Radical Candor
Radical Candor

Episode 71 · 3 months ago

Radical Candor S4 Ep 12: Get Sh*t Done Step 6 — Implement Your Brilliant Idea


Once everyone is on board with your idea, it’s time for action, which brings us to step 6 of the Get Shit Done Wheel. On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast, Kim, Jason and Amy discuss the good, the bad and the ugly as it relates to the implementation of that decision you’ve just persuaded everyone to get behind. Listen to learn how to toggle between leading and implementing personally. You can't abandon the first for the second. You have to integrate the two.

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

If you become a conductor, you need to keep playing your instrument. If you become a sales manager, you need to keep going on sales calls yourself. If you manage a team of plumbers, fix some faucets.

Of course, you need to spend time listening to people in 1:1s, leading debates, and so on.

But you need to learn to toggle between leading and implementing personally. Don’t abandon the first for the second; integrate the two.

If you get too far away from the work your team is doing, you won’t understand their ideas well enough to help them clarify, to participate in debates, to know which decisions to push them to make, to teach them to be more persuasive.

The GSD wheel will grind to a halt if you don’t understand intimately the “stuff ” your team is trying to get done.

As the boss, part of your job is to take a lot of the “collaboration tax” on yourself so that your team can spend more time implementing. The responsibilities you have as a boss take up a tremendous amount of time.

One of the hardest things about being a boss is balancing these responsibilities with the work you need to do personally in your area of expertise. There are four things to know about how to get this balance right (see the steps in the tips below).

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. Don’t waste your team’s time. Allow space for people to get the work done by limiting low-value interactions and interruptions while also making yourself available to offer coaching and guidance as needed.
  2. Keep the dirt under your fingernails. Be a thought partner who thinks of themselves as someone who is alongside their employees listening, advising and helping versus someone who is above them or their work.
  3. Block time to implement. Put implementation time on your calendar and treat it as you would any other important meeting or task. Don’t allow people to appropriate your implementation time for something they think is more important.
  4. Fight meeting proliferation. Everybody hates the meeting that could have been an email. Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if it’s really necessary, and if it is — only include the people who are critical. Perhaps most important, don’t schedule a meeting over someone’s implementation time.    

Radical Candor Podcast Resources

Hello everybody, and welcome to the radical candor podcast. I'm Kim Scott, co founder of radical candor and just worth, and I'm Jason Rose off, CEO and Co founder of radical candor, and I'm Amy Sandler, your host for the radical candor podcast. On our last episode we talked about how to persuade others that the decision you've made is the right decision. Once everyone's on board, it's now time for action, and this brings us to step six of the get ship done wheel, which we've been covering in previous podcasts. So feel free to get up to speed, but if you're ready to get stuff done, this is our moment now. Another thing I want to remind you all is that we made a commitment to stop using unnecessarily violent language and we asked for your feedback to rename this step. We previously called it execute. Kim, do you want to share anything more about that? On the violent language piece, this came from some feedback that trier gave. She was at a dinner and she wrote a piece about this, where at the dinner business people were using sort of military metaphors the war room, and she said, as a veteran, it was really upsetting to hear this kind of language being used sort of in a way, sort of to glorify violence. And I've got another feedback. Someone else on twitter actually said that the language that I tend to use tends to be violent. I'm not very good at using non violent language and I really thought a lot about this and I'm trying to do better to use more precise metaphors. So when we say execute, we're not talking about obviously beheading. People were talking about implementing. We're talking about doing the actual work, and so we felt like implement would be a better word than execute. Yeah, I really appreciate that story. To be clear, triers Trier Bryant, your Co founder of just work, who does have a military background and can speak from personal experience on that. So we are really grateful to our listeners who shared with us your recommendations to replace the word execute and, as Kim said, the word implement came out as the resounding winner, and so today we're gonna be talking about the good, the bad the ugly when it comes to implementing the decision. You've just persuaded everyone to get behind and, Kim, one of the things you write a lot about. You talk a lot about is that as a boss, it's part of your job to take on the quote collaboration tax yourself, and the goal is so that your team can spend more time implementing. I thought it would be helpful for us to spend a few moments actually getting clear on what we mean by the word implementing. And so, Kim, on page one oh seven, this is in the second edition of the book. You write often and at that time you wrote execution, but we'll say often implementation is a solitary task. So what are the kinds of tasks that you're talking about here? The solitary tasks, versus maybe the collaborative tasks that you're saying, collaborative tasks that might pause a collaboration tax on folks. Yeah, so let me first back up for a minute when I talked about the collaboration tax. Often, as a manager you do take on a lot of the collaboration tax, but also part of your job is to make sure that everyone that it's being equitably distributed a collaboration tax, because everyone obviously in a group if they're going to collaborate, everybody has to contribute to the collaboration tax, one person can't pay at all. But Anyway, what I'm meant. I'll give you sort of a very specific example, because I think and analogies rather than definitions. But when I was at Google and I was managing the adsense online sales and operations team, a lot of the work that we did was, for example, answering questions from ad sense customers, and so answering those emails was a solitary task. It wasn't something that we did collaboratively, and we needed to make sure that everyone had enough time to answer those emails, to answer people's questions, and also enough time to figure out how to either make product changes so that those questions and problems wouldn't arise in the first place, or how to automate the answering of those questions. And so that was kind of the work. We called that the core job, and it was really important to me that I do that work myself, that I sort of keep the dirt under my fingernails, that I spend a certain amount of time every week answering question...

