Getting to the Heart of Radical Candor

How can you care personally and challenge directly? Author Kim Scott has changed the landscape for management and expanding how to communicate internally and externally with your community. In this fireside chat, she and Ryan Smith dive into how to put radical candor to work for you. Kim Scott is the author of the NYT and WSJ bestseller Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing your Humanity. Kim led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick teams at Google and then joined Apple University to develop and teach “Managing at Apple.” Kim has been a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other tech companies, and is the Co-Founder of Radical Candor LLC.

Ryan Smith co-founded Qualtrics in 2002 with the goal of making sophisticated research simple. He was named to Fortune’s 2016 40 Under 40, a list of the most powerful, influential, and successful young people in business, and was listed as one of Forbes’ “America’s Most Promising CEOs Under 35” in 2013. Ryan is a graduate of Brigham Young University.

Watch Kim and Ryan’s Talk Here!

You can find all the CMX Summit 2019 talks here, and get ready to CMX & Chill.

This post is a high level outline created by the CMX Community in the CMX Summit 2019 Collaborative Notes

Notes and Quotes:

Kim: At the core of Radical Candor, Care personally at the same time you challenge directly. This is on a spectrum → one end is a**hole quadrant and other end is manipulation.

Ryan: With every hire you make, culture changes incrementally. “It took about 10 years before the word “culture” even came up but when it did we started to focus on it.”

Sought to create a total meritocracy and used radical candor to help get there.

“People can deal with change better than uncertainty”

Building Relationships

Kim: “Radical candor should feel like brushing and flossing, and not like a root canal.”
Impromptu two min conversations that happen all day long.

Goal of radical candor is for people to enjoy their work and their coworkers.

What can you do if you don’t have a boss like Ryan who is actively looking for feedback?

  • Start by soliciting feedback
  • Focus on the good stuff too – it’s not
    just criticism; also focus on praise. We end up forgetting what we like about our coworkers if we only focus on the stuff that annoys us
  • Ask permission – is it okay if I share some feedback? May I be radically candid with you? This is about building trust quickly

Ryan: “We spent a day together offsite at Stanford to learn together. The before and after of that day was so amazing. We try to have experiences together and learn together to avoid fighting for priorities and budget and all this “shit”. If there is nothing but a virtual bond between people it will be easily disrupted. When you have that connection and experiences together we have found our longest relationships succeed. We apply that same concept to our customer base.”

Kim: “Relationships don’t scale. None of us have more than a small number of real relationships. But culture does scale. When relationships are strong, that scales. Radical candor is about putting phone away, looking in the eye, and talking. It’s about listening as much about talking. Helping people communicate in a way that’s authentic and real.”

Telling the Story

Ryan: “If your customer base knows your style and the way you communicate, it’s amazing how if you don’t establish this, then someone else will establish it for you. If you think about moments where you feel a little proud, there is always a bit of adversity there. All of you are working on something… what story will you be able to tell after this? Over time, I’ve accumulated 19 years of stories.”

Kim: “It’s so hard to measure the value of community and yet we all value it more than things that are easier to measure.”

Ryan: “Two years ago, I went 2-3 Million OVER budget on what we were planning for our event. I’ll never forget one of our VCs – I made them come out to the summit in front row and after the first day they came to him and said “this [the event/conference] is what you should be doing. This is your jam.” The commonality was that they were present at the event.”

You’re building a way to get close to the customer without blasting 4 thousand emails. It’s much less spammy and you can do it scrappy. You don’t need 4 million to do something great!

Check out all the talks from CMX Summit 2019. Get ready to CMX & Chill.
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Beth McIntyre
Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our in-person community and connecting with members. When I’m not writing on the Bevy Blog, I’m writing about my global travels!