Whitney Johnson Show Notes Page
Whitney Johnson was a star analyst working on Wall Street and she had a fantastic year, except when she got the feedback from all her peers. It was really bad. So, she got a coach and turned it around. And after 15-years she’s still learning lessons from that experience while helping others to avoid the same mistakes.
Whitney was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in San Jose, California.; along with her younger sister and two younger brothers. Her parents married initially because her mother was pregnant and they then divorced when she was a senior in high school.
Because her mother got married young, as the oldest child, Whitney’s job was to help make her mother happy, so achievement – winning the brass ring – became very important. Whitney studied music in high school and graduated from college with a degree in piano performance, but after graduating and moving to NYC with her husband so he could attend graduate school at Columbia, she became the primary breadwinner. And since she needed to put food on the table the brass ring was Wall Street. She started out as a secretary, took classes at night and became an investment banker.
After being a banker and then equity analyst, she disrupted herself to become an entrepreneur – eventually co-founding an investment firm with Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School. While working with him in investing in early stage companies, she had the a-ha that the theory of disruption wasn’t just about products, but about people. From there, she began to research and codify a process of personal disruption she writes about in Disrupt Yourself and Build an A-Team. She also coaches and teaches these principles all over the world.
She hopes through this work to help people be less terrified to make the changes they need to make in their life and give them a structure to lean on as they make those changes.
Whitney currently lives in Lexington, Virginia where her husband teaches biology at Southern Virginia University. They have two children; a son, David, who recently returned from a mission in Campinas, Brazil and is now a sophomore at Utah State, and a daughter, Miranda, who is a junior in high school and whose passion is academic team.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“If you can be a great boss you can build a great team.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“When people stop learning they start to feel disengaged.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“Board and disengage people don’t innovate, they get disrupted.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“When you’ve gotten to the top of a learning curve and it’s time for you to do something new, how do you know when it’s time to do that?” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“We need friction, we need challenges.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“We tend to ignore people and things when they’re working.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“It’s not just pile more on, it’s making choices in order to optimize the learning of every person on your team.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“We all need visual reminders or at least check-ins.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“That whole challenge of buy-in, we talk about it all the time and most of us are really bad at it.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“If we’re not feeling that sense of self where we can give to others, then we’ve got to figure out what’s happening for us, so that we can do it for others.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“If you can’t get buy-in from your stakeholders you’re not going to get a whole lot done.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“We’re all entitled, it’s just a matter of how.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“Anytime we look at one of our big failures, in that failure are the seeds of some great successes.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“When every single person on your team is a learning machine” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“The fundamental unit of disruption is the individual.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“Companies don’t disrupt, people do.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“If I can disrupt the current version of me, I can change my world and the rest of the world just a little bit.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“Get a coach now, don’t wait until there’s a problem.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
“Everything is a head game, if you can change how you think and feel – that’s going to make all the difference.” -Whitney Johnson Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Whitney Johnson was a star analyst working on Wall Street and she had a fantastic year, except when she got the feedback from all her peers. It was really bad. So, she got a coach and turned it around. And after 15-years she’s still learning lessons from that experience while helping others to avoid the same mistakes.
Advice for others
Get a coach now, now, now, now. Everybody needs a coach. Recognize that everything is a head game – if you can change how you think and feel and not just consume information but really change your habits and hard-wiring, that going to make all the difference.
Holding her back from being an even better leader
How I think about myself, what I think about myself.
Best Leadership Advice
Do not dare not to dare. I pass the test. Trust the process.
Secret to Success
I’m hungry – I want to improve.
Best tools in business or life
I work with a great group of people and the Headspace App.
Contacting Whitney Johnson
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
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Jim Rembach: , Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going really show us some frameworks and ideas on how to build and A-Team. Whitney Johnson was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in San Jose, California along with her younger sister and two younger brothers. Her parents married initially because her mother was pregnant and they then divorced when she was a senior in high school. Because her mother got married young, as the oldest child, Whitney’s job was to help make her mother happy, so achievement winning the brass ring became very important.
