Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean By Kim Scott

Being a boss is a full-time job and is not as easy as it seems.

The truth is, being the boss can be an emotional rollercoaster.

It requires maturity, focus and emotional discipline, especially when dealing with people.

That is why Kim Scott has established a few principles that can help bosses create a culture of candor, build stable relationships and evolve into great bosses.

According to Kim Scott, managers, leaders or bosses:

  1. Achieve results.
  2. Deal with people.
  3. Express what they think.
  4. Build and guide cohesive teams.
  5. Accept and give fair and candid feedback.

As you can see, Kim Scott makes no distinction between a boss, a leader and a manager because eventually, they have to assume different roles and master different skills at different moments.

They all have to find out a way to get what they want by saying what they mean.

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean

Radical Candor_ Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott (2)

Why and how to build relationships?

The relationships you have with your team determine your level of success, company culture, and performance.

To build great relationships that will help your business:

  • Take care of yourself first.
  • Stay centered and create a healthy work life balance.
  • Find out what works best for you and apply it.
  • Care personally about people.
  • Respect boundaries and people physical space. It is detrimental to find a balance between creating personal yet professional bonds.
  • Spend time alone with your team members.
  • Stay true to your values and share them if possible.
  • Be transparent and aware of your emotions.
  • Discipline your reactions. Learn to respond and not react.

Why and how to build a great team?

People’s motivations are personal.

Every team member can be exceptional, they just have to find the right fit and the right motivations.

Needless to say, work life is better when your team loves what they do.

To build a great team:

  • Get to know the people on your team. Focus more on them than on results.
  • Understand people’s strength and weaknesses, identify how they tick and how their job fits into their life plan.
  • Avoid micromanaging or ignoring your team members.
  • Allocate as much time to those who are struggling as the top performers.
  • Listen to your team members, learn to incorporate their thinking into yours, and give them the opportunity to complain, share ideas, and raise issues. This way, you will create a culture of innovation.

Why and how to accept/give feedback?

Feedback is an uncomfortable process. To accept and give proper feedback:

  • Earn your team’s trust.
  • Listen more than you speak.
  • Understand what motivates your team and help them avoid burnout or boredom.
  • Understand your audience and adapt to it.
  • See feedback as an act of guidance and don’t make it personal.
  • Solicit feedback especially in private conversations and outside of meetings.
  • Voice your own disagreements. Speak up when things are not going well.
  • Take responsibility fo your actions and admit when you have made a mistake
  • Discern the truth from a lie when it comes to feedback.
  • Be humble in your delivery and state that you want to help.

Why and how to achieve results?

Every boss wants results. To achieve results:

  • Have frequent one on one conversation with your team and with a positive mindset. Have a one on one conversation with your team members to get to know them, to solve problems effectively and to help you understand what is working and what is not.
  • Create key metrics to measure progress. Write down any possible updates.
  • Create meetings where you can debate, encourage new ideas and make big decisions.
  • Test out the feasibility of the ideas you have received.

Review

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean By Kim Scott is a step by step guide on how to be a candid boss.

It is about building candid relationships with the people you work with and about using your humanity as a leadership tool.

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean By Kim Scott essentially takes the pressure off leaders.

The principles shared expose candor as a management tool, put bosses at ease and help them understand that there is more to being a boss than giving orders.

In addition, the principles shared remove fear, self-doubt and anxiety, then create an understanding regarding the role of a boss.

Furthermore, Kim Scott uses her own experiences at Google and Adsense to drive the conversation and to illustrate her ideas about radical candor.

She provides amazing tools and techniques to implement in order to be a great boss and to have a healthy relationship with your direct reports.

Her tools and techniques are detailed and are not exclusive to bosses.

Finally, the best thing about this book is that you can tell that Kim Scott cares about the career advancement and the emotional health of every boss.

Through radical candor, she demonstrates how to improve all aspects of your work life.

You don’t have to implement every tool or technique right away.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

In order to build a great team, you need to understand how each person’s job fits into their life goals

The way you treat people determines whether you’ll get their best effort, a perfunctory effort, or an effort to sabotage you.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Kim Scott

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Kim Scott

MEET THE AUTHORKim Scott teaches leadership seminars and has been at the head of major companies.

