Radical Candor
Radical Candor

Episode 66 · 4 months ago

Radical Candor S4, Ep 7: Radically Candid Conversations — Kim Scott & Russ Laraway


On this episode of the Radical Candor Podcast, we're taking a break from our GSD Wheel series and welcoming back to the podcast Russ Laraway, author of the book When They Win, You Win: Being a Great Manager is Simpler Than You Think, coming out on June 7, 2022. You can pre-order it now! You likely know Russ best as the OG co-host with Kim of season one of the Radical Candor Podcast.

Russ is currently chief people officer at Goodwater Capital; and also is the creator of Career Conversations; which is covered in Radical Candor, and to which Russ dedicates nearly 100 pages of his new book. Kim and Russ discuss how to make every manager (measurably) great and to rid the world of assclown managers everywhere.

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

The world has conspired to confuse the average manager. Despite near-limitless resources — books, blogs, podcasts — that purport to teach us how to be great managers, the reality is that managers globally aren’t really any better than they were 30 years ago. (The evidence is this: as more evidence emerges that the manager is most responsible for employee engagement, global engagement is still at just 15% and 33% in the U.S.)

Managers are struggling due to a lack of regular formal check-ins on how they are doing as a manager. Their bosses have almost no context on how they are leading their people and therefore can struggle to coach them. Kim and Russ discuss:

  • Why managers are failing, and no one is helping.
  • What we need is to learn to lead in a way that measurably and predictably leads to more engaged employees and better business results.
  • We need a simpler and more coherent leadership standard, something with quantitative backing that shows it works.
  • People just want to do great work and be totally psyched while doing it.
  • People deserve to be led well.
  • The art of Continue Coaching.   

Pre-Order the New Book from Career Conversations Expert Russ Laraway

In When They Win, You Win, Russ Laraway, the chief people officer at Goodwater Capital who also developed Career Conversations, provides a simple, coherent, and complete leadership standard that teaches managers how to lead in a way that measurably and predictably delivers more engaged employees and better business results and show organizational planners how to make their managers great!

The book identifies The Big 3, or three key elements: clear direction-setting, frequent coaching and active engagement with employees on their long-term career goals. Russ also dedicates around 100 pages of the book to Career Conversations! Pre-order now >>

