Radical Candor is Kim Scott’s approach to becoming a great leader by empowering your team.
It’s a simple exhortation, encourage people to greatness by Caring Personally and Challenging Directly. As with most simple things, it’s not necessarily easy to achieve.
The book is generally well structured, covering the philosophy first, breaking it down into what ‘Caring Personally’ and ‘Challenging Directly’ mean, and what happens when you miss on one or both of the axes (Ruinous Empathy, Manipulative Insincerity and Obnoxious Aggression).
It’s only a hundred or so pages for this first section, but that is pretty small print, so do beware when pacing your reading!
The second section is built around techniques, from how to elicit feedback and build that culture of sharing, to how to host and structure great meetings. It covers building trust, working in teams and how to inspire growth in all types of team members.
There will be sections that resonate more or less deeply with you, depending on what the culture of your organisation is, where your experience and preferences lie, and the current realm of influence you have available to you.
For me, some of the ideas about the purposes of meetings, how to structure them and where they fall on the Listen / Decide / Execute cycle were very useful, especially around being explicit when you are moving between the Debate and Decision phases.
Even if all you take from this book is that it’s important to think about what motivates your people, how you can help them grow and how you can make them happier and more engaged, then it will have been worth reading.
If you can open yourself up to understanding and valuing the difference in others, then that truly gives you a chance to be a great and motivational leader.