Whitney Johnson: studies music in high school and graduated from college with a degree in piano performance. But after graduating and moving to New York City with her husband so he could attend graduate school Columbia she became the primary breadwinner and since she needed to put food on the table the brass ring was Wall Street. She started out as a secretary to classes night and became an investment banker. After being banker and then equity analyst she disrupted herself to become an entrepreneur eventually co-founding an investment firm with Clayton Christensen at Harvard business school. While working with him in investing in early stage companies, she had an “aha” that the theory of disruption wasn’t just about products but about people. From there she begin to research and codify a process of personal disruption she writes about in Disrupt Yourself and Build an A-team. She also coaches and teaches this principles all over the world. She hopes through this work to help people be less terrified to make the changes they need to make in their life and give them a structure to learn on as they make those changes. Whitney currently lives in Lexington, Virginia, where her husband teaches biology at Southern Virginia University. They have two children, a son David, who recently returned from a mission in Campinas, Brazil and is now a sophomore at Utah State. And a daughter Miranda, who is a junior in high school who’s passion is academic team. Whitney Johnson, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Whitney Johnson: Yes, I am.
Jim Rembach: I’m glad you’re here. I’ve really enjoyed going through your book, Build an A-Team and we’re going to get to talk about some of those things. But before we get in to that, I’ve given my legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, what you alluded to just a moment ago, my passion is to really help you become a great boss to build a team, an A Team that can innovate and manage through change that is what I am focused on passionate about, who will talk to anybody who will listen on the topic. Because I think if you could be a great boss, you can build a great team.
Jim Rembach: And as I was going through the book there’s several things that just stood out to me. And one early on was the statistic that you reported that one study showed that 84 percent of people felt trapped in their jobs. To me that’s just astounding and when you start thinking about the whole how much does this trap feeling and engagement kind of play in to one another?
Whitney Johnson: Another statistic is that only 30 percent of the people are engage on the job—that’s the United States and then 15 percent outside of the United States. I think what happens is that when people stop learning they start to fee disengaged and when they feel disengaged they feel like, well, I’m really unhappy but I don’t know if I can actually leave because I got to put on the table and so that’s where the trap feeling comes in. And what the purpose of this book is to say to you as a manager if you will let your people learn, if you allow for the fact that they are learning machines allow for this biology of change they will start to re-engage they will stop feeling trap and instead of trying to be like a caged animal getting out of the trap they’ll be like, this is fantastic and work real hard and happy and then productive because they’re happy.
Jim Rembach: And the way that you kind of, I guess it’s a brought this to life formatted for me visually clear, you did it in a couple different ways, but one way is you talked about S-curve of learning. And with the S-curve of learning—okay, so let me talk about first of all the categories within it in (4:53) you have an experience, engagement and then you have mastery and so for the longest time I hear about getting to mastery trying to get your people and help them to become a master at something. However, the thing that stood out to me is you talk about the downside of mastery, what is that?
Whitney Johnson: Exactly. Just a really quick recap of this idea the S-curve for everybody who’s listening. So, really in your mind pick though this S it looks a lot like a wave, whenever you start a new role or new project you’re a the bottom of that S and you’re working really hard and it feels like not much has happening. You’re inexperience and you might come home from work feeling like, I don’t know what I’m doing what did I take this job? We’ll that completely normal cause there’s this jumble of puzzle pieces that you’re trying to put together and that is going to last for six months maybe a year. But then you working hard and then you move into that phase of engagement and you’re typically there for one to three years, this is the sweet spot it’s a steep pack of the curve and this is where you’re learning you know enough but not too much and so it’s a really fun part of the job and that’s where you’re engage and that’s where you want most of your people on your team to be. And then as you just asked to get to be a master, you been doing this for about three years you’re now on the top of that S, well, guess what happens here? Because you know what you’re doing now you’ve figured out how to put all those puzzle pieces together there’s no longer very much novelty. And because there’s no novelty your brain is no longer giving you the feel good effects of learning, those dopamine hits that we love so much, and so you’re bored. And so, you said yourself there are master but in fact this is the absolute danger zone. Because when people get bored one of two things happen, they either leave, so you lost this star performer, or they disengage, they check out and they’ve become complacent which is bad for them but it’s really bad for you because bored and disengage people complacent people don’t innovate they get disrupted, they get disrupted and so you as a team in the company.
