Kim Scott`s Radical Candor leadership principle

Kim Scott can look back at a successful leadership career in Silicon Valley. Not surprisingly, she can tell many stories of lessons learned. As many of us, Kim found herself being an empathetic leader. She struggled to care personally and challenge at the same time.

She coined the phrase “ruinous empathy” for the state of being an understanding leader who struggles to point out areas of underperformance. Personally I can really feel for her. Especially in industries where talent is hard to recruit and to retain we often focus too much on being nice and inclusive. Very quickly issues, which have been overseen to be nice, pile up and create significant problems. On the flipside, you will find bosses who lead with “obnoxious aggression” and completely lack any empathy for their teams. The third group of leaders Kim describes, fall into “manipulative insincerity” and are doomed to fail as well. In businesses such as Google and Apple you will find all groups of managers including those who push their teams so hard that they are risking to lose all humanity.

Clearly, there must be a way to be a kickass boss without losing that personal touch. According to Kim, great bosses are radically candid. To describe this concept very briefly: you can be very candid with your staff because you have such good relationships with them. Watch my review of this must read book here!