Jimmy Sandler, the host of the radical candor podcast, and you are in for a treat today. We have got a radically candid conversation ahead. Welcoming back to the PODCAST. Russ Laraway, author of the book. When they win, you win. Being a great manager is simpler than you think. It's coming out on June seventh. Go ahead and preorder it now. Pre seers, order it now. Pre Order it now. Sometimes I feel like I have Kim Scott's voice in my ears, and I think I do right now. preorder it now and they win, you and we all do. For those of you who also remember Russ's voice in your ears, you know Russ best as the Og cohost with Kim of this very podcast. Russ is currently chief people officer a good water capital. He's also the creator of career conversations, which is covered in radical candor, and rust dedicates nearly a hundred pages of his new book to career conversations as well. We are so very happy to welcome us back and Kim over to you. Thank you. It is so I've been looking forward all day long to this conversation Russ. You know, I thought about starting off by saying the Prodigal Sun returns and then quickly saying just hid in the rust. I didn't know if I'd be fun I didn't know that the fund your minute so well croly. I thought it was funny. I always enjoy talking to you and I thought we would sort of kick this off by me sharing with everyone here are some feedback that you gave to me when we worked at Google together, which is which feels like supreme irony. So I recall at one point at Google you told me, you said, Kim, you value quantitative skills more than leadership skills, which I which was true. I remember thinking that it was really, unfortunately true feedback, and I gotta say hopefully I've taken that to heart now, because I haven't written the single word about measure man. So would love, would love to get your perspective and memory on that feedback and then we'll talk about your book, which I'm so excited about. Yeah, effect, in some ways we might have each kind of come towards the middle a little more. So that the context is that you know, when I joined Google back in two thousand and five, you of course, from my boss and I could barely add, as you probably recall, I could. I couldn't add. I mean subtraction, not true, subtraction was a really big challenge. But and so, but the company. I would say in hindsight, maybe that feedback was a little unfair, only because ultimately, when I won the Google Great Manager Award in two thousand and twelve, seven years after I would have given you that feedback when I was asked for my opinion about the sort of overall you know, they took us on a trip to Kawaii with the three of the CEOS directs. I mean it was incredible and I said in my feedback I said, listen, I'm really appreciative of what you've all done here, but Google still does not care about people management. That was my exact, exact feedback. Just because you gave, you know, a handful managers a trip to Kawai doesn't mean we really care about it. So I think, I just think there was something cultural there that heavily biased toward getting to the truth through math versus some of the more soft some of the softer stuff maybe, and of course my bias was that all. I really had a joke about not being able to add. But you, and I know one, can you know, nobody's confusing me for a physicist anytime soon, like yeah or May. All I had was the was the soft stuff, and you know you are. You are building a team of people that were really strong quantitatively and and I was getting ratings that strongly suggested that I was not as quantity as the rest of them. So there's a feedback. I mean, you know and but you know what, I'm sorry, I'm just going... take one second. I've said this on a few other podcasts now. What is the most important takeaway is that you created a culture in which your direct report felt like they could say something like that to you without fear of retaliation. And I can prove to you, and maybe we'll get there in a bit, on the Roi of some radical candor stuff, I can prove to you how important it is for a manager to enable that kind of culture. See, unlike me, you've been able to quantify the value of radical I've never even tried. In fact. Anyway, there's there's more funny stories which we can tell towards the end, but I think what this is really an important point. I mean, I think one of the things that you and I talked a lot about both at Google, when we work together, and when we cofounded this company. That was where we were trying to build this candor APP. We talked about how, UNTILICOM valley specifically and kind of incorporate America more broadly, manaagement is neither taught nor rewarded, and I think that's beginning to change, but not quite fast enough. So I would love to get your thoughts on is that still true? Is it changing? Why is it changing? Why is it not changing fast enough? Yeah, probably, probably not changing to not changing fast enough is my as my rough tape. Just haven't looked at sort of the research and how I arrive at that conclusion. Excuse me, but, by the way, it's an incredibly counterintuitive conclusion, because what we're doing right now, the books that you wrote, the book that I wrote, the books that are being written every day, articles in Hbr and everywhere else, all have a singular a. Many have a singular aim, which is to help managers become better at their jobs. And yet the evidence that I came across strongly suggests managers are at best stagnant as more and more content comes out. I have this fantasy, if you indulge me for a minute, which is I get a chance to ask every person, every individual who's written a book, who's host their podcast or written article. I get to ask them, how do you think your stuff helps managers become better at their jobs? And then the way this fantasy goes is they would each never use these exact words, but they would say something like it's like going through an Al a cart or buffet style lunch line, right, and so the the manager scoots along at leisurely paste. They pull a little off the Kim section, they pull a little off the rough rust section, then they're over to the burnet section and they're just scooting down the line. They grab something from the Simon Section. You know, these aren't real people, these are just random names and their artical man yes, and then they walk away with a tray full of nutritious food or you know, what they need to solve any leadership problem that comes their way. And what I realized for most managers is it doesn't feel at all like a leisurely trip through a lunch line. It feels like you're hog tied in the center of a middle school cafeteria while multi thousand person food fights transpiring with like Broccoli bouncing off your head or mashed potatoes sliding down your cheek and I don't fight. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And worse is when, if you were going through the leisurely lunch line, you're not picking chicken breast and Broccoli and Spilina shake that you need, you're picking the chicken fried steak, the cream puffs and the cheese steak that you want and and that that process of opting in is heavily fraught with bias. And so it's just tough. There's so much stuff out there and it doesn't hang together and and practically, I think this has led to a pseudo conclusion that managers aren't actually improving as a result of all of our effort. So how do we fix this? And and and also, how do we this is something that you and I used to talk a lot about as we were building this sort of candor coach. Is You need a coherent management philosophy, you need you need stuff that hangs together, where one thing reinforces the next thing. So I guess I'm asking you two questions at one one. How do we fix it? But to how would you...

