adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Micro book review: Radical Candor

Posted by Oliver on the 14th of January, 2020 in category Thoughts
Tagged with: Books

My blog count for last year was woefully low, and I was struggling to think of what was worthwhile to write about. As I mentioned last time, I've been slowly getting through my management/leadership reading list and while I don't think I have the time or energy to write full book reviews (at least, full enough to do the titles justice) I would like to write something.

So here it is: the first of hopefully a series of very lightweight "micro" book reviews. Enough to get a sense of what it's about and whether I enjoyed it (and also partially notes for my future self).

radical candor

I just recently finished reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott, and my main realisation was that I entirely misunderstood the point of the book. I've watched the Radical Candor video on Youtube (or at least, one of them) and in that 13 minutes took away the core message which I believed to be about healthy relationships, and communicating clearly as a manager (or leader). Initially I was disappointed when this core message was dealt with entirely in the first few pages of the book. What is the rest about?

Well, actually that's (in my opinion) the greatest strength of the book. While the core message is about caring personally, and challenging directly, beyond that the book is actually one of the best how-to guides for how to be a great manager and leader. It also supplies many detailed descriptions for how to set up all of the right rituals and processes in a healthy organisation. If I was to recommend a single book to a new manager, I think this has just replaced whatever was at the top of the list before.

As another vote of confidence, this is one of the few books I'd actually re-read later to ensure I was putting in place all of the right cultural habits. In fact, I will re-read it - I already know this.

So, it's a healthy thumbs up, 4.5/5 stars or whatever rating mechanism you prefer. Definitely would recommend!

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