...not just meeting with people and telling other people how to answer the questions, but actually doing the work, because if I didn't do the work myself, then I wouldn't be able to understand the relevance of the ideas that people were having and to understand really why the problems that people were bringing up mattered. So it was also really important. It's tempting when you're a manager to sort of feel like everyone should be doing what you were doing. A big chunk of my time, a big part of my core job, was having one on one's sort of offering radical candor soliciting radical candor thinking about those things, not about sort of the structure of how we were going to operate as a team. But it was really important for me to remember that that was not other people's core job. That their core job, say, answer the emails. So that's what I mean. You needed to make sure that I wasn't expecting everyone to be in meetings with me all the time, because then they couldn't do their core job. So one example of that was we used to have a team meeting and all hands meeting once a week and as we matured, people thought do we really need to have this meeting once a week, or could we have it once a month instead? And at first this was sort of like Oh, we have to meet once a week. That was my perspective, uh, and then I realized that the team, if the team, wasn't getting as much out of that meeting that I needed to be willing to have it less often and to figure out more efficient ways to communicate with them. So that's an example of sort of not wasting my team's time. I loved the all hands meeting. As I'm talking, I'm having this thought about how this might apply to being back in the office. I think a lot of leaders want everybody to be back in the office because so much of their work is collaborative and it's easier for them to do their job if everybody is in the same place. But it may not be easier for the thousands of people who work for you, if you're the CEO, to all be in the same place and you need to really optimize for your team's time, not for your own convenience. I love you bringing that into the push for everyone to be together in the difference and role perhaps between the manager and the individual contributor. Jason, as you hear Kim share about her example in terms of the responding to emails, the more solitary tasks I'm curious when you look on your experience, did you have examples where folks that worked for you in fact the majority of their work was more collaborative versus sort of the solitary reply of emails? I'm curious what you think of that balance between solitary and collaborative work and if that can be extrapolated across the board. I would say that one of the most collaborative types of work is product management and design like product design like, those two types of work are highly collaborative, and not just with team members but also with clients or customers and other internal stakeholders. And so when I heard him say you want to make sure that the collaboration tax is sort of equitably distributed, I thought a lot about that and one of the things that we tried very hard to do when I was leading product at Conic Academy is actually give people treated as an opportunity. Managing the collaboration tax was was also an opportunity for growth because as you grow in your career, for people who are interested in management or leadership roles, dealing with that collaboration tax is actually a valuable skill to learn, and so we've created an opportunity to say, like this is a responsibility. So communicating the progress that a team is making towards a collaborative goal. That was a responsibility that could be shifted from person to person. Didn't always fall on the product manager to make those updates, and people were raising their hand to participate in that because they're like, well, I want to get a taste of what that's actually like to be responsible for a period of time of communicating these things. So I think that idea is really important because it does weigh you down and there is real work that a product manager might have to do. For example, they might have to organize and run a series of customer interviews. That might be part of the work that they have to do and if they're spending all their time on the collaboration tax, they actually don't have time for the task work that's in front of them. That's what immediately came to mind. I don't know if you can extrapolate that broadly, but I do think you can extrapolate the understanding that someone is paying a collaboration tax when you're doing collaborative work and if you're not sure who that is, that almost certainly means that it is not being accortably distributed. Yeah, I think that's exactly right. I mean to sort of push a little bit more on this, on the analogy of product management. So a lot of the people, all of the people who are answering the emails, would be experiencing, through the Lens of the...