...articulate the coherent management philosophy that you do articulate and when they win, you win. And by the way, by the book, that's to the listeners, not to you. You already bought it, I did. I did actually own a few. I already own a few copies. I just found out I'm contractually obligated to like twenty copies or something. So that's that's fun. Actually, I think the first issue is a process issue, and so I have this model I came up with, which is called stack like we're going to stack up a bunch of great managers, because we're going to do we're going to select, teach, assess and coach them better. And so the first problem can that leads to managers flailing is there selected for the wrong reasons. They're selected because, like in the food industry, they're selected strictly because a tenure like you're still here, you're the manager, you know, but in the rest of the world we actually pick managers based on how good of an individual contributor they were. And the problem with that, of course, is the activity. You know this better in anybody. The activities that make you successful as a manager look a thing like the activities that made you successful as an individual. Contributor versus selecting someone for their leadership chops, right, yeah, or and leadership love. I mean like there was one at one point I was at apple and I was teaching this class managing at Apple and we always tried to get these senior leaders from apple to come and introduce the class and we brought in this one engineering leader. Nobody had told me that he didn't actually manage people, and he stood up in front of the whole class and he said, you know, I have one deal with apple. They don't ask me to manage and I don't quit how much. It's not exactly the inspiration that I was looking for. So so clearly like there was some lack of awareness there about that, you know, the kind of people who needed to be teaching this class and the difference between management and very senior leaders who are individual contributors. Yeah, yeah, could couldn't be more different. By the way, picking up on teach, I think probably two big problems I see with respect to the teach part of stack. Problem Number One is, and I didn't realize this was a problem until I went through the five to plus year process of writing this book and the experience of qual tricks really Galvini've sort of the the ideas, but first is that the leadership standard being taught is almost never held any sort of measurable account so there's a prescription with zero accountability of whether that prescription were works. And now I've chosen to define works as measurably and predictably leads to more engaged employees or work happiness and better business results, but I'd take just about anybody's definition. I just think there needs to be some accountability for the leadership standard being prescribes. That problem one is you're just Trott and stuff out with no accountability. The flip side of that is the teaching is often unfocused. And so because because, like leadership is highly susceptible to like senior person flavor of the month, like CEO, heard about situational leadership on some zoom call and next thing you know everybody's doing situational leadership. And now and then, by the way, repeat that, because now you hire the LD person and they've done their their research in a certain area and they want to drive the leadership stuff in a different direction. And then new executive and next thing you know you have this Frankenstein monster that at least Frankenstein walked and made noises, this one, this one just lays on the table and does nothing right. So you have this Frankenstein monster of of leaderships, stuff that again, like you said, isn't coherent, doesn't hang together. But worst of all, no one's attempted to hold it to any sort of accountability of whether it does what it's promised to do. So I think that's probably the biggest I think there's also, before we move on to the a see part of stack, teach. You taught me a lot about teaching leadership when we were at again, when we were at Google together. You can remember two I mean you correct me. You probably remember the conversation a little different way, but UK men to my office and... said you wanted to fly the managers on your team from all over the world and teach them how to have get to know you conversations. I think I was probably not very respectful or caring and how I kind of Pooh pooed this. I dismissed this and you said, look, one of the things that you had learned over the course of your career, especially in the military, is that in order for your people to become great leaders. You have to teach them certain skills, including like the fact that it is their job to get to know their people and how to how to do that and how to do that correctly. And Somehow I realized that I had had this kind of bias in the back of my mind, that leadership was almost like a personality attribute as opposed to a skill that we can teach and a skill that we can learn, and I think that was actually a really transformative moment for me in my career and in thinking about leadership, because I think too often we commit the fundamental personality attribute error when what we should be doing is well, I think this is a skill that people can learn. You learn alone then, and if you still believe that today, which I know you don't, you still wouldn't be alone today. Like, one of the worst words that gets thrown around when it comes a leadership is charisma. Yes, it's just like it's you can be an incredibly good manager and have zero charisma. In fact, you can be one of the best managers around. And you kept saying the word skills. I'm going to refine this a bit, if I may. What think the conclusion I reached and sort of what I kind of push in the book is it's actually behaviors. So leadership is ultimately, I think, really a set of behaviors that, when practiced regularly and practice sort of correctly. And then we'll get to the A in the Sea Parti, which are how you really do that. That's how you become a good leader and a good manager. By the way, I don't care about the distinction between those two. Happy to happy to chat through that as well. I no longer care about the different streetweian readership and management like. I'll say it just to sound cool at a cocktail party, you know, but I don't really believe it. There is I agree with you. I think you and I have always agreed on that. There's so much be leader. Leadership sort of means to a lot of people a person who, you know, sits around and bus has and done't actually do anything, and managers kind of imply, you know, smallminded, paper pusher, and neither one or fair to either set of behaviors. I like behaviors better than skills. I agree with you, and it's hard actually to write a book about this because all of the words leader, manager, boss have these very strong negative connotations in the minds of a lot of people. So did you come up with a better word or we just stuck with these words that people have negative connotations about? Definitely didn't come up with a better word, but I came up with a better way of framing the manager, which is the job everyone applies for. Nobody applies for a job called leader like it is, yeah, description right, and you know you're a manager. And Heather Kirkby is a woman. She's the chief people officer for a company called recursion pharmaceuticals and she used to be a product person at into it and I actually spoke to her when we were doing the candor stuff and she'd moved into a leadership development role. She was trying to evaluate if we could be helpful and she said I want to restore dignity to the office of the manager. And in fact that became a chapter title in my book. It's I'll never forget it, because leader is subject like it's this culture of grandiosity everywhere. You know, the leader, all, all the leader, they float, they just they need barely whisper follow me and everyone magically lines up, you know. But the managers got thick grim glasses and a clip on tie and shortsleeve shirts and a leaky drop ceiling and they're just doing spreadsheets and all the making sure the bottles on the Laverne and Shirley manufacturing, like everybody, like a manager, must someone to tolerate, but the leader, I mean part God and so anyway,... but the job as a manager, right, and so she said. I want to restore dignity to the office of the manager. So I would I would like to reframe folks that managers aren't just people to be tolerated. Managers must lead, leaders must manage, and therefore let's just erase that really hard line that tends to exist between them and our minds. Totally agree. For hand and backhand. Got To do both play a tennis game, not that I've ever played a tennis game, but anyway, I would imagine the pretty new note by the way of helpful. It just to just maybe, if you want me, before we hit the in the seat, that explain a tiny bit about qualtricks, what happened there and how it contributed. Yeah, that'd be great. Yeah, so I entered qual tricks with a very strong theory because of the work you and I did together. So you know, as I don't know if anybody that listens podcast with no but I usually was the first person folks spoke to when they kind of called in and we're looking for us to help them out. So I don't know, I bet I had like a thousand repetitions in some form, whether it was writing people or phone call I took and I would always do a basic discovery question, and the discovery question was some version of what problem are you trying to solve or how do you think we can be helpful? And through a thousand repetitions of that there was a very common message. So they always use different words, but the message was we have an engagement problem related to low manager skill and because radical candor had some very powerful ideas about how that. By the way, I now know even more so how powerful to keep teas in that idea, because we're going to get to it. You can measure it, because we can had some powerful ideas about managing. It made sense that they were calling us and they were of course generally looking for you know, the two by two and coaching and all that stuff, or feedback guys. And so anyway, we had the two labs that we did. We did career conversations and we did core radical candor and then, you know, I did a lot of those and so I got a lot of feedback on them. Right, so I was able to really kind of dial in what was sort of missing for managers in the minds of folks. And then there's this direction idea too. And so anyway, I walk into caul tricks with a pretty strong idea that what many companies believe is the specific skill gap that managers lack. Visa be that. I gave them play engagement. I've got a head start there. I've got a head start to the theory. Now, the Third Party research tells US engagement and business results are strongly correlated and there's I don't know one person qualified to say it's not. That's not the case. It's so, so strong. So I gets cultrixide De said, what I'm going to do is I'm going to test these behaviors. I added this third one. So there was kind of coaching in career that we're strongly you know, strongly informed by my time with you. Direction wasn't a strongly tested but you know, there's a bunch of treatment and radical candid around different cup you know decisionmaking, we own things like that. I want a little different direction. But anyway, had a chance to test these and by and this is probably the most important idea, it's the A and the C and Stack. So first we started. We I. Created A hiring rubric. So any manager, we selected them for their leadership shops. Love of leadership was the first question is, so, why do you want to manage people? And the only wrong answer actually, I say so, why on Earth would you want to manage people? And the only wrong answer is, I know, right, but you know. And so, like we're just trying to get underneath the love. But anyway, we started selecting better, we started teaching a very focused direction coaching career, and we started assessing managers from the perspective of their employees. This is the big idea. Every lots of people do leadership training. Almost nobody has the gumption to allow employees to solely employees to evaluate their managers. Employees do the work. They're the ones were fighting to attract, develop and retain. They're the ones being let so they are the ones I want evaluating how the manager is leaded. And so we do this by asking them if the manager was demonstrating twelve behaviors. The Big Three breaks down into twelve behaviors every quarter. And now we get a measurement on we called we called it manager effectiveness, but now we're getting a measurement on leadership. And once you have a measurement on leadership, you can correlate that with...

