips:
- ask yourself if you have something worth saying
- slash the scope of your talk so that you unpack the idea properly
- give people a reason to care
- build your case piece by piece, using familiar words and concepts
- tell stories
His premise is that anyone, with the right approach, and enough practice, can be a greater presenter. In the article, he tells the improbable story of Richard Turere, a 12-year old Maasai boy, who gave a talk at a TED conference, in front of an audience of 1,400 seasoned professionals.
I don’t think so. I have provided instruction and critiqued thousands of speakers in Business Communication courses over the past 39 years, and have coached individuals one-on-one countless times. In fact, even today, I am meeting a speaker for individual coaching who gives a talk next week. I can start naming people right now who you would never see on the TED Talks site, no matter how much time I would spend coaching them, and I would still be listing names hours from now. And, I don’t think it’s because I’m a lousy coach. Sorry – everyone can’t do it.
His assumption is that there is something within an individual, that if unlocked properly, will propel a person to greatness. He would say that if you stay with it long enough, and apply the correct instruction and techniques, success is simply a matter of time.
I will admit that for many people, presenting is more a matter of “will” than “skill.” There are people who simply don’t want to get any better, and therefore, even intense training and coaching will not get them there. They could be great, but they don’t want to be. Fortunately, there are enough people who do respond to training and coaching, and who do become great speakers, that keeps me going as a professional resource.
But, what about people who can’t? What if fantastic presenting is not a will or skill issue? There are plenty of people who fall short of any or all of the six behaviors listed as tips above. They just can’t do it. It’s not their strength. It never will be. Do we beat them up and put them through the misery of intense scrutiny toward an end that will never happen? I would far rather build on something else that they are good at – one of their strengths – to work around their presentation weakness, than to consistently badger them to speak well.
I also think that the title of Anderson’s article today insults the great TED speakers. I am well aware that writers rarely get to construct titles to their articles. They usually see the title the same time all the readers do, so I am not bashing Anderson. But the title is there for all to see. TED Talks are premium presentations. Great content with great delivery. And, it is a very competitive product. These are not like “uploads to YouTube” from your web cam. Even many really great speakers are not to the level of TED presenters that you watch on that site.
To suggest that everyone can be like TED, is about the same as saying everyone can be like Mike. No way.
I am not surprised at all to see the statistics published on February 20, 2012 by the Pew Research Center that reveal very few Americans receive political news from social networks.
Where do we get our information about politicians, campaigns, platforms, etc? It’s not from social media. Here is the breakdown, when Americans were asked to identify the sources they used regularly to follow political news. Note this is not a “fixed pie” of 100%. Rather, these numbers reflect how many Americans sampled identified a source:
Cable news (36%)
Local TV news (32%)
National network news (26%)
Local daily newspaper (20%)
Talk radio (16%)
Late-night comedy shows (9%)
Why would this surprise anyone? Social Media is just what it is – it is social. It generates conversation, spreads opinions, and highlights reactions. Social Media is not a source that generates or distributes information. It is post-news. It is filled with what people think about what they already know.
It is not that Social Media is unimportant. In fact, it is the focus in my MBA research methods class this term at the University of Dallas. My students are learning research methods by focusing their research on Social Media.
Americans don’t get their news from Social Media outlets. Americans talk about the news through Social Media.
Are you surprised by this? If so, let’s talk about it really soon!