CTech Book Review: Being Honest With Yourself and Your Team


Lior Wilzynski is co-founder and CEO of GreenInvoice, an invoicing and business management service. She joined CTech to share a review of Kim Scott’s “Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean.”

Title: “Radical Franchise: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean”
Author: Kim Scott
Format: Audio book
Or: Other

The book talks about how to be an excellent manager and colleague. We need to build and cultivate relationships and care personally about being good bosses. To find what motivates your employee and take care of them personally. To challenge others in their job, to help your employees find meaning in what they do. Kim talks in her book about how to create the best conditions where people can do the best work in their careers and enjoy doing it.

People want success in their life, work, and relationships. As a manager, our mission is to find a way to motivate people, to guide them and to be guided. To be successful, you must care personally, build a relationship with your people. To encourage them to give advice (I, as a manager, also need feedback and to allow them to feel free to give it to me) and to receive advice. You must challenge your employees directly.

Praise in public and criticize in private. You need to be very clear about what’s wrong and what’s right. Kim writes in her book that criticizing your employees when they’re wrong isn’t just your job; it is your moral obligation. You need to tell people when you think they’re wrong or their work isn’t good enough.

Scott talks about the alternative when not using radical frankness:

  • Ruinous Empathy

  • Heinous aggression

  • Manipulative insincerity

If you don’t care personally, your criticism can be a heinous assault. If you’re a jerk, you can be manipulative. And if you find it difficult to criticize and you think you hurt your employee’s feelings, you must know that your management is ruinous empathy, and you will ruin your employee’s chances of being excellent in his job, and your empathy ruinous will harm your teamwork.

I learned that I have to be honest with myself and always tell my employees the truth about their work. You must always remember to criticize the work and not the person. Maybe you did a bad job, but that doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person.

I have to encourage all my team and my managers to be radically frank. This is the only way to help each other to strive for excellence. I have to make sure everyone on my team feels they can criticize their boss and me. I have to let them feel comfortable making a mistake and getting feedback and advice about it.

Who should read this book:

Anyone who manages people and is responsible for teams.

It’s not easy to criticize people; it’s always unpleasant. This book shows how destructive that unpleasantness can be, where it can lead, and how critical it is to tell the truth, but in the right way.


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