Radical Candor By Kim Scott - Audible Notes


These are my personal notes from the audible version of Kim’s Scott’s book Radical Candor. This was a particularly fun read/listen having first met Kim when she joined the Adsense team in 2004. Kim was always an impressive and well respected leader at Google and it was great to hear her insights from years of managing high performance teams at Google and beyond organized into a digestible format.

Kim’s book Radical Candor is a great combinations of several of her passions and talents a few of which include leadership, management, people and writing. I highly recommend this book for all those that want to be a better manager, leader, boss, whatever and actually care about their people.

If you like these notes I highly recommend supporting Kim’s work and purchasing Radical Candor: How To Be A Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity on Audible.

One fun Radical Candor moment I had with Kim was when she was coaching me in 2004 after launching Google’s first AdSense Help site. As I tend to do sometimes in life, it turns out that I’d ruffled a few feathers in my path to get that help center launched. When I quoted Colin Powell and said “Being a great leader means sometimes pissing people off” she replied with “You’re not Colin Powell” … true dat Kim! That is some Radical Candor and I definitely am not! :)

Audible Book Notes

Chapter 1 - Intro

Simply a quick intro

Chapter 2


“You can draw a straight line from lack of guidance to a dysfunctional team that gets poor results.”


“A leader at Apple pointed out to me that all teams need stability as well as growth to function properly. Nothing works well if everyone is gunning for the next promotion.”

“Google’s bias for people on a steep growth trajectory was in part a reaction to the norm at traditional companies that tend to clip the wings of people who crave rapid advancement.”


“[at Google] … the manager’s roles is mostly to stay out of the way, sometimes to help, but never to interfere too much.”

“At Apple, as at Google, a boss’s ability to achieve results had a lot more to do with listening and seeking to understand, than it did with telling people what to do. More to do with debating the undirecting. More to do with pushing people to decide than with being the decider. More to do with persuading, than with giving orders. More to do with learning, than with knowing.”

Your Relationships Are Core To Your Job


“The relationships you have with the hand full of people that report directly to you will have an enormous impact on the results your team achieves.”

“The relationships you have with your direct reports will impact the relationship they have with their direct reports.”

“... at the very heart at being a good boss, at Apple, or Google, or anywhere else on earth is a good relationship. The term I found that best describes this relationship is Radical Candor.”

Chapter 3

Goes over the motivation for the book and structure.

Chapter 4

Part 1: A New Management Philosophy

Chapter 1: Build Radically Candid Relationships: Bringing Your Whole Self To Work


How To Be A Good Boss

Kim discusses the terms management, leadership & boss.

“Richard Tedlow’s biography of Andy Grove …. asserts that management and leaderships are like forehand and backhand. You have to be good at both to win.”

“Ultimately bosses are responsible for results. They achieve these results, not by doing all the work themselves, but by guiding the people on their team.”

“Bosses guide a team to achieve results.”

Guidance, Team Building & Results



“Guidance is often called feedback.”

Team Building

“Building a cohesive team means figuring out the right people for the roles. Hiring, firing, promoting.”


“Guidance, Team & Results. These are the responsibilities of any boss.”

Relationships, Not Power, Drive You Forward

Building a strong relationship with the people you manage is important to:

- To create a culture of guidance, praise & criticism that will keep everyone moving in the right direction.

- To understand what motivates each person on your team well enough to avoid burnout or boredom.

- To driver results collaboratively.

“Your ability to build trusting human connections with the people that report directly to you will determine the quality of everything that follows.”


Care PersonallyHard Feedback / Challenge Directly

Care Personally

“Part of the reason why people fail to care personally is the injunction to keep it professional.”

“Only when you actually care about the whole person with your whole self, can you build a relationship.”