...customer whose question they were answering, the pain that customers were occasionally they were customers who are writing to tell us how much they loved the product, but usually it was not phrase that we were getting. And so one of the things that I found was that the people on the team who were the most persuasive, who were the most verbose, tended to go to the product team or just go straight to the engineers and get that particular problem fixed. And the issue there was that that particular problem was not necessarily the most important problem. It was, I just happened to be the problem that the most verbal person on the team experience that day. And so one of the things that we tried to do too, and pretty soon the engineers and the product people didn't want to talk to us anymore because they were getting we were confusing them and not prioritizing the issues. But by bombarding them with. It was tyranny of the most verbose, and so we try to make sure that we were doing a better job prioritizing amongst ourselves the issues that we were seeing rather than sort of having this kind of one off inefficient communication. And it was frustrating for people because it was sort of it gave people a sense of power or whatever agency to be able to say, Oh, there's this problem, I can go get a fixed. Hurrah. Really it felt productive, but it actually could be counterproductive over time. So that was also part of making sure that we were honoring the time that the product team and the engineering team spent addressing problems by doing a little bit better job prioritizing them. And as you say that, it makes me think about I think a lot of people think engineering is a largely solitary task. Is a non collaborative task. So, like software development, people have this image of a person sitting in front of a computer and typing into it and that seems quite solitary when you peel back, when you open the curtain, though, like it's not, because in most companies that have a professional software development process there's something called Code Review. So at a minimum you're working with at least one other person who's like looking at your code and giving you feedback, direct feedback, on how well that code is going to work with the rest of the code that might sit around it. My counterpart and engineering and I developed the stink that we called the big board, and the big board was away for people to asynchronously update other interested parties about what they were learning on their sort of more solitary tasks, the progress they're making towards some shared objective. And we had this really interesting debate because we started out we had a weekly standing sort of status update type of meeting, and the purpose of that was not literally to say what you had done, but to raise awareness of things that other people might want to know about what you were doing, and engendered this like very heated debate because there were some people who found that irreplaceably valuable, like there were things that they found out in that meeting, and not not just managers but the other individual contributors found that irreplacably valuable, and other people were like, I'd be fine just like reading through the big board and seeing like what people's updates are, and I don't need that sort of synchronous time as a, you know, either a filtering mechanism or a way to elevate a particular message or something like that, and I don't think we ever came up with a super satisfying answer to this, but what I did learn was that there was another value which was not explicitly about the collaboration itself. There was a social value of people like being able to talk about their work. I do think that the collaboration tax sometimes there are other things that might be worth valuing or prioritizing, even though they may not be perfectly efficient, and so I think that's why the guidance that you offer like these different ways to make sure that you don't trip over yourself, like trip over your existing processes and make your team very inefficient. If you can do at least those things, then you create some space, I think, to consider the fact that maybe some of these things have additional value and even though they're not perfectly efficient, that may still be worthwhile. Yeah, I mean, obviously the reason that we're willing to play, to pay a collaboration tax is that there's a collaboration dividend and you want to make sure that you're investing something in the collaboration. But, more importantly, you want to focus not on the cost but on the benefit of collaboration, and I think that the one of the enormous benefits. I'm just back from vacation and we spent a lot of time while we were on vacation either sitting around in a circle on the beach talking or sitting on the porch, like staring out at the ocean and rocking chairs, talking, and there's a lot of benefit in that. I mean, it doesn't feel we were doing...