...engagement and you can correlate that with results, and what we found was incredible. And so the last part, by the way, so that's assess. You have to actually assess your managers. They will not change their behavior unless you assess them, I promise you. There any most people are inven capable. You go to training, you walk out of the room. A very small number of people are capable of very small number of behavior changes. But when you start assessing them on a regular basis, and then you add the last part, which is coach them, there will be gaps in how they're behaving towards their teams. Now coach them the close that. Don't fire them. That's the fastest way to kill this thing, but coach them on how to close the gaps. And so select, teach, assess, coach, and it's sort of like a flywheel. It almost repeats back on itself. You kind of go back to the assess and coach part over and over and over and your managers get better. Our Manager of cultures got measurably better in my four years there as we added five hundred managers. We add a five hundred managers. They get measurably better and then we saw engagement follow and obviously the companies on like six straight beaten rays, I think fair to say the results tended to follow. But yeah, you hit a billion dollars in revenue. These are not soft skills, these are hard skills. Exactly, exactly. Yeah, no, that's awesome. I love that. I mean, look, I will say that hopefully, I listened to your feedback and I started valuing the difficult to measure stuff, the leadership, management, boss capabilities. And Look at you. You quantified what I didn't bother quantifying. So I guess you're the more analytical of the two of us. So can we talk a little bit more about measurement, because there's part there's part of me. The story I started to tell at the beginning. Right when I was about to publish radical candor, I got wellknown venture capital firm called me and they they wanted me to try to quantify the impact of radical candor and I had kind of a snarky reply. I said, look, you try to quantify the benefit of living in a beautiful house versus an ugly house. I'm not going to try like I'm just gonna start that it matters. Needless to say, that firm did not become one of our customers. So not not a surprise. But I do think at the core of good management is is a relationship, and I do think you know what of the novels that I wrote is called the measurement problem, about how capitalism is really good at at rewarding what it can measure, really bad at rewarding when it values. And obviously you wouldn't want to try to quantify, you know, a relationship. I don't think. I don't know. So what do you think? First? First of all, I think it's really important that we're now talking about a specific kind of relationship manager. And yes, so it's not a friendship. Yeah, what I'm about to say I would never say for any other kind of relationship. Actually almost probably any other relationship. But what's true of all relationships is they have attributes or properties, and I think what I would argue is if, first the point of work is for us to deliver an aligned result, I mean, I like that's why we're all think. I'm not. It's not a relationship, like the point of a marriage as a relationship. Yeah, like if I told my wife, like, you know, hey, the we you marry me, I really think we could deliver some aligned results together, you know, like that's an automatic no, right, right, I mean, I don't know. Yeah, I'm a catch, but yeah, like even that's probably so. You know, it's just different. Right, relationships have properties, and so what I'd say is maybe, instead of the framing of how do you quantify relationship, what I'd say is how can you figure out the best behaviors to demonstrate that will lead toward the outcomes that we all want, and then how can you measure the frequency with which those behaviors are being demonstrated? And you know you're you're probably technically...

