#BookReview 1: 4 Big Takeaways from Radical Candor

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, James & Logan share 2 big takeaways they each took from reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott.

They include:

  1. 1 big idea is easy to copy, but 1,000 little ones are impossible to replicate.

  2. How to have effective career conversations.

  3. The power of quick, candid feedback.

  4. Staff meeting structure that makes better use of everyone's time.


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Are you trying to establish your brand as a thought leader? Start a PODCAST, invite industry experts to be guests on your show and watch your brand become the prime resource for decision makers in your industry. Learn more at sweetphish MEDIACOM. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vanner, truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing betb companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the cohosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well, maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BEDB growth show. My name is James Carberry. I'm here with Logan, Lyles Logan. How you doing it a man? I'm doing fantastic, man. How are you? I am wonderful. So, Logan, this is a brand new series force. We been adding a lot of series to BB growth. We added behind the curtains originally, where where you and I talk about the behind the scenes of the business and how we're growing, what we're learning. We're just experiencing some phenomenal growth right now, honestly in large part because of you, and so we are peeling back the curtain on what it is, what it's like to operationalize a business that's growing really quickly, and a bunch of other elements of that. We've also got a series that we're doing on content based networking that will be releasing soon. We've got a new series called how to podcast in addition to the interviews that we're doing with VP's of...

...marketing and CMOS. But this series I'm actually really excited about because we do a monthly book club with our team and every month we're reading a book and just have this idea like hey, if we're already talking through this book, like taking pretty good notes on these books, let's just do a book review series for BB Growth and have you and I talked through what we're learning from these books? So this is the first episode of Our Book Review Series and we're going to be talking about a book called radical candor by Kim Scott. I honestly thought that I was able to implement more from this book than probably the last twenty five books I've read, maybe thirty books I've read. It was very like kind of slow at the beginning. I think she repeated a lot of concepts more than she needed to at the very beginning. But the back half of the book, to me, I just felt like I was taking so many notes, like the note in my iphone. You could just like scroll for days because there's so much good stuff they're so I want to dive in and do this review. Logan, what were your kind of overall thoughts and then we'll dive into your first kind of big takeaway. Yeah, so I'm really glad that we dug into this book. It had been recommended to me a couple different times, I think right on this show Andrea Kale, the CMO of upserve, had recommended it to me when she was talking about the process of taking over a new team and building out a marketing team in a new CMO role, and I love this idea of you know, the Crox of the book is this framework of, you know, caring personally and challenging directly, and I think we all struggle with either one of those. I definitely know where I follow in the spectrum. So that was and how that can help with communication. I think it has a lot of implications both professionally as you build the team and you develop a culture of productive communication. But I was taken notes, man, just thinking about, you know, my inner personal communications, my relationship with my wife, all sorts of things. So I can't recommend this book enough. I love it. I love it. So, Sologan, let's let's dive into your your first kind...

...of big takeaway from the book. Give it to us. Yeah, so the author talks at one point about developing a culture of innovation and I like how she talked about different cultures. You know, a lot of people talk about great culture, great culture. Well, what's really different? It seems like, you know, good culture is just good culture. I like how she drew some lines in the sand of this is what this was like at Google and this is what this was like at Apple, because there were some very distinct differences. But one of the things that she hit on a lot when it came to culture was how do you develop a culture of innovation where good ideas don't die because new ideas are fragile. She touched on that little bit. But at the same time, something you and I have talked about is, you know, sometimes there's not enough time as it correlates to the number of good ideas, especially when you have a lot of creative, smart people on your team, like I think we do here. And so how do you create a culture where good ideas don't die because people don't accept them and gravitate towards them or there's not enough time to implement? And one of the things she touched on there that has been stuck in my head for weeks now is one big idea is easy to copy, but a thousand little ideas are nearly impossible to replicate. And over the last ninety days, you know, as you've mentioned before, we've been growing a lot andrew has come on to really own the operation side of our business and one of the things he's done is help us with this methodology in Trello to keep a backlog of projects and ideas that we want to execute on so that they don't get lost and then to move those through systematically. And as I think about that, those little ideas and innovations and creative tweaks to our processes, I think are going to be really crucial in our continued growth because if we can consistently innovate,...