...anything incredibly productive, but on the other hand that is to me like, at a very basic human level, that's how we build relationships, is sitting around a circle talking or sitting, you know, sitting on the front porch, rocking and chairs, looking out and talking. Well, it's a good segue into the importance of some of what we've already talked about as a boss, building those one on one relationships and taking the time to get to know people so that when you do come to more sticky situations you understand what matters to them. So, Kim, if I hear you just the benefit of having some seemingly nonproductive time can actually pay some of the dividends of the collaboration text as well. Yeah, but I mean, if I was told I had to go to work and sit in a rocking chair, it would be pretty unhappy. So you need to make sure that exactly. It's kind of like how Jason lost his taste for coffee after only getting criticism every time he went for a cup of coffee with his loss. So, just to get back into the framework that you have for implementing you write, Kim, in radical candor, that one of the hardest things about being a boss is balancing the responsibilities as a boss with the work that you need to do personally in your area of expertise. You outlined four things you've learned about how to get this balance right. One was don't waste your team's time. Two is keep the dirt under your fingernails, and we've already spoken a little bit about this. But the third was to block time to implement and the fourth was to fight meeting proliferation. We're going to talk about these four steps, starting with not wasting your team's time, noting that not everyone wants to be on rocking chairs. So a recent article from McKenzie noted that most executives say they frequently find themselves spending way too much time on pointless interactions that drain their energy and produce information overload and low value. Interaction is defined as real time virtual interaction technology. We're talking things like Zoom and slack and teams, group Texting, we chat, WHATSAPP, etcetera. Valuable tools but also eat into time that could be used for what's described as important, creative and powerful activities. Again, this is from the McKinsey article. Put that in the show notes. There was also a study from the University of California Irvine finding it takes an average of twenty three minutes for people to get back on task after an interruption like a ping from slack. So, Jason, building on our conversation about the need for collaboration the solitary work that actually may be more collaborative than we might think. How do managers balance the real value of some of these technologically based collaboration tools with the need for solitary work? I want to say something quickly about the Mackenzie article, which is our excerpt. Does reasonable justice to what was actually included in the article, which I feel like it's quite incomplete in terms of like making a super valuable statement about the nature of collaborative work. And the reason why I think it's incomplete is there's this elevation of important, creative, powerful activities and the sort of diminishment of these sort of social interactions that is implied, and I don't know because I didn't the article didn't present in depth like how they were distinguishing between those activities. But, as we were just saying, there's there's value to both of these things and really what we're trying to do is find a balance between them as and so, as opposed to thinking of it as your goal is to minimize social interaction and maximize a loan work, your goal is to find the right balance between social, collaborative work and solitary work so that you get the most, the highest collaboration dividend that you can. I do find that the study from the University of California is some thing that I have heard and observed, especially in work that is highly complex and sort of non linear, meaning that, let's say you, let's use the email example, let's say eight percent of emails can be answered with a stock response because you've heard them so many times interrupting that work. It does not take twenty three minutes to get back on task. Right, right. The next one is just like a pattern matching exercise to figure out what the best responses. But that other emails that are like some complicated scenario that require to do some research or dig into the person's account and then like compare that. Talk to someone an engineering you know what I'm saying. That type of work. That's what takes twenty three minutes to get back on task when it gets interrupted, because you have to unload all of the context of that complex activity to deal with the interruption and then reload the context to make sure that you can actually get back on track. Now, obviously, the longer the interruption, more severe the Inter ouption, the harder it... to sort of regather that context. But I think it's important to recognize what we're talking about and we're going to talk about blocking time for implementation, but I think one of the toughest things to do is actually for teams to communicate how they are using their time and to create some boundaries for when certain interruptions are allowable versus not, and maybe, even more importantly, for ourselves, to build the self awareness to know when do I need to protect myself from interruption and how am I going to do that? Because I don't think there's any perfect system. So like, for example, on our sales and operations team, one of the things that we do when someone new joins is we set some expectations about hey, like how quickly are we expecting response? So, if I send you an email, when do I expect a response from you? Well, how about if I slack you, or how about if I text or call you? Like, how quickly am I looking for response in each of those situations, and I think that helped people know better how to manage those interruptions. I'm really curious when you were talking about the emails from Kim's example of we can recognize the pattern and then there's that that might have some more complexity. The Big Board story that you were sharing as the tool, like was that part of the intention around the big board was to sort of share those learning so that, okay, if I get this type of email, I can go to this board and see this type of response versus the more complex I'm just curious, like how you actually address some of that pattern matching? Yeah, so that was purely a collaboration communication tool. So our product team was a hundred and fifty people and there were a fifteen people working on different parts of the product and the big board. The goal specifically was to help people understand what those teams were doing and how that work might impact other teams who are also working are either in a similar you or on an unrelated thing that might have some connection to what they're doing. So it's more informational. Kim, I'm curious with you know, as your hearer Jason was sharing, given your experience, and maybe things have changed since you ran the adsense team, but how did you differentiate between sort of here's an email, we've seen this a million times, versus a more complex response? Do you have any tips to share from that sort of process? Well, I think if we go back to that McKinsey article that you mentioned, I think one of the issues with the McKenzie article is that it takes the perspective of the manager and it's I don't allow other people to waste your time. Big Important Manager, and I think one of the most important things that I want to leave people with is if you're the manager before you worry about your own time. You should be worried about your team's time. I mean, one of the most frustrating things that I experienced as an employee is sitting outside the boss's office waiting for just and then the whole rest of my like cascaded the whole rest of my day. Now I'm being inconsiderate to my direct reports because my boss is making me wait for them. I mean the amount of time I spent a different companies waiting for meetings that were on schedule, that we're running over schedule, was huge. I can remember waiting for these e MG meetings at Google, the executive management group meetings, until you're waiting for there would be upwards of thirty or forty senior people at Google waiting, often for two hours because they weren't doing a good job staying on schedule. So I think one of the most important things you could do as a leader is to stay on schedule. Don't waste your team, don't make people sit around waiting for you. I mean, one of the things that that I really appreciate about a boss is that they never waste a minute of my time. I'm never sitting around waiting for them and then so that's, I guess, the first thing when I talk about wasting your team's time. Now, part of the reason why I think that Mackenzie article is important is that if you understand how your ability to be productive gets chopped up by constant interruptions, then you're more likely to be to understand that the same thing is true for all the people who work for you. I think now that did not answer your question, amy, I will confess, but I just wanted to share what I mean. That's so, I think, just to be clear, step one don't waste your team's time and look really having the empathy to take it from the perspective of your team. Yes, and so I think if you think about the benefit of large chunks of uninterrupted time to do creative work, the issue is that, no matter what you're doing, no matter what your role is as an individual contributor, whether it's pulling weeds or answering support...