...measuring the relationship, you know, as you said it, but what manage that manager effectiveness score really is is a frequency with which your employees are experiencing you exhibiting the behaviors that we've studied to lead to better engagement and better results. And so those are the behaviors I want the managers to show. It turns out that they're built primarily around the simple idea, which is the only thing people have in common. Every person has in common at work. There's only one thing, which is that they want to be successful. And when you build the relationship and that the behaviors you expect from the manager around that idea, which your job is to deliver an aligned result and then enable the success of the people on your team, both short and long term success, then suddenly it becomes clear that there's there's ways to do that and there's ways that aren't that. And so we're trying to measure the frequency with which those specific behavior show up, and not because it's my pet project, but because those behavior, we study them. Those behaviors strongly correlate with both engagement and business results. So that's kind of how I'd go about that. I recognize that I sound this. Is this I said. Well, soft skills and the best talking soft still and all the sudden I'm applying math to this idea, but I actually think it's I think it's probably the most you know, this is probably most important idea in the book. Yeah, now, I agree. I love that you. I love that you measured and proved that this stuff works. So what are the twelve behaviors that you're entering? What are the radical Caner ones? What feedback? Yeah, great, great, a couple that that pop up. And by the way, these have very strong relationships with engagement. And just in case, like folks don't know, I just I just grabbed the text from a guy worked with a qualtrix and the correlation of employee engagement, a highly measurable thirty year old Io Psychological not what you think it is when I think it, but like actual sort of specific idea. Correlation play engagements overall financial performance of a company as our squared of point two, there's no way. Sorry for those of us who are on that analytical. What the Hell does that mean? Let you do it this way. Bane and company found that engaged employees, highly engaged employees, drive two point five times more revenue than lesser engaged employees. Gallop found just just recently that companies in the top court time employ engagement or seventeen percent more productive revenue per head and twenty one percent more profitable operating margin. The Royal Bank of Canada, who we used to do work for. They found in their their tenzero person technology group. So they're more cutting edge area that an engaged employee. The drove three times more highly engaged in play, drove three times more revenue than a lesser engaged employee. We found a qualtric seventy. We turned our own x value analysis on ourselves and found seventy percent of our operating margin could be explained by uniquely strong employee experience. The core measurement is employee engagement. So basically so, real finance, like earnings per share, correlates with employee engagement like the most rushoest business results like. So a lot of people want to say engagements of soft measure off to the side, but it's it's actually integral, I believe. Yeah, so the big three is that that sort of the umbrella for these behaviors, direction, coaching, career, a couple radically candid ones, specifically in coaching, are the most strongly correlated behavior with employee engagement. Is We get it that by asking this question, how much do you agree with the following statement? My manager frequently gives me specific praise for good work, and this this has the strongest relationship with engagement. I think maybe at first blush for many, not not this audience, not you, but for many that's well, of course, you know, darn millennials need to get constantly, you know, be patted on the back. But it's not that at all, I don't think. I think it's the higher leverage idea about praise that you talk about, which is reinforcing for folks what to continue. That's the that's the phrasing I use in the book. I Call Continue Coaching, because you shouldn't just assume people know what they're what's working. You actually should tell them to give them the best chance...