...consistently bring new ideas to the way that we interact with our customers and the how of what we do in our business, I think those can be your competitive edge as much as what your product is or and who your team maybe. Yeah, yeah, I totally agree, man. I think the system that Andrew is implemented giving us a place to store ideas and have a backlog, of visual backlog and Trello, knowing that when we have a great idea, our process now is okay, put it in your backlog and we're going to, you know, prioritize it accordingly. Where I've seen a lot of cultures where it's like every good idea there's this like rush around trying to make it happen immediately, when in reality it's like, well, we had four good ideas yesterday and twenty ideas last month that we still have an executed on. So when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. And I think having a backlog where you can store those ideas and shares that they don't go away, so you can actually execute on those one thousand small ideas. It just will take probably a little bit more time than what you're thinking. But you're so dead on, man, that one idea is easy to copy, but a thousand small ones. These process changes, were making different go to market ideas. We're having partnership ideas that were working on and developing. It is going to make us a business that is really hard to just copy and really honestly hard to compete with because we are implementing these small ideas in a really efficient way. My biggest takeaway from this logan was these career conversations that they talked about in the book, and so you alluded to her. Two big points of the book are you've got a care personally and you want to challenge directly. But on the care personally stuff, she actually gave a really good framework for how do you actually do that? Like how do you care personally for someone? And the way they explained it is you go through. She's got a lot of structures in here for how do you structure one on ones, and that was actually in took so many notes on the section...

...about one on one's. I won't talk about that in this episode. You should read the book, but as part of that, you know, she talks about the the need to have consistent weekly meetings with your team. If you've got more than, I think, twenty direct reports you should have you should be doing meetings every other week, but for the most part trying to have consistent weekly meetings with everyone on your team and in those consistent weekly meetings she says that you should do what she calls these this cadence of three career conversations. The first conversation is totally focused. These are, you know, fifty minutes to an hour and they're totally focused on. In this first conversation, the manager learning their direct reports story. So, you know, opening up with a you know, simple question like, you know, starting with kindergarten, tell me about your life, and then focus on the changes that people had made and why they'd made those changes, because their values often get revealed in moments of change, and so I just thought that was a really really powerful, like practical way to extract like what motivates people. And so if you're if you're hearing someone share a story about their life and you're looking for those moments of change, like when what made them go to the college that they went to? Why did they, you know, drop out of college? Why did they change jobs? They're they went through a divorce. If they're comfortable talking about that, you know you're hearing. You're hearing what caused that change, and then you're picking up on key motivators like maybe financial independence as a motivator, seeing tangible results of your work, being a part of a team, personal growth, like you're looking for these motivators and that equips you as a leader in a really, really powerful way. The second conversation she talked about when you understand what motivates someone like from that first conversation, then you can discover their dreams. And so this whole next conversation is about dream discovery. And so she says to start the conversation by asking them...

...what do you want the pinnacle of your career? To look like and have them share three to five different dreams of the future. She has a framework for how they can document those. But I thought that again, that conversation is so powerful because now you understand what motivates them. You're having them share their dreams. And then the third conversation is where kind of the rubber meets the road, and checually wants you to put together an eighteen months plan. And so you're asking, you're basically putting like rubber to the road and helping develop the skill sets in your direct reports that they need to develop so that they can actually achieve the dreams that they are wanting to achieve. So I loved, loved, loved the career conversation sequence. I think that part alone is what is worth reading the book. You know, three sequential conversations that you're having, you know, in place of your oneonone over a six week period of time. Maybe doing backtoback, maybe you don't, but I love that part, man. Yeah, and I love the part there of having someone think through three to five different scenarios. Sometimes you put someone on the spot in you know, give me your career aspirations. What's your dream for this next, you know, eighteen months or to the pinnacle of your career. But very practical way to eliminate because what if someone wants to say, well, it's this but it doesn't involve this company. But it gives them a way to say, okay, I've got multiple ways that I could see my future and I have kind of a safe space to share multiple versions that I kind of envision for myself. Yeah, I love that. All right. So what's your second big takeaway logan from from radical candor? Yeah, so, as we've talked about a little bit, she gives this framework of a grid of, you know, an x access left to right, of challenging directly and an up and down axis of caring personally. And I don't have a problem caring personally and showing that, at least I don't think I'm...

