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  • Mitchell York

Leaders with Potty Mouth

I started listening to the audiobook version of Radical Candor by Kim Scott, based on a client's recommendation. It's about nine hours long. I made it through around three hours. I loved the basic concept: if you truly care about the people in your organization, you can find the right way to communicate with startling directness. Scott has some great anecdotes, like when she reported to Sheryl Sandberg at Google. Scott gave a big presentation and afterwards Sandberg took her aside to tell her how exceptional it was. She also mentioned that Scott said "um" a lot. Scott waved off the observation. Sandberg offered to help her find a speech coach to correct the verbal tic. Another shrug. Finally Sandberg told her that saying "um" as often as she did made her sound dumb. That did the trick. She cared first, offered help and only then took out the two-by-four. She cared before she criticized. Great story, great advice. Scott also came up with a powerful visual for the right and wrong way to think about being radically candid:

Now, here's why I didn't finish the audiobook. How many times do I have to hear someone say asshole, shit, dumbass and other language like that before I turn the channel. The answer: about three hours. That's why I can only listen to about one in 20 videos that Gary Vaynerchuk posts. Brilliant guy, something to say, and yet.... Of course, he's Gary Vaynerchuk, she's Kim Scott, and I'm me.

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