Release year: 2022

Author: Russ Laraway

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Link to my handwritten notes


This book is a perfect companion for Radical Candor (read 20) , and I would have a hard time picking which one I preferred between the two. I often felt like this book put in words things I have been thinking deep down for a long time. I love how unafraid the author is of going against the grain and pushing ideas that he tested himself on the field. A personal highlight was the Life Story Conversation questions (p. 204). I took the time to answer them myself and it felt like I was having an actual session with Russ, it was wonderful. Just like Radical Candor, this is an easy recommend for anyone who has to deal with humans in the workplace.

Félix rating:

⭐ Star quotes

  1. (p. 30) The job of a manager is only two things:
    • Deliver an aligned result
    • Enable the success of the people on your teams
  2. (p. 31) The manager is responsible for everything the team does or fails to do.
  3. (p. 51) Overachievers abound, but they often confuse volume of work with impact.
  4. ⭐ (p. 61) If you feel like you need to say “I’m in charge” or imply these words, you are definitely not in charge.
  5. (p. 66) Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact, they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary.
  6. (p. 89) “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
  7. (p. 89) “For once, I’d like to hear someone brag about their excellent time management skills, rather than complain about how much they can’t get done.”
  8. ⭐ (p. 91) If you walk around demonstrating performative workaholism by humblebragging/complaining about how you haven’t had a vacation in half a year or how you always work weekends, not only are you probably terrible at managing your time but you are also likely modeling all the wrong stuff. This is leadership by poor example.
  9. (p. 92) 3 > 2 > 4: “Three is greater than two is greater than four.” This means if you have more than three priorities, you have none.
  10. (p. 104) The brain can be broken down into two major parts:
    • The elephant
    • The rider
  11. (p. 108) A Multiplier is a leader who gets as much as two times more intelligence, output, productivity, than average from their teams. A Diminisher, by contrast, gets half as much from their teams.
  12. (p. 109) Managers who are trying to be liked create misery.
  13. (p. 119) When you are talking about someone and not to someone, you are not helping them. You are also not helping yourself to have the best experience you could have at work.
  14. (p. 119) If you work for a retaliator, do not give them feedback.
  15. (p. 120) One of the most persistent and nefarious forms of bias is our ability to absorb the signal that suggests we’re crushing it and our difficulty in absorbing feedback that suggests we’re not.
  16. (p. 120) You have an important and valid perspective, but always remember that this doesn’t make you “right”. We each have our unique context.
  17. (p. 127) The only person who ever thinks the team meeting is totally rad is the person running that team meeting.
  18. (p. 128) You have two ears and one mouth. Take that as a signal from the universe as to how much you’re supposed to use each.
  19. (p. 129) Let’s not do anything inauthentic. The greatest reward is to follow up. Following up does not necessarily mean you enact whatever suggestion you heard!
  20. (p. 130) The input you get from your teams almost always has something valuable in it that you can use.
  21. (p. 139) Three words to care personally:
    • Time
    • Help
    • Success
    • (For example: “That person took the time to help me be more successful.")
  22. (p. 147) We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.
  23. (p. 167) You want to help people grow into who they want to be and not who you need them to be or who you think they should be.
  24. (p. 204) Career Conversations