...going to not going to say I'm perfect at it, but I definitely know that I struggle more with challenging directly and, as you mentioned, in the kind of the first third of the book, I guess you know, there are a lot of things that are repeated, a lot of things that are said kind of in different ways, but it opens up with a story about not giving candid feedback to one of her direct reports at a moment where there was a tipping point where she could either tell him that his work needed to improve or she could say, yeah, it's good enough and I'll help you and, you know, avoid challenging this person directly for whatever reason. And that just really hit home with me because I'd actually been in a situation that played out very similarly to the story she explains with, you know, the person she calls Bob, names changed, obviously for confidentiality, but that story of Bob Really hit home with me and and one of the things that she touched on later in the book is to make sure that you give yourself the opportunity to give constructive criticism. Is Don't store it up, don't hold it and wait for those monthly review meetings or those annual performance reviews, because it's harder emotionally, it's less effective and it's actually less efficient. And so one of the things she recommends is developing a mindset and a culture of quick, candid feedback in five to fifteen minute conversations, between meetings, between calls, if you're a remote team, in ways that you can just quickly give candid feedback and not store it up because one it's fresh in your mind and it's fresh in the person's mind that you're giving the feedback to and you don't have to recall what was the situation, what did I not like about it, what has already been said, and then you also, you know, storing it up, at least for me and I know you've you've shared kind of being the same way. Holding that criticism back also kind of puts your stomach and knots anticipating how are they going to react, and it almost puts you...

...in a worse position to deliver that candid feedback because now you're very self conscious as opposed to just delivering it candidly to someone that knows you care personally. So that's been something else that's been sticking in my mind is how do I continue to do that in my relationships with people on the team here at sweet fish and in my personal life as well. So, like I said, I think this book has both professional and personal implications in this was definitely one of them. I think she I remember her saying that you can actually do you know you had mentioned five to fifteen minutes, but she, I think I remember saying at one point you could actually do this in less than three minutes, and that, to me, is we stood out. If is and you can do this so quickly, like you don't you don't need to save it up for your next one on one or your next, you know, all hands meeting, like just get it out now. I send an email like that today that I was not wanting to send, but I thought, you know what, I'm just going to send it because I struggle with being direct and not holding these things in, and so I'm really trying to like practice that and it's just it's so relieving. The last one that we're going to talk about, so the fourth, fourth take away. My second takeaway is the staff meeting framework that she shares in this book. This to me, I mean we've already implemented this Logan. I think you can speak to how effective and efficient it is. But she basically says that an effective staff meeting has three goals. One, you want to review how things have gone the previous week too, you want to allow people to share important updates and three, to force the team to clarify the most important decisions and debates for the coming week. And so she makes she makes it clear that you need to have separate debate and decision meetings, which I thought was another of standalone really a good point, but I won't I won't dive into that specifically. But she goes on to kind of outline what an effective agenda is in a staff meeting. And so just for the first twenty minutes of the meeting...

