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Lead Your Team Leadership

Leadership Lessons: 'Radical Candor' Establishes Trust and Transparency

Leadership Lessons: 'Radical Candor' Establishes Trust and Transparency

There's no one "right" way to lead a business. Today's leaders have a lot of wisdom to impart about managing the modern workforce, because each one approaches leadership in his or her own unique way. Every week, Business News Daily will share a leadership lesson from a successful business owner or executive.

  • The leader: Gabby Slome, co-founder and CXO of Ollie
  • Time in current position: 1 year
  • Gabby's philosophy: "I am a big believer in radical candor. We talk directly about every issue we face, big or small, so we can tackle the solutions faster and all be aligned on our goals to achieve them together."

In high school and college, I was a competitive equestrian. I always asked my trainers to give it to me straight – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even after a great round, I would pull out everything that I could have done better ("I know that we won, but where was the mistake").  To them it sometimes seemed like I was a glutton for punishment, but to me it was the path to the only way to improve.

At my first startup, my boss joked that he was going to open up shop as a "five-minute therapist" — my team would constantly walk in and out of his office, bouncing ideas around and generally just needing to talk about things out-loud. I always appreciated that, and felt like that constant feedback loop was what made me continue with startups instead of going to bigger, more corporate companies.

When we started Ollie, I decided that I wanted to do something different. To achieve authentic transparency, and therefore a culture trust, we decided that transparency could not only exist when summoned in the form of a quarterly feedback form. It had to be there every day and become embedded into the informal communication flow. We are already at a running start because this approach aligns with our mission of changing the conversation about pet health by bringing fresh, natural ingredients to dogs everywhere. That may not be the case for every organization, and achieving authentic transparency isn't easy – though it pays off in a culture where everyone feels empowered to speak their minds at all times.

Edited for length and clarity by Nicole Taylor.