Review of Radical Candor

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  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


In her best-selling management book, executive coach Kim Scott addresses a challenge that every boss faces: How do you achieve the delicate balance between being nice and holding people accountable? Building trusting connections with the people who work for you is essential to eliciting their best performance. However, you must also be honest when providing guidance. Scott presents the “radical candor” management approach and discusses how to balance caring with achieving great results. She advises showing people how to improve by challenging them from the heart. 

About the Author

Executive coach Kim Scott is the co-founder and CEO of Candor Inc. She previously headed several teams at Google; taught at Apple University; co-founded Juice Software; and was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter and other tech firms.


The basis of “radically candid” guidance is to deliver, receive and foster encouragement and correction.

Scott, a best-selling author and the co-founder of Juice Software vowed not to make the same mistakes a former, horrible boss had made with her. That boss had been aggressive and demeaning. However, Scott didn’t know how to speak candidly to employees when their work wasn’t up to par and still foster a positive work force culture.  

When one employee’s work on his first assignment was awful, Scott says she gave him another chance. Because she tolerated his low-quality work, team members asked her if she knew the difference between doing well and doing poorly. Their work suffered, and Scott let the man go. When she told him why, he exclaimed, “Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

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