...emails, the kinds of things where you need large chunks of uninterrupted time are more sort of big think moments like so, if my job is to pull weeds, I want to sort of spend some amount of time when I'm outdoors figuring out a better way to manage this weed pulling process right and that's going to require some uninterrupted time, whereas if I'm just pulling the weeds or just answering routine emails, it's okay if I get interrupted. So it's okay to interrupt my email time, but it's not okay to interrupt my think time, in other words. And so I think that was what was going through my mind there, and it's really it's interesting. When I block time to write, I really shut down everything. In fact, I always have all my notifications off on my phone. The only way to interrupt me is to make a phone call, to call my cell phone. I will not hit my texts, don't bit Ding, none of that stuff. And it's because when I write I cannot afford to be interrupted because I'll be thinking, thinking, thinking, and then I'll be just on the cusp of an idea and if my phone beeps it's gone and I've wasted that the previous thirty minutes. There's a funny thing I read recently about a writer who and not that every big thing thing is writing. There's a lot of different ways to have big think times that require sort of solitary work, but she was just on the verge of writing that she had been struggling with the sentence and she had spent forty five minutes getting it right and then the doorbell rang and she stood up to answer the door and she went back and she like it was all gone. So what would have taken her an additional two minutes now was going to take her forty five minutes to get back into it, and I think that that is important to understand. Whether can I share a personal story? Like for those of you playing along, I had thought about getting a puppy and wrote a blog post about how I instead of getting a puppy, I ended up getting a wearable ring to track my progress and keep me exercising. Well, I did end up getting a puppy and Kim the story you were sharing reminds me of this easily distracted puppy who I only have a few minutes to get them to go to the bathroom and they're just about to go to the bathroom and then all of a sudden someone drives by or someone very interesting with a shopping bag walks by and they get distracted and the moment is gone. And so to me, as you were telling that story. I was thinking about that, like we're all here, we're all ready and then it's like one distraction and then they got exactly so I hope, at least for me, that really kind of brings it to mind of the value of of think time. So, just to get back to your lamentation model, we talked about not wasting your team's time, the importance of blocking time to actually implement. Jason, do you have any other tips from your perspective on blocking time? Well, I think, speaking to Kim's point about talking directly to managers for a moment, I think that one of the most important things that you can do is respect when your team blocks time to do work. It is where I was going with a conversation about like expectations and turnaround time for various like interruption mediums like email or phone calls or text messages. Is You want? Part of what that's doing is it's creating permission to ignore certain types of interruptions, and I think it's really important to establish norms around that, especially when the work that a team is doing is largely interrupt driven, like a sales team or a customer service team as examples of that. Right, like it is sort of like an interrupt driven type of work. Literally every communication from a client could be an eruption, and the question is, how do you stop that from overwhelming you and making you completely unable to do that? And then you add on top of that a manager, as well intentioned as it might be, who's like, Oh, you know, I just had this great idea for how we could make this thing so much better, and do you have a few minutes to talk about it? I think you need to be really careful about doing that, especially when the person is in the middle of their sort of thing time. Just confessing for myself, like, on the one hand, it seems entirely logical to say like, Oh, I'm having a big thought, so why don't I interrupt your big thought time with my big thought? which is not the point. My big thought trumps you are a big thought. I love that you brought that in, Jason, and I'm curious when you had that discussion with the sales ops team, like do you distinguish between this is time to do sort of the interruptible tasks versus the sort of big thought tasks? Like how do you make sure that you know that you're respecting their time right as a team. You haven't quite gotten to that level yet. It's something that we've just built enough capacity on the... to start doing it, but we are having very open conversations about how we actually manage that. And one of the things that you will often have to do, especially if someone has sort of interrupt driven or sort of a stream of work, is you're gonna need to backfill them. You're actually gonna need to help figure out who's going to take on that work for the period of time that they are sort of off the phones, if you will. That is probably the best thing that you can do if you have a team who's like very busy, is to basically say, okay, we're going to specifically set aside some time, and not only we're going to set aside some time, we're going to find a way to backfill what's going on, because one of the reasons why individual contributors avoid the big thing time is they're like, Oh, I'm going to go back into my inbox and there's gonna be, you know what I'm saying, there's just gonna be eight more hours of work waiting for me to do and that, I think, really discourages you from geting one of the biggest collaboration dividends, which is the fact that, Keim, I think this is what you're pointing to earlier, like managers have this perception that some high their time is the most valuable, and if you're comparing to a single other person on your team, you might be able to make that argument. I'm not convinced that you can make it, but you might when you're comparing to a single other person on the team. But what do you compare to your team? Collectively, your time is the least valuable, right, and so focusing on that and making sure you're you're mindful of that, I really think does help you start to think of maybe these examples I'm giving don't match your team, but if you take that step back and say, if I respect the fact that, collectively, my team's time is far more valuable than mine, what are the things that I could be doing to support them, actually taking the time to think about how to improve whatever it is they're doing opens up a lot of possibilities. So a specific example of that is if I'm going to have a one on one with someone who works for me, it should be so valuable that one hour they spend with me saves them three or four or five hours. Right. There needs to be a return on the investment of time in the one on one. I mean it's not always like I would be really a supermanager if I could actually, but that's the goal. Often didn't achieve that goal, but that's the spirit with which I approached those meetings. It's like it's in service of you and if it's a waste of your time, then I am failing as a manager. That is so interesting. It kind of it goes back, Jason, to our conversation about thought partners, Kim. This was one that Jason and I had in your absence and this idea of needing to be involved in listening, to understand, asking the questions. But also, Jason, one things we talked about was thought partner is measured by the employees sort of experience of it. What a thought partner is for me could be different from you or brandy or Kim, and so I'm curious, Jason, when Kim said is I need to provide three, four or five times value as a manager, how does that land for you? What do you think are some tips or anything else to share on that? I remember you turned it back on me, but I keep showing up from my one on one, so clearly I'm getting some sort of r o I on that. Yeah, I think Kim's exactly right. I can. I think that's like a really good goal, is to say I want there to be a multiple right every minute that we spend. I wanted to be worth save you more than a minute. Three times. It seems like to your point is maybe an aggressive goal, but I do think that they're especially if you're in a distributed team or largely remote. That time is also quite valuable for the sort of relationship building part of things, and I do believe that part of building a good manager team member relationship is consistently providing value in your one on one interaction. So just calling that that these aren't it's not an either or. Use a tendency to try to like over optimize things when you hear a goal like I want to return three x the value. We don't want you to over optimize and turn that into like yeah, put a little for that three or four ximate. Our collaboration should save you more time than it costs. I like that. Yeah, so just to get back to the implement piece of the get ship done. We'll we've talked about the importance of not wasting time. We jumped ahead a little bit. We talked about the importance of blocking time. We're now talking about this idea of keeping the dirt under your fingernails. This was step two and how to implement your decision and just talking a little bit about this idea being a thought partner so that you can actually really know what is important to your team member. That the meetings are valuable. But, Kim what else do you mean about keeping the dirt under your fingernails? Why could you talk about dirt? You're going back to lot of gardening metaphors. Things...