...for Peta, by the way, byproduct is you're actually recognizing people for what they've done and the Let. The other byproduct is if you're going to be specific and sincere, that forces you to actually know and be able to articulate the standards that you're coaching on, both for continue and improve. I think it's little wonder that that one bubbled up to the top. Before we move on to the next one, we tell the story of coaching Little League and the book. I loved this. This is such a good story about price. Yeah, and criticism, but mostly praise, mostly praise, mostly. Yeah, did you want me to tell it now? Yeah, Oh, okay, great, yeah, because this is where I this is where I learned for real the power of praise. So Yeah, I was coaching Little League Belmont rubature's AAA phillies. A coaching partner and I had a WED coach together a few times. Our teams are always pretty good and we were development first, but winning matters was our philosophy, because the kids wanted to win, like people think kids don't want to win, they're just not paying attention. But what's development anyway without some way to evaluate rhet so we went to seminar by the Positive Coaching Alliance and it was great and they said a number of things, but the one that stuck with me was five to one praise criticism. And they were careful right. They said not five to zero, you know, because it's not everyone gets a trophy. And they also it's not infinity to one, which is, you know, this phantom notion of limitless praise. It's five to one, and they talked a little bit about why, but I just said, you know what, that's the kind of coach I want to be. Anyway. And so I just adopted it wholesale right away and I started keeping track of what the kids did well in the book. It was just a lab notebook, like with graph paper. It became a lot more, I mean to the kids it was like I was holding up symbol whenever I held the book, you know, like like every time. But then the kids like and so, starting with being on time to practice. You we're on time, you got your name written down. You counted loudly during stretching, you got your when that gave way that you were doing the stretches incorrectly, we started to talk about you know, yeah, you got to get your head to your knee on your hamstring strip all the way through to fielding the Ground Ball Right, move your feet, center the ball in your stance, get your catching get your glove in the dirt cover with your throwing hand, pull it up to your shoulder as quickly as possible. Backfoot, front, foot throat a first. And so it turns out. You it's very difficult to tell someone they're doing well if you don't know what the standard is by which they're being evaluated. And so this forced us to get very clear about all the standards on the team, the technical standards, the effort standards, all the behavioral standards. And yet, and so we with about midway through practice or if the team was lagging a little bit, even just maybe the hustle wasn't there, the focus, we would do it. A session for the book would be about ten minutes. Bring the kids in. Here's what everybody did well, and I got to tell you, like the energy and focus after we did the book for the rest of practice was one hundred percent of the time superior to what it was right before we did it. And then we always did a wrap up at the end and sometimes I reinforce it at night on the team website about what people did well and it, you know, when I have time. I had this simple realization, which is it's tempting to think, oh, that's some magic that works on kids, you know, but like they're just small people. They're more similar to us than adult versions of like of dogs for it. So we're just big kids, or we're big kids either way. So yeah, not very big on my case, but yeah, you're pretty you're still big kid, Kim. By the way, like also coach. I like the word coaching a lot because if you know, when you this idea that you talked about is don't say something to a purse when your employs that you'd say to your dog, like good job. Yeah, it's also it also like that's what cheerleaders say, right. Cheerleaders are on the sideline. Cheerleaders are, you know, shouting platitudes that we repeat back, but a coach is on the field, a coach is right there with the players. It's energetic and it needs to be specific. Like this idea of coaching and...

...being a positive coach, coaching for praise, coaching to continue. All these ideas are the same thing. To me, is really different than being a cheerleader and and way more helpful to get the outcomes that you're trying to get. So little wonder praise spike so hard on its relationship with employe engagement. Okay, so I love that. So one behavior that you're measuring is price. Yeah, actually, how are some of the other do managers regularly good praise for good for good work? Yeah. Second most strongly correlated was in radical candor language, is soliciting feedback. So your for step, you know, process for asking for feedback, and this one's so obvious. It's painful. I in fact, I thought so much. I thought, boy, that was to me. That's the second biggest idea in your book, by the way, because I've seen you know, because you just think about it's this simple. Nobody goes to work not wanting to be heard. And yet yet, by accident, probably mostly, we all go to work constantly and we're constantly unheard, and that's because there's a power differential and a manager, no matter how chill they think they are with their team, like I'm so cool, I'm trying to be like people, still are very disinclined to offer up the hard stuff. What can be better. And so when you start to ask people for that and it's hard to get right, takes a little jump starting to get it gone behave well, you respond correctly, show that you value what you've heard and, hopefully often implement what you've heard. Suddenly people see that pattern and there they start to be more willing to offer it up proactively. Stop. You have to ask less because you've created a place where people feel safe to do that. But nobody goes to work saying, you know what, I hope I don't get my voice heard today. It's going to be great. Yeah, and so, by the way, like if you think about inclusion, you know, I don't want to go off into all in the Di but inclusion, if you think about the most basic idea of what everyday inclusion is, it is like where are you most likely to be included? Right like in it's in meetings, it's with your teammates. And what is actually transacting or transpiring in those interactions? Were discussing things, we're trying to make decisions, we're trying to, you know, give maybe help each other with the work. But all of it like expected to be heard and you want to be heard and you're most likely to feel included if you're heard. I there's quantity of backing for that statement, but it goes straight to your idea of the of you know, the four part solicit feedback model, and its second most strongly related with with employe engagement. So there's a couple radically candid behaviors, very strong returning investment. By the way, Improvement Coaching is in. I think it makes top six if memory serves yeah, people don't love yeah, I don't care what they say. Nobody likes that, but nobody likes giving it or receiving it exact exactly and you call it improvement coaching because people can't stand in the word criticism like that was another part. That's another part of writing a book about management. That is really hard because there's not the word feedback. Is problematic. You know, I use the word guidance, which hadn't exactly taken off in the world will, despite my insistence on it. In the book, you know I didn't change but criticism. Is that the word that people that is what it is. I mean we but before we move on to criticism, I want to take another beat on soliciting feedback, because I think that one of the if we go back to this relationship point, one of the things that is most damaging to a relationship is a power and balance, and I think if you're the manager, one of the most important things you can do is figure out how to lay your power down so that you can get on a level playing field and get to know the people who you're working with, and I think one of the most important things you can do is to solicit feedback. That, I think, the right place to start. So glad that was in and I'm surprised praise came before solisting feedback. I always say slow, sting feedback first, but maybe you're right. Maybe, well, I'm sure you're right. Maybe I need to change the word of operations to guilt praise first.