Jim Rembach: And within the book you talk about a couple different ways in order to assist people and in re-engagement process when they start hitting that level and sometimes you talk about moving sideways going backwards in order to be able to launch and propel themselves forwards, and that’s one of the things we talk about a lot on the Fast Leader show. Another thing that seems to be really interesting is you talk about seven accelerants of learning and growth. You talked about managers really needing to know what this seven accelerants are, let’s share with them real quick. You have the right risk, distinctive strengths, embracing constraints, battle against entitlement that step back and grow that I mentioned a second ago, give failure its due, be discovery driven, why this seven?
Whitney Johnson: What we found in our research in just backing up a little bit to get to the foundation of all this ideas is that—I had worked on Wall Street as we talked about it in the bio and then had disrupted myself connected with Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School who came up with this theory of disruptive innovation. He wrote a seminal book called the Innovators Dilemma and so this whole theory of disruption of this silly little thing that can eventually take over the world and therefore you improve your odds to success. Toyota takes over General Motors Neflix takes over Blockbuster the telephone took over the telegraph so what happens over and over and over again. And so when I had this big aha about—this theory doesn’t just apply to products it actually also applies to people I stead out to really think through this and quality a framework of personal disruption so that you would know that it’s time for you when you’ve gotten to the top of the learning curve and it’s time for you to do something new how do you know when it’s time to do that? But then once you do it what are the steps or what are those leverage that you can pull that can allow you to move along the learning curve really quickly. And so on our research we found this different leverage that you just talked about taking the right kind of risk plain to your strengths, embrace constraints etc. So those seven leverage come from the research that we’ve done.
Jim Rembach: So you think about, we’re talking about the constraints piece but you talked about the engagement part within the S learning curve and that’s kind of like the feel good part of the job, but the thing is you kind of made an interesting when you kind of threw this people a curve ball. In the book you talk about giving them constraints in order to keep sweet spot employees disrupting so you have to keep challenging them.
Whitney Johnson: That’s right, that’s right. And what happens frequently is you get a person in their sweet spot, in fact just the other day I was talking to one of my coaching clients and he was talking about we’re kind of doing this inventory of the people who are working for him and he was saying, yeah, this woman Susan, that’s not her real name, she is just doing a fantastic job, I’m like, good I said are you pushing her? He’s like, huh, no I’m not. Like, give her strengths assignments you’ve got to push her because it’s basically a law of physics like we need friction we need challenges and to move up that curve which is really steep you need the challenge of something that you quite know how to do and then you’ll be able to innovate. Now a couple of reasons why we don’t do it? Number one is everything is working and tend to ignore people and things when they’re working so that’s one reason we don’t. Another reason we don’t is that when people are doing really well and they in our mind become a high potential we’re actually afraid that they’ll fail and so then we don’t want to give them things that will challenge them but if you’re going to allow people to really be in that sweet spot you need to be willing to give them assignments where there is the real risk of failure. So those are couple of reasons why even though we’re like—of course you would do it, while we sometimes don’t.
Jim Rembach: And as you’re talking and thinking about all of this I started thinking about the leader themselves we’re talking about frameworks don’t apply and things like that. But however, the person who is responsible for these folks and their development and their growth you have to kind of be a constant agitator yourself?