...that I love to do is to weed. Yeah, I could. I could spend a lot of time outside in the yard just sort of looking at what's growing and pulling up the weeds and casting out California native wallflowers. So anyway, it's a a side project. Can I just pause on that, though. Don't you feel like that those kinds of side projects make you able to be more present at work? Sometimes? Sometimes I just skipped my work. I remember one of my guiltiest pleasures was skipping a whole day of work when I was working at apple and pulling weeds and thinking I can't believe that I'm out here pulling weeds and just not going into work today. But it was confessions. So Confession. Yes, I do think that it's kind of a in some ways, pulling weeds or picking shells, which is what I was doing on vacations, and it's a form of meditation. Snorkeling, like going out and reconnecting with nature. I think helps me be more present with with the other kinds of work that I do. So yes, it's a productive hobby in its own way. But what I really meant by keep the dirt under your fingernails. I talk about going spelunking as a manager, and this is the notion of getting three or four levels in the details on things. I think one mistake that a lot of managers make is they feel like they have to kind of stay above it all, and that is a big mistake. You want to make sure that you get into the details because it's a way of honoring the details and it's also a way of making sure you really understand what work your team is doing. So that's what I mean by keep the dirt under your fingernail and to me it sounds like and we've talked about the spelunking on some other episodes, but in a way it really does help you understand. Is this a solitary task, is this a collaborative task? To your point about the emails from the Ad Sense team, to really know the patterns that they were seeing. Jason, it sounds like you also are a fan of going into the details. Anything more to add before we move on to the fourth piece? On the dirt, the fingernails, the spelunking, the gardening, the weeds, just to tie the pieces together. To be an effective thought partner you need to have a good idea of what the details of the work are right like it's very hard to help someone sort through their own thinking if you don't really know what's going on. The other thing is, if I'm slightly more generous to managers than them Hover, I'm imagining them hovering on a sort of futuristic spacecraft. They're hovering above it. Like the other instinct that I think leads people to do that is like, Oh, I'm empowering my team by staying out of the details. I'm like giving my team, you know, space by staying out of the details, but as soon as some thing goes wrong, you are now forcing your team members to pay a tax because they have to catch you up on all of the things that are happening in order for you to be helpful, so that for both instincts leave create the same effects. So, even if you think it's coming from a positive place to support, there's a real danger that you're going to make yourself less effective and therefore put yourself in the position of not being able to get the most, paying more collaboration tax for last benefit. Do you have a tip, just speaking as your direct report? I send you notes on slack emails, we have our video one on ones. How can I as an example for you or just large how can a direct report more accurately and more succinctly get their manager up to speed on the details? You know, I just think it's a little bit help me help you. But do you have any recommendations for the individual contributors that are listening of what's an effective way to to sort of bring your your boss along so that they're not surprise without maybe inundating them with too many details? I mean, I think that really depends on the person. One of the things that you and I do quite frequently that I think works well is that when we're talking about something very concrete or specific, like work we're doing for a client, you'll often share with me a proposal that says here's what I'm proposing that we do with this client, and then I'll take some time to read that asynchronous Lee and will either, at the end of that, say hey, let's have a quick conversation or like this looks fine, I leave a couple of comments in here about what I like or what I think could be a little bit better about. Otherwise you're good to go. I think it's the same discipline that we've talked about other in other situations, which is like know what needs to be synchronous and know what can be asynchronous when you're communicating. And I think boss is being honest with themselves about it's not just from your perspective, like maybe you need to get a little bit more disciplined about reading stuff that...