I think. I think it's probably it doesn't matter too much one before the other. They're both. They both have an incredibly strong relationship. Another behavior is establishes explicit, exploit expectations. And so with people know with certainty what is expected, and so you start to put these things together and you can see how they like. What are you coaching someone on if it's not the things they're explicitly expected to do or deliver? Right, like, I don't know what you're doing. You're coaching on something else. That doesn't matter, right. And so including pray, specific praise for good work, including improvement, coaching, all of these things. So, yeah, so that's so. Those are kind of three big ones. I would say those are probably three pretty big specific of the twelve behaviors, those are three of the more leveraged. And how do you measure engagement? How does that get measure? Yeah, it's usually about somewhere five or six questions. There is a little but the question sound like this. So one question is employee net promoter score, which is how likely you to recommend this as a great place to work. Next one is employee satisfaction overall. How satisfied are you with the work that you do or with this place as an employer? Fulfillment overall, how fulfilled are you by the work that you do, discretionary effort? How likely are you to go above and beyond and pride and employer proud of you to work at this place? And then there's kind of a swing question, which is intend to leave, intent to stay. How much you agree with the following statement. I am seriously considering leaving employer in the next six months. That one sometimes gets left doubt sometimes gets included. That one's people don't really want to know the answer to that. I'll tell you what. If you if you got if you got time? I know we're up there, but if you got time, there's another really important, radical candor idea that ties to that. That last question that I think would knock your socks off, but I got time, okay, Ney, to have my socks knocked off. Okay, cool, yeah, are you? Are you wearing socks right now, because I'm wearing socks and shoes and I'll show you. I've got look at this. I don't believe it. See if I over my head, I've got these orange shoes. You just put those on. You just put those on. So yes, so those are the questions and I know like I just want to I just want to give a little treatment to skepticism folks would have. I I was highly skeptical that's some mystical, magical measurement from iopsychology that you know, Employe engagement could matter at all. And I'm telling you, you just got to look that. The research is unbelievably clear. We a qultures even found this. This is unbelievable. We found in our sales organization plus five points and employee engagement was worth thirty points of quota attainment, and our customers success group we found plus five engagement was worth five points of contract renewal and, by the way, we were already at about like a ninety percent contract renewal. What beyond roll class? We also found an elasticity between that manager effectiveness score and engagement was plus or minus to plus or minus one. So if you think about that in a sales organization. If I can improve my managers by ten points on manager effectiveness, I should get five points of engagement on average and I should get thirty points of quota attainment. I don't to overstate it, but I'm pretty sure that does exist anywhere else like that kind of instead the value of of practicing specific leadership behaviors. Yeah, yeah, it seems very compelling. And there's you know, the trueism, which gets even more true during the great resignation, is that people join companies but but leave managers. So why does employee engagement not measures something like how light? How likely would you be to work for this manager again, as well as for the company? Always wonder that. Getting back to this knock your socks off moment, which would a hard time correlating engagement and attrition. I actually if you probably didn't even notice, but I steered pretty clear of it, I think. But I think most people do that in their heads. They tie them together, and I think practically this under values employee engagement by making it all about attrition retention. So we had a real hard time nail in that relationship down. That said, to your specific question, I think I'd sent you a little day to actually qualtus done a study fifteenzero US respondents and they basically did a conjoint analysis. You ask...

...your respondence to stack rank various attributes to the workplace, in this case specifically for where you select to work, where you were. You're going to pick the place you're going to pick to work, and the usual suspects are all on the list. You all we would we would guess them right now. It would be compensation benefits, flexible work. This was done during the pandemic. Flex for was on their team that you're going to work with the company culture. But through this conjoint of eight or nine attributes, the direct manager was the was the top attribute. So the idea that you're hitting on, Kim, is out there. It's just maybe not linked to engagement. So what's interesting is engagements not a controllable input metric like Amazon would say, but manager effectiveness is. And when you realize that manager effectiveness or measuring the frequency of behaviors delivers more engagement, then that's how you sort of affect engagement. This one leadership behave. There was one behavior, though, that strongly correlated with the potential come. Yeah, now, I know, like I would imagine that boss is an asshole. Herds retention. Now, yeah, it's more complicated. I guess that's an excellent theory. We should test it right away. So here's what happened with this intend to leave question. It's unbelievably predictive. So what we learned was that seventy five percent of the time when someone left the company, they told us within the last six months they were going to leave the company. Like a lot of people think, there's all the sampling bias these questions and employees lie and they won't. They were telling us like I'm going to leave and then they did. Sixty seven percent of the time when they said they were going to leave, they did. So my point in that is incredibly predictive of attrition. The most appric predictive question we could ask. So then we said, well, what leadership behaviors correlate with that question? Right, if we can't quite find a strong linkage all the way through, did it sort of a like a waypoint? So we use that question and you're going to love this. How much do you agree with the following statement? My manager cares about me, has a human being. It's the bass much it's a radical candor axis. You know that. That said, do you remember we laughed like how uproariously we laugh that one time when that engineer said, how do you care about people at work? Remember we were like yeah, yeah, right, greatest question ever, because it turns out that actually has some unique attributes that you wouldn't pull out into your personal life necessarily. So, you know, you remember. People were always disinclined to drop the care personally. Rus You should see me. I went and it was office. I kicked door and I told my boss, you're an asshole. I was rather candid. I'm like, are you where? That's a not just a gratitude. That's not it at all, you know. And so it made up that exercise to get people to tell about a time they gave radical candor and and then I with a plan that they would always drop that and they recounted their story, they would always drop the care personally and I would just facilitate them into the care personally. That was the plan and it went just like that. And so ultimately, when I kind of facilitated people through, I took away a couple of the layups like, Oh, they asked about my weekends or Oh, they always go to the happy hours, all the nonsense that we normally say is care personally. They six hundred people, hundred fifty less here, a hundred fifty workshops, times for people per workshop that shared. Their six hundred people developed a work cloud which was time helped success, and so the way that they felt cared about in the workplace is when their manager took the time to help them have more success, both short and long term, which, by the way, comes all the way back to this idea that the only thing we all have in common and at work is wanting to be successful. And so you can't again like say to my wife, you know the reason, the way I show that I care about you as a human being is that I take the time to help you be more successful. It's not really I don't think that really quite works in a marriage, but it works, I think, really well in a relation, in a relationship at work. And so at the manager can just make sure the employee understands with clarity what's expected and then puts...