...you want to be reviewing key metrics. So obviously every person in that meeting. So for us it's our leadership team meeting. Everybody has metrics that they own and every week we open up the meeting by talking through what went well that week and why, what didn't go well and why, and it's all related to each of the the respective people's key metrics. And then she said next you want to listen, and this is actually interesting because you're putting updates into a shared document and you're doing this for fifteen minutes and you would think like oh well, you're on the call, wouldn't you be talking? But she suggests that it's actually much more efficient to just have a, you know, kind of Google doc or a shared doc and have everyone list their updates. And we actually played some spotify music while we're doing that kind of awkward, but it was so effective. Like I felt like, you know, for the first I think seven minutes we wrote out our updates and then for the next seven minutes we read through everybody's updates and then we just at the bottom of the dock we just, you know, said done next to our name whenever we were done, and we knew like okay, we saved a couple minutes there. Everybody's done reviewing everything. And then if you're like, Oh man, I need to catch up with Logan about this and you know it's going to be a longer conversation, you could send a slack message or an email to set up, you know, another call or to clarify with him via email. But using that time together very efficiently. If you think that, you know asking the question is going to be beneficial to the group, use that time there to do it. But I don't think we had any sort of dialog around it and we were we all walked away after fifteen minutes being completely updated on what was going on in everybody else's world. So that listen component. So that second so the first twenty minutes was reviewing key metrics. The second one, the second block of time is listening, fifteen minutes, hearing updates, and then you've got the last really the last twenty five minutes, twenty five to thirty minutes. What is what she says, is to clarify, so identifying key decisions and debates, and so she talks...

...about needing to identify owners for each decision and debate and then, you know, having an agenda of what those items are going to be prior to coming into the call and having everyone kind of add their own like hey, we need to make sure to touch on this or we need to touch on this. And I just found I think we went like a little bit over. We went four or five minutes over, but we, with a team of six people, were all super creative, we're all talkative. The fact that we could get that much productivity done and an hour, I just thought was mind boggling to me based on other meetings that up. Yeah, the difference there was just, as you said, mind boggling. It was to me as well, like especially that listen component. Like you know, there's a lot of things that when each person okay, you have the floor to share your updates and and update everyone, it actually just it went so much quicker for everyone to type out their notes. But I we still had time where we were talking at the beginning and the end of the meeting, so I didn't feel like it was you know, we totally eliminated the human component, but we took the pieces where, okay, people need to know about this, this, this and this, and now I know what's going on with the other five members of the leadership team very, very quickly and the spotify music took over the the awkward silence. So it was a win win. Love Awesome Man. So I really like this. I think this is going to be fun. I know at least be doing it once a month, because we're doing exactly one, but we might, we might do more. I tend to read around two books a month and so I might jump on and do these more. But hopefully this has been a fun series for you. If you haven't already left a review of BB growth and you get a ton of value from the show, we would really love a review and apple podcasts. It just helps us a ton get more exposure. So do that and then connect with Logan and I and Linkedin. If you know James Carberry, car bea ry, Logan Lyles, ly l EES and LLEA, eliss mother. You got yeah, so connect with us. BEEN GETTING A lot...

...of connection requests from listeners lately and it warms my soul every time I hear from you guys. So up, please reach out. We love you to ABS late. Becoming a thought leader doesn't just happen. If you want to build a strong personal brand and extend your reach online and offline, you need a plan. Want help developing yours. CHECK OUT IMPACT Summit. This one day event is bringing together best selling authors, professional athletes, influential CEOS and emerging entrepreneurs, all for one purpose, to equip you to lead, influence and inspire. Whether you're looking to build a lasting legacy with your business or extend the reach of your brand. Impact Summit speakers will share inspiring stories and practical lessons to help you on your way. Did we mention a session on launching and growing a podcast? You guessed it. You'll hear from sweet fish media's own James carberry during that session. You won't want to miss all of these influencers and leaders coming together in Salt Lake City on October thirteen. Ready to learn more? Check out influencer INC dot cool impact summit be tob growth. Listeners can get fifteen percent off the price of their tickets for this event by using the Promo Code Sweet Fish. Sweet Fish, so use that code, get your tickets today and get ready to grow your brand and your influence at Impact Summit two thousand and Eighteen.

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