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April 6, 2021

This week, we've got a Review powerhouse back with another critical playbook for startup leaders.

When Kim Scott stepped onto the First Round CEO Summit stage to give a talk about her signature concept of Radical Candor several years ago, she didn't expect both the video of her keynote and the Review article based on it to go viral. But it made a splash — racking up millions of views and quickly shooting to the top of the Review's all-time most popular pieces, which she followed up with a New York Times bestselling book. She also spun up a successful business, also named Radical Candor, which offers coaching and interactive workshops for embedding Radical Candor's frameworks within all sorts of companies.

For the uninitiated, Radical Candor tackles amorphous, fuzzy concepts like "management" and "feedback" with straightforward frameworks for putting those big ideas into practice. So when it came to writing the sequel, Scott turned her attention to another topic that's gotten plenty of column inches over the years, but often without the tactics and clear directives folks need to actually move the needle: diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace.

"All of us want the kind of work environment where we can do the best work of our lives, and yet something gets in the way," says Scott. Her just-released new book, "Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair," grapples with all the different things that stand in the way of an inclusive environment where we can all just work.

Following “Radical Candor,” Kim Scott is Back with Another Incredible Framework for “Just Work”

Before "Just Work" hit the shelves, we got a chance to sit down with Scott and Trier Bryant, co-founder and CEO of Just Work, which aims to help companies put the principles of the book into practice. Today on the Review, we spike out five lessons from its impactful pages and weave in additional insights from Scott and Bryant in our exclusive interview with the duo. What follows is an essential guide that leaders and their employees need to create a more just workplace and transform careers for the better — with Scott's signature knack for creating playbooks folks can apply right away.

Here's a sneak peak at the lessons:

Lesson #1: We all have a role to play. “No leader I’ve ever talked to has said, ‘I want to create the kind of environment where I can coerce everyone.’ I’ve also never met a single leader who says, ‘I want to create an organization that demands conformity.’ We know that’s not going to create good results or produce innovation. And yet too often, that’s exactly what happens," says Scott.

Lesson #2: We need a framework to go deeper than unconscious bias. “Kimberlé Crenshaw says, ‘You have to name it in order to solve it. So step one is how do you name these workplace injustices and the root causes so we can identify the solutions?” says Bryant.

Lesson #3: Hold up a mirror to bias with "I" statements and bias interruptors. “As you start having more diverse teams, your proximity to working with people that have different identities and different intersections than you is going to increase the amount of bias that can creep up in those situations,” says Bryant.

Lesson #4: Confront prejudice with "It" statements and clear standards for conduct. "Too many leaders act as if creating fair and equitable working environments is somehow separate from their core job," says Scott.

Lesson #5: Don't make exceptions for the "brilliant jerk" — confront bullying with "You" statements & clear consequences. "Atlassian provides a great example of a performance management system that actively punishes bullying. Managers rate employees along three different dimensions: how they demonstrate company values, how they deliver on expectations of their role, and the contribution they make to the team. Employees get a separate rating for each of those areas, not just an average rating," says Scott.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing!

-The Review Editors

Take me to The Review

Resources worth sharing: 

Anjuan Simmons (who we just featured on the Review) shares a Twitter thread making the case for hiring retrospectives to bust bias.

For a truly equitable workplace leaders must get over a fear of conflict — says two Code 2040 execs.

The pitch to treat your writing like a product, from Linda Zhang of Product Toolkit.

Another thread from Review favorite Julie Zhuo on how to nail the transition to tech manager.

10 non-obvious rules for raising a Series B, from one founder who just did it.

Trending this week — Review Reads:

The Engineering Leader's Guide to Crafting a Personal Brand that Stands Out From the Crowd
As an Engineering Leader at Help Scout, Anjuan Simmons has carved out a robust side hustle as a public speaker and blogger. Here, he shares his playbook to get started with personal branding.
This GTM-Leader-Turned-Investor Crowdsources Early Lessons From Stripe, Figma & More
As he makes the transition from operator to investor, First Round's new partner Meka Asonye crowdsources GTM lessons from early leaders at Stripe, Plaid, Figma and other top startups.
Focus on Your First 10 Systems, Not Just Your First 10 Hires — This Chief of Staff Shares His Playbook
As HashiCorp's Chief of Staff, Kevin Fishner focuses on treating the company like a product. He unpacks why the systems side of company building doesn’t get as much attention, sharing his goal-setting and decision-making templates and frameworks.
Making Self-Care Tactical — Why You Should Focus on Boundaries, Not Just Bubble Baths
Therapist Jessmina Archbold (publicly known as Minaa B.) shares her detailed guide to deeper self-care work, pushing back against common myths, offering up tactical advice and making the case for focusing on boundaries.
Made with ✨ by First Round Capital.
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