...every ounce of energy into enabling their success. I think that's where we get the flywheel. Yeah, and that's sort of specifically means doing things like having one on one meetings, having career conversations. Is that right? Yea. Are Those more granular behaviors? Yeah, both of those things actually. Yep, awesome. Well, Ross there. I have a million more questions for you, but I just I want to say I know where at time. I want to say, first of all, thank you. I'm so excited about this book. I want to say to all all of you folks out there and podcast land by don't just buy one copy of the book, by like ten copies each and, if you have a big team, like by one for everyone on your team. This is a great book and I'm really excited about it. Yeah. Well, thanks for helping editing it too. And, by the way, and of course, the origin of the book is my time with you at radical candor like that's where the theory came from. I had to answer this R lie question a hundred times, you know, and it was tough and, as you know, right and and so, but building this I'm glad you tried to answer it, unlike me, who's just like well, if you want a company full of assholes, go right ahead. Yeah, but that's in all my answer. I like your answer much better. You know, funny thing I realized him, by the way, is everybody who knows an author wants nothing more than a free signed copy of the book. Ah, I know, and I have this is not very high on the care personally dimension, but I hate signing the park. It just seems like I don't mind signing a value add but what I was going to say is, but what every manner, whatever your author needs is everyone they know to buy ten copies of the book. Yes, yeah, don't ask cross for his signature, just buy another five or six. No, no, I'll sign it. I'll sign it, I'll say if people send me their books in self addressed stamped envelope. I'm dead serious about this. Well, thank you. Thanks for having me. This was this was really fun. It's good, you know, but I guess everybody else doesn't see is there's other team members from radical candor on here who are at this point friends and colleagues, and so it's wonderful seeing everybody's smiling face, not just yours, Kim, and and really has been the consistent theme in our relationship since two thousand and four when you didn't make one sweat, and that interview room when you didn't want to interview me because I was a marine. What has been consistent since I overcame team that bias is, yeah, generosity toward me, and I deeply appreciate it. Well, you have been equally generous and I'm gonna I'm going to tell a story you probably don't I might not be married right now if it weren't for some feedback that Ross gave me in a one on me, one on one meeting, some very courageous feedback, which is that I was in a relationship with a guy I shouldn't have been in a relationship with, and Russ just said so nicely. You know, Kim, you're awesome. You should you should be with an awesome person. So thank you, Ross, for not not being a friend to beer outside of the the workplace. Success and it's just it's always a pleasure to see you and chat with you. Awesome. Thank you very much. That was so fun to hear. Kim and rest reconnected. If you want to check out the show notes for this episode, go ahead to radical candorcom, backslash podcast. If you like what you here, go ahead rate and review us on Apple podcasts or send US feedback at podcast at radical candorcom. Your one tip for this episode. Go ahead and don't forget to pre order RUSS's book. Hey, Russ, in your own words, give us the title and what is the point of your book? Yeah, title is when they win, you win. Being a great manager is simpler than you think, and so of course we're going to make every manager great, or said differently, please. He's joined me on my quest to rid the world of...

ASS cloud managers everywhere. I love ask clown, and you need to use that word more often and tell your editor, who's also my editor, what a good word that is. It's a great word and I guess the big the biggest question I have is this. Is it hyphenated? Ass Clown, modifying the manager? Curious? No, just no. No, it's all one words in their own urban urban dictionary. Urban did dictionary defines it as a contemptible person. Yes, so it's in the urban dictionary, which means it's a real word. 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 gold mocker. Go ahead and follow us on twitter. At candor and find US online at radical candorcom.

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