...your team members send you if that's really what's going to help them get the most out of their time, for example, just because you say like Oh, it's a little hard for me to interpret this just by reading it doesn't mean like that might be a skill that you need to work on. So see it, look at it from both sides. I think. Also, one of the classes that I taught at Google was called email hi Ku, and I just bumped into someone who said I still teach that email hi Ku class. And this actually goes back to clarify. But very often when you need to explain things to people, you want to try to explain it in the sort of shortest possible way and really spend some time thinking about what are all the details that my boss does not need to know and what are the one or two things that my boss really needs to know? And this is why this is a loop like part of the way that we make sure that we have time to implement. I almost said execute. To implement is to make sure that we're doing a good job in the clarify step. And there are times when I have spent forty five minutes or an hour crafting a two line email and it started out being a six paragraph email and I spent the time to cut it down to a one or two iron email and that always feels like a waste of time, but that is time really well spent. I'm always so proud when I delete most of my emails. I do the same thing like I'll I'll write very long emails and then wind up deleting most of what I've written after I actually get to the point of understanding what is essential. And I actually feel like that is a perfect segue to the fighting meeting proliferation, because it's the exact same mindset that you need to bring to meetings that we're talking about bringing to the content of your emails. Yeah, great segue and again, I love, Kim that you talked about. This is a loop and we're repeating thing. Is because it's really interesting the relationship between clarifying and implementing and that we're constantly needing to get more clear, and it is really a founding principle of radical candor is clarity. So you did right in radical candor. By now, the gets it done, we all may be starting to feel like the meetings from Hell. Well, if you're not careful, meeting proliferation can indeed bring to a grinding halt your ability to implement, both as an individual and as a team. Being ruthless about ensuring your team has time to implement is one of the most important things you can do as a boss, so being ruthless about the number of words in your email and about the number of meetings you're having in your schedule. So, Kim, tell us more about the grinding to a halt and what you can do to beat meeting proliferation. I think that meetings are like barnacles on a ship and if you don't, if you don't scrape them all away so often, they just grow and people sort of feel bad about saying no, I'm not coming to this meeting. So that is why I think you almost want to sunset all meetings. The Claire Meeting, bankruptcy. Yeah, and or it's like zero cost, you know you want to take every once in a while, you almost want to take all the meetings off your calendar and then put back the only the ones that are most necessary. It always feels a little bit mean to say no, I'm not going to come to this. I remember there were several times in my career where someone has said this meeting is a waste of time, I will not come to it, and it was usually a meeting that I would to organize. I was like, Oh, it felt like a Gut Punch but that is really important feedback that you're getting and you need to be open to that feedback from people. If I loved our all hands meeting on the adsense team and I was so sad that people wanted to have it once a month or not once a week, but it was your roller coaster ride, Kim what? Some people wanted to ride roller coasters. You like that meeting? Yeah, I like that meeting, but it got to a point where it had become repetitive and redundant and I was learning a lot from it, but two hundred people were there sitting there like already know all this junk, and so it's really important that you're willing to. In fact, Jared Smith, who co founded qualtrix and who worked at both juice and Google with me, he would come in and he would every morning and look at his calendar and discipline himself. There's one meeting on my calendar every day, at least one that I can cancel, and so I think it's really important to be ruthless about canceling. Anytime you're just going to a meeting to be polite, you are not being polite. You are a way staying your own time and probably the time of other people. Yeah,...