Kim Scott is also the author of the best selling book Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean.

The Importance Of Identifying & Strengthening Your Core Leadership Values

All leaders must identify and set their core values before accepting a leadership position, before developing an organization or before joining a company culture.

Leaders with strong core values induce an ethical and healthy workplace.

However, when leaders lack character, they create conflict, mistreat employees, belittle customers, focus on results rather than build healthy relationships, allow sabotage and aggressive below the belt office politics. Subsequently, they then create a toxic environment.

Wondering how to identify and strengthen your core values?

The Importance Of Identifying and Strengthening your Core Leadership Values

What are core values?

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down.

They are fundamental beliefs that guide you in life and at work, that drive your behavior and that gather things about you that you truly care about.

Core values are based on your culture, your systems of beliefs and what you learnt from your childhood.

In addition, core values guide leaders in any environment and in every situation.

They are principles by which leaders and organizations operate. They are transmitted to employees via the corporate culture, are shared from one generation to another.

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down. Click To Tweet

At Journey To Leadership‘s, we believe in:

  1. Leadership. We want to lead by example, lead with character, motivate people to achieve a unique vision and teach people how to lead with integrity.
  2. Living to learn. We do not assume that we know everything, we give ourselves the opportunities to explore and to ask questions that challenge the status quo.
  3. Creativity & InnovationWe welcome change, embrace innovative ideas, love taking risks and bringing new products to make the world a better place.
  4. Purpose & Ambition. We invite people to aim high, to walk in their purpose and to stay focused.
  5. Candor. We encourage transparency, authenticity and speaking truth to power. We reward people for speaking up and for speaking the truth.
  6. Patience. We promote patience, being slow to anger and seeking understanding.
  7. Fairness. We do not discriminate, we are equal opportunity leaders, we believe in making fair decisions and treating everyone equally
  8. Diversity. We are culturally sensitive, respect diversity and believe that difference is good.

Why define your core leadership values?

Core values must be carefully chosen, based on our personal needs and wants.

Core values make life more satisfying and more meaningful, they are a lifetime commitment. Core values must help you:

Consolidating your leadership values requires hard work, determination, daily practice and self-discipline. In general, core values are hard to maintain but are worth the struggle.

How to identify your core leadership values?

Core values make life more satisfying and more meaningful, they are a lifetime commitment To identify your core leadership or organizational values:

  1. Find out how you would describe yourself.
  2. Examine if you are satisfied with the current state of your life and what you love or hate the most.
  3. Identify your strengths, weaknesses and blind spots.
  4. Think about what you would do if you were financially free and had no cares in the world.
  5. Analyze which workplace you thrive best and feel your best in.
  6. Evaluate your greatest accomplishments.
  7. Observe where and with whom you wish to spend your time.
  8. Identify what you cannot live without.
  9. Understand the lessons you have learnt from your failures.

To strengthen your core leadership values?

  1. List your core values, write them down and give examples of your core values in action. Everyone has a list of at least 5 values that they hold on to, that facilitate their responsibilities and ease their problems.
  2. Remind yourself daily of your core values through a vision board or positive affirmations.
  3. Align all your decisions with your core leadership values. When your values don’t align with your decisions, you start feeling uncomfortable, emotionally triggered and in conflict with yourself.
  4. Communicate your core values to your employees. A company without core values is a toxic environment.
  5. Put your values to the test in life, at work and within your organization. Core values often show themselves when we face adversity. If someone tells you or forces you to believe that life is unfair and you wholeheartedly rebel against that thought, then your core value is definitely fairness.
  6. Empower other people to find their own core values.

Last Words Of Advice!

Leaders must be convinced of their vision and committed to their core values.

However, some core values are harder to apply than others. They demand more effort than others. So, don’t give up!

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (part 3)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by BennisGolemanO’Toole and Biederman.

The new transparency by Warren Bennis

The new transparency, by Warren Bennis, is the third and last essay of Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. This essay defines digital transparency, focuses on the effects of the “digital revolution” and how it has made transparency quasi inevitable in modern day organizations.