Whitney Johnson: Right absolutely. And I think that you need to be constant agitator if you got a person on this sweet spot it’s a matter of, I would say, agitator and just being aware because oftentimes they would be giving you signals but if you’re checking in with them I think this is one of those things that ends up going by the way so it’s like frequently you got really busy and you stop having check in with people. But if you’re willing to do things like, at least once a month seat with them and say, how are you doing? How are you’re people? What’s happening? You’re going to get so much information in you’ll be able to get a sense if you’re willing to be present and be aware that huh everything is working for her, I think I’m going to push her a little bit harder because we want to get more out of her. Now to be clear person A is really busy they’re super competent I’m going to give more to do. There’s this trade off their when I say give them stretch assignments it may also mean that you take something of off their plate it doesn’t just mean keep giving them more which is frequently what happens. The thing that’s interesting and helpful here is to recognize that for that person to sweet spot you give them a stretch assignment you take something off their plate but what might be now very easy for them very commonplace could be a stretch assignment for someone else and so that thing that’s become very boring for them give it to someone else and now you’ve got this ripple on effect they’ve got a stretch assignment but so do someone else. I think an important piece is it’s not just (13:00 inaudible) it’s making choices in order to continue to optimize the learning of every single person on your team.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point. For me I started thinking about a car and then you don’t want people to be on cruise control you always have to help them make the turns accelerate when they need to maybe slowdown when they need to, and I think that’s very helpful to know. And also for me one of the think that I started doing is I started putting things more visual for me to remember because you talk about you get too busy we all get too busy and when I put things present in my face on the wall or something like that it causes me that pose to say, oh, gosh! Step back make sure that I’m doing the fundamental components make sure that I’m really connecting with the people who I need to be connecting with as well as you said not overloading them cause it’s too darn easy.
Whitney Johnson: Exactly, those visual reminders were hugely helpful.
Jim Rembach: Definitely for me. I don’t know if it’s a gender thing or not my wife doesn’t need she does it all in her head I’m like I don’t know what’s inside there I got to see it.
Whitney Johnson: I actually don’t think—I think they might be learning cells but I think we all need visual reminders or certainly check-ins I have this list of questions I ask myself every day, did I do this? Did I try my best to do this? Because otherwise I won’t do that.
Jim Rembach: That’s for sure. Now I do want to cover with this sweet spot disruption items art that you have in here because to me it’s really interesting when I started looking at these and I started thinking about that they really cause people to learn how to achieve which is a very different thing than learning how to compete or do a task. So you talk about time maybe adding a brick wall deadline and moving the target up or changing some priorities money or other resources in other words taking some of those things away and saying, hey, if you didn’t have as much or if you didn’t have this or that what would you do differently?
By the way saying it to them not in sense of, hey, were going to do this because were punishing you, part of this is in the framing, a lot of these is in the framing it’s not like, oh, were taking your budget away therefore you’re not valuable to us anymore which oftentimes is how it comes across it’s, okay, I think you got more in you so I’m going to have this budget for next three months I want you to see what you can do, it doesn’t mean it’s gone away, so there’s a big framing piece here.
Jim Rembach: That is so true cause otherwise everything—this is one reason why I hate the whole swat analysis type of thing because it becomes a weakness and a threat, right? And everything’s a weakness and a threat, I hate that.
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, exactly.
Jim Rembach: So then expertise maybe looking at a particular issue that you’re trying to solve more so a novice or maybe for us a lot of people who are my audience as a customer, right? You can have customer-centric focus. And then by-in which is trying to get those people to learn how to sell their innovative ideas both internally and I won’t even say externally, right?
Whitney Johnson: Absolutely. Yeah, and I think so often—the buy in thing I think is such an interesting or something that I thought so much about because whenever you’re trying to get someone to buy into your idea whether your selling to them to your customer or getting buy in for an idea internally you were effectively asking that person so everybody is on the learning curve all of us are. You effectively asking that person to jump to a new learning curve and it’s not their learning curve at least not right now, are you trying to find it you work, and so how do you pack a parachute for them so that they feel that it had become their learning curve and they actually wanted them and that whole challenge of buy in we talked about it all the time and most of us are really, really bad at it.