I think. Again, just for emphasis, where we want to make sure that managers are aware that they should be encouraging their teams to be ruthless as well. This is not just like manager, you be ruthless with the meetings. No, like you ask people to be ruthless with you. Yeah, exactly. Ruthless maybe another one of those violent words. Potentially, I think. Just be clear, like the thing you really want is for people to be clear, and one of the things that that does, if you're expecting that, if that's a norm, is it forces you to describe the meetings that you're having, the purpose of them and who needs to attend, and so that clarification, based on people's clear feedback about how well that meeting is serving their needs or not, is incredibly valuable. And then if you combine that with Kim as you said, with blocking time for your own productive work, now you've got to recipe. That helps to prevent long term meeting proliferation to the point where people are scheduled to do a bunch of stuff every day that doesn't actually help anything happen and that feels like being caught in traffic for a lot of people who don't know exactly what's happening, or maybe don't haven't built that sort of muscle of haven't learned to feel frustrated by it. It's even worse because it feels like you're being very productive because you're doing so many things. Then it's shocking in three or six months when you're like doing your look back to say like well, how did the last six months gone? You're like I actually get anything done? I think the other thing is any time you're sitting at a meeting feeling stressed out because, like, your to do list is growing. All your to do list is you're going to have to do it after, quote unquote, after work. That means you have too many meetings. You need to do your work during the work day and very often I find what happens is I would be scheduled back to back to back to back and meetings and I would get more and more and more stressed all day long because in every meeting it was clear that I had to do some work and all of that work was going to get done after dinner and that was a problem. Great all of that metric, but the other thing to fight meeting proliferation is to make sure that if you attend a meeting, you will be assigned at least one action item. That tends to cut down sometimes meeting. Part of the problem with meetings is that people want to show up at the meeting because they get face time, because there's a promotion obsession, and then you have this peanut gallery of time wasters in a meeting and you want to make sure that doesn't happen. I feel like we need another conversation to have convent some of her frustration. I feel like some of these meetings she still haven't done. I wake up and my calendar like I don't like to have an agenda in my human relations and I also like to have my calendar be kind of a genderlest it's really important to me. Well, on that note, it's now it's time for our radical candor checklist tips you can use to start putting radical candor into practice right away. Tip Number One do not waste your team's time. Allow space for people to get work done by limiting low value interactions and interruptions, while also making yourself available to offer coaching and guidance as needed. In other words, don't interrupt people when they're having their think time and don't expect people to respond in two seconds to your slacks and emails and texts. Tip Number two, keep the dirt under your fingernails, whether or not you love gardening as much as Kim does. The important thing here is to be a thought partner who is right there alongside your employees. You're listening, your advice, ing and sometimes, like him, you're actually answering some of those emails, doing the work, coaching, rather than someone who is like in a spacecraft, to quote Jason, just hovering above your team members, thinking you're above it all and don't need to know the details. The number three block time to implement. Put implementation time on your calendar and treated as you would any other important meeting or task. Don't allow people to appropriate your implementation time for something they think is more important, and do the exact same thing for your team members. Tip Number Four, fight meeting proliferation or stand up to meeting proliferation. Everybody hates the meeting. That could have been an email. Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if it's really necessary and, if it is, only include the people who are critical or allow people who feel they're not critical to skip the meeting. Perhaps most important, don't schedule a meeting over some on implementation time,...

...someone else's think time. Well, for more tips, you can go to radical candor dot com, slash resources and download our learning guides for practicing radical candor. You can learn more about the implementation process we just discussed in chapters four and eight of radical candor show notes. Head over to radical candor dot com slash podcast. If you like what you hear, go ahead rate and review us on Apple podcasts. Feel free to provide feedback to podcasts at radical candor dot com and Kim. There's another book. There's another problem. It is called just work. How to root out bias, prejudice and bullying to create a kick ass culture of inclusivity available everywhere books are sold. Finally, I know you're wondering where can I find some radical candor swag. RADICAL CANDOR DOT com there's a link since shop coffee Mug, sweatshirt stickers. Maybe we should put some gardening tools on there. Maybe we should spaceships. We've got a lot of product possibilities ahead. Bye for now. Have a great day. Thanks for joining us. Our podcast features radical candor co founders Kim Scott and Jason Rose. Off is produced by our director of content, Brandy Neal, and hosted by me, Amy Sandler. Music is by cliff Goldmacker. Go ahead and follow us on twitter at candor and find US online at radical candor dot com.

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