What is the upside of the new transparency?

Transparency notoriously drives success, effectiveness and trust between members of an organization.

The emergence of internet has been able to fill the cultural need for transparency, to break down old rules and traditions, to erase borders and social status barriers.

In particular, the rise of blogs:

  • has transformed the mainstream media. Blogs shape the public opinion. Moreover, mainstream media now rely upon them to exchange and to create loyalty amongst their viewers.
  • has transformed politics (for the better?). Indeed, blogs have increased transparency over the years: in many countries, the government and politicians can no longer hold secrets, maintain exclusive power and absolute control over citizens. Blogs have become a political and diplomatic tool to fight corruption and power abuse.
  • has exposed insiders “secrets to outsiders” in corporations: most bloggers whistleblow freely, safely and anonymously.
  • has changed the societal game. Protests happen in the streets as well in the cyberspace.
  • has evenly distributed information and knowledge. Seeing that knowledge is power, blogs have created a new power that have made leaders “lose their monopoly on leadership”. Blogs have given a digital platform for people from  different nationalities, social categories and spheres of influence to express their opinions.

What is the downside of the new transparency?

First of all, the digital transparency incites a lack of privacy. Most individuals’ confidential information (credit card number, personal records,…) transits openly on internet, which makes them vulnerable to hacking and allows misuse of information and illegal tracking of their information.

Also, the “digital realm is wild and minimally policed”. Some users take advantage of the anonymity of internet to dishonestly compete, to openly attack an institution, organization or another individual under false pretenses.

Digital transparency has devalued, through the mainstream media, “authentic expertise by treating ordinary viewers and readers as the equals of those with genuine insight and experience” to enhance their viewers’ loyalty. Unfortunately, it also impedes their viewers from comprehending or appropriately analysing complex facts and events.

Warren Bennis denotes that blogs, acquiring greater influence and outreach than news paper, will substitute the latter if the content “commit to high standards of accuracy, fairness, and conduct”.

On the internet, where there are no secrets, where information persists for several lifetimes and where truth is relative, users are able to decide the perimeters of transparency,  to fabricate the truth and to create the persona they want. However, users are unable to vet and verify the actual truth.

To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren BennisDaniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biedermanclick here.

To read the review on the second essay Speaking truth to power by James O’Tooleclick here.

Review

SearchTransparency.jpg.jpegThe new transparency by Warren Bennis is a proper conclusion to the book Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor that delivers impartial views on the internet and the blogosphere.

While reading his book, several contemporaneous examples came to mind such as the Black Lives Matter Movement that started in summer 2013, in the United States and has since then spread itself to different countries, to different nationalities and cultures. Social Media and blogs have definitely given the Movement the tools that it needed to speak up about police brutality on African-Americans, to show proof of police misconduct, to syndicate and organize itself and finally, to resist oppression.

One example of the misuse of the internet platform is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the bullying of an individual over the internet, through blogs or social media. Many victims of cyberbullying have spoken publicly over this issue but due to the anonymity and the lack of regulation of the internet, the government has not yet found a way to penalize the abusers.

Favorite quote(s)

Transparency would not be a problem in a world in which everyone is decent and fair-minded.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Warren Bennis

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Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 2)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by BennisGolemanO’Toole and Biederman. To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman, click here.

Speaking truth to power by James O’Toole

Speaking truth to power, by James O’Toole, is the second essay from Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor.
Speaking truth to power has been a long-standing issue throughout History. It is a very common and complex matter that has direct repercussions on an individual’s life, career and health. In this essay, in order to illustrate the concerns raised by a lack of transparency, many examples have been extracted from literature, from 2500 years of History and from James O’Toole‘s personal experience during his research in corporations.

Why speak truth to power?

Speaking truth to power creates a healthy and successful company culture in any given organization.

What makes speaking truth to power so convoluted?

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Speaking truth to power can be perceived as disloyalty, dissidence, insubordination or non-conformism because it challenges old assumptions, systems that are already in place, defies group-thinking and questions the authority, decisions and ego of the person in power. Speaking the truth also implies having to make the person in power admit their mistake.

