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“I didn’t say Steve is always right. I said he always gets it right.” And so Andy Grove, Intel’s long time CEO, began to explain his comment about Steve Jobs to Kim Scott. This story appears in Scott’s excellent book Radical Candor: Be A Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.
Grove’s comment that set off this dialogue was “Fucking Steve always gets it right.”
In the book, Scott shares many wonderful personal stories of the lessons she learned from a who’s who of the tech and other worlds. Many of the lessons came from advice she received on being a boss while she was a senior executive in several companies including Google and Apple. These lessons and experience have led her most recently to found Candor, Inc, and to become one of the world’s foremost experts and coaches on successful leadership.
In an earlier missive, Volleyball Leadership, I admonished leaders not to fall for every new trend in the latest business bestseller. But this is different. It’s not a faddish way of leading. It’s the story of Scott’s journey and a guide to enable you to follow in her footsteps. One of the most important steps on this path is learning how to be open and honest within a framework of: Care Personally and Challenge Directly
A client gave me the book with the admonishment to read it right away. Since I’m on his board and am watching how he uses what he learned from the book to skillfully build a growing company, I read it right away. And am glad I did.
I’m often guiding client leadership teams through the EOS process for improving their company functioning and results. At the heart of EOS is being open and honest and operating with crystal clarity, always. Even before I knew what it is called, radical candor has been and continues to be a major part of the process. I’m now giving copies of Radical Candor to all my clients. Incorporating Scott’s simple tips will make their results even better.
And if you haven’t realized it yet, yes, I am saying you too should get a copy today and read it right away. You’ll recognize yourself in the stories–and the management mistakes you’ve made–and be energized to improve and become a better boss.
Here’s the rest of the quote that began this missive. “Like anyone, he is wrong sometimes, but he insists, and not gently either, that people tell him when he’s wrong, so he always gets it right in the end.” For more wisdom like this get a copy of Radical Candor…and learn from it.