Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Big Picture:
This book was first suggested to me following a 360 Annual Performance Review. My mandate: to manage my team with Radical Candor. Kim Scott illuminates concrete strategies for how we can both challenge directly and care personally. She uses her own personal and professional experiences to share sticky vignettes of how to manage high performing teams in high-stakes arenas, while also maintaining humanity, empathy, and compassion. It’s an excellent read for new and old managers alike, particularly if you feel like you’ve lost your north star and need/want to recalibrate your management ethos.

How to use it:
This is an excellent book club for senior level managers to use with direct reports. It has interesting lessons for the individuals struggling with too much compassion (ruinous empathy) and the individuals that are struggling with too little compassion (miscreant managers). In other words, Kim Scott provides real-life strategies for balancing accountability and kindness. If you are managing someone that is struggling to strike the right balance, buy him/her this book and incorporate reflection exercises into your weekly check-ins.

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

Big Picture:
The book cover says it all: 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time. The basic premise is that we should start each day with our biggest and most important task and/or project (aka: the ugliest frog). The chapters are short and digestible. The chapter summary provides tangible exercises to improve efficiency and diminish procrastination. The content is 100% accessible for all types of team members trying to improve time and task management strategies. Best of all, there is no promise of a single silver bullet. Rather, the key message is 1% solutions to develop habits of success and a positive addiction to efficient outcomes.

How to use it:
This is a fantastic read for school-based operations team. Assign a chapter each week and discuss in your weekly ops team meeting. Brainstorm opportunities to make the concepts appliable to your current challenges. Most of us are still trying to dial-in our time and task management strategies and I promise that this book provides helpful tips and tricks for every single team and every single challenge.

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