Jim Rembach: I would agree. I was just having this conversation, I think it was yesterday, about what I referred to as convince her strategy, you really have to know your target the people who you’re trying to get to buy in and at the way that they go about their decision making process in order for you to effectively apply the right framework in order to get them to buy in it’s definitely a science that’s within itself. Another thing that I really like in book, because I see, I even see it at the very youngest level still in elementary, middle school and even high school is this issue around failure and then how to respond to failure. I see too often kids getting the opportunity to get a grace or mulligan or a pass on a lot of things so that they don’t experience the failure process. But yet we’ll turn around time failures important you have to fail in order to be able to overcome but we don’t teach them how to respond to failure. I really like the framework that you put together on how to actually doing that because in order for us to take risk, achieve and really experience something that’s going to be different than everyone else they have that breakthrough performance that A team, we have got to respond to failure well. And so you talk about—first of all begin with why the failure happened and then you talked about what was the failure result of is it that the person or the team fail because they’re on the wrong role, we put them on the wrong spot, where there unrealistic expectation and do we need to make some changes to that? And then how quickly can we recover from it? That framework to me was so powerful I think we all really need to learn how to respond to failure and then teach people—you talk being an agitator, hey, you failed now let’s analyze it and go to these steps.`
Whitney Johnson: Exactly, and give people an opportunity too. And I think you allow them to actually make a mistake. And be invested enough in them to analyze how the mistake was made and to go through to those series of questions that you just (19:10)
Jim Rembach: Because to me that’s definitely a growth and a learning process that’s extremely valuable that will get people to mastery a heck of a lot faster.
Whitney Johnson: Absolutely, absolutely.
Jim Rembach: Okay, a lot of what we’re talking about here is this riddled and filled with all kinds of emotions and we need to focus in order to move forward faster and a lot of times on the show we focus on quotes in order to help us get that focus and that energy. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, one that I specially love is a Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rings and jewels are but apologies for gift the only true gift is a portion of thy self. That quote really is meaningful for me because I think that whether I’m writing, whether I’m talking giving a speech whether I’m coaching whether I’m doing a podcast with you I can give ideas but if I don’t give a portion of myself how I feel and I don’t give my attention to you, it’s funny I’m closing my eyes because I‘m thinking through this and I’m not looking at you, if I don’t give my attention to you then it doesn’t matter if I give you ring it doesn’t matter if I give you jewels I really do believe that the only real gift that any of us have to give the only one that really means is a portion of ourselves and oftentimes that portion of ourselves is that for that moment in time where you become the most important person in the world. That to me is the only real gift that we can give to people.
Jim Rembach: I love that quote and I also love your elaboration and deep meaning associated with it. Just like you have said a while back sometimes we just get too busy and we forget all of those things but that’s really the difference maker I’m talking about building that A-team it’s giving of self in order to make other greater.
Whitney Johnson: Right, exactly, exactly. And it requires that we feel enough the sense of self there’s this ripple effect so if we’re not feeling that sense of self that we can give to others then we’ve got to figure out what’s happening for us so that we can do it for others.
Jim Rembach: Most definitely. And so when we start talking about coming to that realization for yourself typically we have to go over a lot of humps in order to be able to get to that point, there’s just a lot of learning opportunity. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over a hump that you can share with us?