James O’Toole blames this impugning perception on the stubbornness, the stupidity and the hubris (arrogance of power) of leaders who reject good advice and are incapable of hearing the truth.

That is why, leaders must openly listen to their employees, understand their working conditions, rethink old assumptions and avoid group-thinking at all cost.

Speaking truth to power does not go without risks: most employees are not willing to report any misconduct or unethical behavior by fear of retaliation, by fear of being reprimanded, by belief that no action will be taken by management or by Human Resources (HR).

How to create transparency and trust within an organization?

According to James O’Toole, corporations should hire at leisure a “corporate fool”, term quoted by Verne Morland, an executive at NCR in the 1980s. A “corporate fool” is a modern day jester that is capable and licensed to speak truth to power and create controversy. The role of the “corporate fool” can be associated to the role of women in modern day organizations. Indeed, women are unafraid to challenge the system and to speak truth to power in corporations as they have only recently been evolving in the male-dominating corporations and as a result have not learnt any ethical misbehavior. Not to mention, women have throughout History stood up courageously to authority at the peril of their lives.

Below are the characteristics that a leader must abide by to enforce transparency within their organization:

  • Leaders must consistently tell the truth to their followers.
  • Leaders must be comfortable with the truth.
  • Leaders must practise integrity.
  • Leaders must demonstrate appropriate respect towards their followers by sharing relevant information and actually including them in the flow of information.
  • Leaders must gather the necessary information before making any type of decision.
  • Leaders must value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.
  • Leaders at the top should not reward other leaders for their ability to compete nor congratulate leader’s misconduct.

Moreover, followers must be willing to put themselves on the line to be able to correct their bosses. “In sum, before speaking truth to power can be considered virtuous, the act must meet several criteria:

  • It must be truthful.
  • It must do no harm to innocents.
  • It must not be self-interested (the benefits must go to others, or to the organization).
  • It must be the product of moral reflection.
  • It must come from a messenger who is willing to pay the price.
  • It must have at least a chance of bringing about positive change (there is no virtue in tilting at windmills).
  • It must not be done out of spite or anger.”

Throughout History, organizations have punished those that speak truth to power, have challenged their loyalty, have put their sanity to the test, have labelled them as crazy or angry people.

So why blow the whistle?

Whistleblowers are loyal to their organization and not assumably to their leaders. When the leaders betray the values and the integrity of the organization, whistleblowers come forth and are ready to denounce publicly any signs of foul-play.

Is there an appropriate time for whistleblowing or for speaking truth to power?

The time is right when one is mature enough to objectively analyze the situation at hand and is virtuous enough to be able to temper his or her anger.

To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman, click here.

Review

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Speaking truth to power is perfect for leaders who are looking to understand what transparency is all about and are starting to implement it in their organization.

In Speaking truth to power, James O’Toole makes us realize how far this issue goes back, how much human nature is to blame for a lack of transparency and why a step has not been taken to generally encourage transparency, even though success, effectiveness and trust should be incentives for corporations.

In reality, speaking from personal experience, most candid, virtuous and conscientious people do not climb the career ladder in corporations and sojourn at the bottom until they learn to moderate their opinion. Otherwise, they are perceived by team members and leaders as being weak, insubordinate, insolent and disloyal.

I’ve seen many straightforward people being exemplarily managed out of corporations while leaders kept asking their employees to be transparent and while those who did the leader’s dirty deed were promoted. As a result, it created a toxic and unsafe environment where no one would speak up (not even HR) to the wrongdoings of management.

If candid people are not able to sugarcoat their opinion, they end up whistleblowing or leaving the organization. And so, I did.

Favorite quote(s)

In a recent scientific survey of a cross-section of American workers, over two-thirds report having personally witnessed unethical behavior on the job, but only about a third of those say they reported what they observed to their supervisors. The reasons given for their reticence range from fear of retaliation to the belief that management would not act on the information appropriately.

In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain.

Ratings 4/5

Author

James O’Toole

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Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 1)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman.

Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman

Creating a culture of candor, by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and Patricia Ward Biederman, is the first essay from Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. It reveals the effects of transparency and lack thereof in organizations. Transparency is defined as “the degree to which information flows freely within an organization, among managers and employees, and outward to stakeholders.”

