Abridged summary from the publisher: Radical Candor is simple, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring, it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging, it’s ruinous empathy. When you do neither, it’s manipulative insincerity.

Below are some bullets that really stood out to me:

  • Rock Stars and superstars – Each person at your company can be either of these at any given time. Understand where they are and help support them accordingly.
  • Relationships can drive you forward in your goals, not power
  • Care personally and challenge directly
  • Don’t tell things like, “it’s just business,” or “let’s be professional here” or “don’t take it personally”
  • Bring your whole self to work without expecting work to eat into your life
  • Be more concerned with getting to the right answer than with being right
  • Radical candor is not about being mean, but rather about being clear
  • Don’t sandwich your feedback. It will most likely come off as fake
  • Steep growth doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go into management. That should only happen for those who are right for it
  • Only 5% of people have a vocation. That confuses the rest of us
  • Be a partner with your team. Not an absentee manager or micromanager.
  • Growth should be separate from performance
  • Give appropriate rewards and recognition to your to rock stars.
  • Don’t squash your all-stars. Let them fly. Someday you might work for them
  • The ideal: people nominate themselves for promotion and a committee decides. Not your boss. Google does this.
  • Don’t conflate management and growth. Einstein didn’t go into management. Acknowledge growth trajectory without management or leadership
  • Google has individual career paths that are more prestigious that the management path
  • Management should not be the only path to higher compensation
  • Everyone can be exceptional somewhere. At your company or somewhere else.
  • The book has an entire section on the ways to let someone go and how important it is to get that right
  • Having an off quarter – Recognize when you’re just off. It’s not a reflection of your career, and can be turned around.
  • Getting to Mars. Understand that there’s no one person who can grasp all that it would take, it requires the joint knowledge of a team
  • Steve jobs always (ultimately) got it right
  • When building a ship: don’t drum up tasks for your team such as: collecting wood. Build a vision for getting out onto the sea
  • Build a culture of fixing lots of little ideas
  • In a debate argue each other’s side
  • Expecting people to get behind decision without being involved is ridiculous unless you try explaining or persuading
  • Think of your listeners’ emotions when persuading
  • Essence of leadership is not getting overwhelmed by circumstances
  • Can’t give a d* about others if you don’t give a d* about yourself
  • If you have to use someone else’s name or authority to get your point across, then there’s little merit to the point. If you believe show it
  • The happiness project: hugging
  • Just say that you’re having a sy day, not because of you
  • Admit emotions. Don’t say about not making personal.
  • Listen to criticism with an intent to understand. Not respond!
  • Reward criticism and followup to show you’re trying to get more of it. Find something to agree with and followup! Or disagree clearly
  • Use lots of details with praise and criticism
  • Criticize yourself publicly if you’re boss. Everyone else privately
  • Be just as careful with your public praise as you would with private criticism. Public praise, when not grounded in the correct details, can throw the person under the bus
  • Ask your team, “is there anything I could do or stop doing to make it easier to work for me?”
  • Praise (carefully) in public, criticize in private. Note: public debates, providing factual information to validate information, etc is ok. Just be very specific about any public feedback you’re giving
  • Fundamental attribution error
  • Tell a team member, “that’s wrong”, not “you’re wrong”
  • “Don’t take it personally” worse than useless
  • Listen, challenge, commit
  • Kill the angel in the office
  • Having a flat organization is a myth. Think of ways for all to feel free to speak truth to power. Have skip level meetings
  • Have a long-term vision and 18 month plan
  • What do you want the pinnacle of your creating to look like
  • Difference between praises and thank yous
  • Be careful with publicizing promotions
  • Give gurus the chance to teach classes internally
  • Great chart on micromanagement versus partnership, etc.
  • Your best meeting is the 1-1. Think of it as an opportunity to get to know people better. There were some great 1-1 questions
  • New ideas are fragile **
  • Block time to think
  • Set up meetings to debate. But NOT decide, make those separate meetings
  • Foster debate! Ask debaters to switch roles
  • The sole product of a debate should be a clear summary, with recommendation to keep debating or make decision
  • Kanban. Make all work transparent
  • Culture eats strategy for lunch. Strong culture is self replicating
  • Becoming a boss is like getting arrested. Everything you say or do can and will be used against you
  • Is your culture ask for forgiveness vs permission, or measure twice cut once? Both can be great, just know which you’re in
  • Have an onboarding folder for new hires
  • Daily: solicit guidance and criticism
  • Must adjust radical candor for relationships or culture
  • A fundamental building block of management: getting and giving guidance
  • Enforce no backstabbing
  • Encourage peer radical candor; peer guidance