radical candor podcast

Podcast Season 4, Episode 3: Skill and Will — 5 Reasons Why People On a Steep Growth Trajectory Don’t Always Perform Well

On this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, Kim, Jason and Amy discuss one of the most perplexing management dilemmas you might experience: when a person who ought to be taking on more and more responsibility and performing better every day is instead doing the opposite. This person is doing excellent work on a steep growth trajectory — maybe they even want to be your boss someday — and you’ve put in charge of the most important work or assigned them to solve your most difficult problems because they’re just that good. So why are they flailing instead of flying? We’ve seen this happen for five different reasons. Plus, organizations we’re supporting for humanitarian relief in Ukraine

Listen to the episode:

Radical Candor Podcast Episode At a Glance

The 5 reasons people on steep growth trajectories might be falling short:

  1. The wrong role.
  2. New to role; too much too fast.
  3. Personal problems.
  4. Poor alignment.
  5. Putting people in boxes and leaving them there.


10 Free Resources to Help You Practice Radical Candor >>

Radical Candor podcast

Radical Candor Podcast Checklist

  1. Make sure you know the folks on your team well enough to know where they shine. Don’t take a communications person in superstar mode and saddle them alone in a room with a bunch of spreadsheets, or vice versa.
  2. When you’re in growth management mode ask a person about where they want to go in the future and whether what they’re doing is letting them take a step in the direction of their dreams. These are development check-ins you should be having regularly whereas a more formal performance management check-in should happen once a quarter at the most.
  3. Remember that when someone doesn’t seem to be jelling with the role or the responsibilities of a new job, make sure that you’re not making the mistake of trying to force them to fit into a particular culture. Give them the support they need to succeed.

Learn more about Kim’s purple flag >> 

Support for Ukraine

Radical Candor podcast

We’re supporting these organizations dedicated to helping people in Ukraine.

  • Founded by author and activist Glennon Doyle, Together Rising is providing funds to seven boots-on-the-ground partners for urgent help in Ukraine, including marginalized and LGBTQ2IA+ communities. Donate >>
  • Ocalenie Foundation, or Rescue Foundation, helps refugees, immigrants and repatriates, including those fleeing the war in Ukraine, build new lives in Poland. Donate >>
  • Additional donation resources suggested by the Obama Foundation. Learn more >>


Just Work is Available Everywhere Books are Sold!

Just Work Kim Scott


Order Kim’s new book, Just Work: How To Root Out Bias, Prejudice, and Bullying to Create a Kick-Ass Culture of Inclusion, to learn how we can recognize, attack, and eliminate workplace injustice ― and transform our careers and organizations in the process.

We ― all of us ― consistently exclude, underestimate, and underutilize huge numbers of people in the workforce even as we include, overestimate, and promote others, often beyond their level of competence. Not only is this immoral and unjust, but it’s also bad for business. Just Work is the solution.

Just Work is Kim’s new book, revealing a practical framework for both respecting everyone’s individuality and collaborating effectively. This is the essential guide leaders and their employees need to create more just workplaces and establish new norms of collaboration and respect. Read more >>


Radical Candor Podcast Listeners Get 10% Off The Feedback Loop


Improvising Radical Candor, a partnership between Radical Candor and Second City Works, introduces The Feedback Loop (think Groundhog Day meets The Office), a 5-episode workplace comedy series starring David Alan Grier that brings to life Radical Candor’s simple framework for navigating candid conversations.

You’ll get an hour of hilarious content about a team whose feedback fails are costing them business; improv-inspired exercises to teach everyone the skills they need to work better together, and after-episode action plans you can put into practice immediately.

We’re offering Radical Candor podcast listeners 10% off the self-paced e-course. Follow this link and enter the promo code FEEDBACK at checkout.

The Radical Candor Podcast theme music was composed by Cliff Goldmacher. Order his book: The Reason For The Rhymes: Mastering the Seven Essential Skills of Innovation by Learning to Write Songs.

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