This essay also describes ways to implement a culture of candor and stresses the fact that the rise of digital technologies made it almost impossible for organizations to keep secrets or remain opaque.

Transparency is a choice to make that brings success, additional clarity and instills trust. However, most companies don’t chose candor and openness: true transparency is hard, as much as true honesty is.

Leaders find it hard to be transparent:

  • In today’s world, the race to become number 1 brings leaders to overlook any wrongdoings or any existing flaws.
  • Another reason is that leaders need to make an immediate decision and look decisive. Therefore, leaders tend to dismiss information.
  • Knowledge is power and by virtue of human nature, most people, leaders included, enjoy hoarding information to feel powerful and superior.

Followers find it hard to be transparent:

  • Followers do not directly transfer raw internal information to the leader(s). The raw information is limitedly conveyed, colored and sugar-coated.
  • Followers think of leaders as demigods: they admire them and praise them. This attitude prevents followers from criticizing their leaders or speaking the awkward truth to them.

When there is no transparency, whistleblowers, loyal or not, patriotic or not, reveal the truth at the peril of their life because they believe that the organization’s secrets is too unscrupulous to keep and that the organization’s values no longer align with theirs. Whistleblowers put their lives at risk, are often shunned, demoted for speaking the truth. With the development of internet, secrecy is almost impossible and whistleblowers are no longer at risk and can reveal secrets anonymously. Blogs have become an unstoppable force, capable of damaging big and perennial corporations, institutions and individuals, of economically boycotting companies. Thankfully, blogs have protected and enabled whistleblowers.

How to create a culture of candor?

In order to implement a culture if candor, followers, on one hand, must feel free to speak up and to speak openly. On the other hand, leaders must value the truth, welcome unpleasant information and reward such openness.

  • Leaders must combat transparency by demanding feedback from their team and listening to the feedback.
  • Leaders must not to be overconfident about their own leadership capabilities.
  • Leaders must treat the follower’s ideas with importance and take counsel from the follower. Leaders must seek information at all level of chain.
  • Leaders should be allowed to be prudent and to take their time in order to make a decision.
  • Internal information flow must be treated as importantly as the information coming in and out of the organization.
  • Transparency should be mechanized by installing whistleblower software (EthicsPoint and Global Compliance Services for example) to enable employees to report anonymously any wrongdoings and to alert to any problems.
  • Whistleblowers should not be ostracized for speaking up.

Bennis, Goleman and Biederman finally compare organizations secrets to the dark secrets kept by family members. In families as in organizations, the lack of transparency introduces toxic secrets that are unfortunately well kept. These secrets tightly bond employees, which make it hard for a member to come forth by fear of being expelled, punished, by fear of threatening or destroying an entire organization. Furthermore, these employees take pride in belonging to such a tight-knit organization, leading to feelings of superiority and to group-thinking.

Group-thinking is defined as the “subsequent congressional investigation made an explicit diagnosis of groupthink—a process in which unfounded assumptions drive a plan of action and contradictory information is suppressed, along with any doubts about the assumptions themselves”. Although group thinking brings in cohesiveness, it allows only one pattern of thinking and generally leads to one unique bad decision.

Review

images-31.jpg.jpegCreating a culture of candor, by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and Patricia Ward Biederman is a very interesting and well written essay. It provides us with pertinent examples, gives rise to contemporaneous observations and administers great advice for effectively creating a culture of candor.

While I was reading this essay, the Volkswagen scandal kept coming to mind in 2015 where the performance results of 11 millions cars worldwide where altered to admit a low carbon-dioxide emission levels. In the race to success, Volkswagen has not been candid with the public or to the Environmental Protection Agency.

This essay still highlights many current issues where numerous ethical issues present in modern corporations. It was surprising to see, even with the rise of digital technologies, how many corporations, organizations and institutions remain opaque.

Favorite quote(s)

In idea-driven organizations—and which are not these days?—genuine, collegial Leaders collaboration leads to better morale, a greater likelihood of creativity, and greater candor and transparency.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Warren Bennis

Patricia Ward Biederman

Daniel Goleman

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