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, so this a really interesting question, when I was working on Wall Street I was a star analyst and I was an equity analyst and is picking stocks this and buy this is a sell upgrade downgrade it, and I have had a fantastic year. My metrics were good I was good at picking stocks we written really good research just everything was good. Except, except when I got a feedback from all my peers, the 360 feedback it was really bad I just got back feedback. And so that was first of all a huge punch in the gut and I felt terribly misunderstood, this is probably been 15 years ago now, I felt terribly misunderstood so they got me a coach and I basically said I am going this round I’m going to turn it around and I did the next year when I got the feedback back out of—I don’t know I think 50 or 60 people when they look at the 360 feedback I had the second highest rating of anyone, so that’s good but that’s not the lesson. This is what I think is interesting as I reflect on this question that you just asked me, recently I interviewed from my podcast a fellow by the name of Carl Cast and he’s written a whole book on derailers, what could derail you in your career? And there’s this whole quiz that you can take and there’s five different categories that you can fall into them. And I took the quiz and I was thinking I’m pretty sure I’m going to be like—one of the categories is a whirling durbish and there are a couple of other categories, I don’t remember all of them you can go and checkup the podcast, but one of them I was like, oh, no I’m definitely not that one—I was that one, it was captain fantastic. What is the description of captain fantastic? Alienates people bruises them with sharp elbows and blind spots. So I think that the real realization for me as I reflect on that experience it’s not that I turn it around, although I think that’s important I think it was—because I think of the time I was kind of going through the motion I’m just going to prove like that brass ring I’m going to do this. I think now for me the lesson is as you think about this moving up the learning curve and this idea of battling our sense of title, entitlement or sense of self or sense of this is ideas growing up their ** minds which by the way it the hardest one. The lesson for me is you have to know who your stakeholders are you have to be able to get along with your stakeholders you have to be able to get buy in from your stakeholders and if can’t do that you’re not going to get a whole lot done. And by the way, you’re not going to be a nice person either but you’re really not going to be able to get very much done. And so for me the big lesson was, how do I battle my own sense of entitlement? We’re all entitled it’s just a matter of how. And how do I figure out who my stakeholders are and how do I figure out how to get buy in from the stakeholders so that I can get things done and that was a big learning opportunity for me and one that has continued to be a learning opportunity as overtime I grow up I’m able to translate and interpret and gain more meaning from that experience.
Jim Rembach: Thanks for sharing that. As you’re talking I also started thinking about as I’ve gone through getting close to a couple of hundred podcast right now and talking to different folks about the things that they feel are their passion and the course where their careers have taken them I often find this hump story and the things that they share being quite interesting meaning that, okay, you’re on Wall Street you’re a financial analyst when people think about Wall Street they think about—hey that is the pinnacle you’re already want to be anywhere else, that’s a perception that a lot of people may have. But now you’re in coaching and you’re writing book, so, could it be that the reason that you’re here is because of that experience and the challenge that it had given you and how you found a passion in order to better yourself and now you want to help others do it.
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, certainly. I certainly, absolutely contributing factor of disability to now be able to coach people and to think about this ideas of how do you build a great team. I think yeah, absolutely any time we look at one of our big, big failures I think almost always if we will let it in that failure are the seeds of some great success and more importantly you need contributions that we can make to those around us.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s an important think especially we talk about that person who’s reached that mastery is helping them to do that give back, right?
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, absolutely.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so now you do have a lot of things going on—you’re promoting the book you’re doing a lot of coaching, family, all of those things are important, when you start thinking about goals do you have one goal that you could talk about, what would it be?
Whitney Johnson: Here I’ll show it to you can you see this? This is post now. Wall Street Journal best seller for Build an A Team that’s my goal right now. And so why is that my goal? Because it focuses my energy of getting this book into the hands of those many leaders as possible. Because when you and I know that every single person on your team is a learning machine where you can learn and you can live and you repeat and make it possible for repeated person disruption people are happy and engaged, as I said earlier, and they love working for you they love coming to work and because all of those things are happening you ship more products and so there’s this fortress cyle. That simple goal it focuses my energy how do I sell as many books as possible the goal being Wall Street Journal best seller and so that is my short term goal right now that I think about every day.
Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
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Jim Rembach: Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Whitney, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Whitney Johnson, are you ready to hoedown?
Whitney Johnson: I’m ready for hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Whitney Johnson: How I think about myself whatever I believe myself. I’m doing a ton of work to change how I think because if I can change how I think change what I do I’ll change what I build. My belief is that the fundamental unit of disruption is the individuals, companies don’t disrupt people do. So if I can disrupt the curve version of me I can change my world and maybe the rest of the world just a little bit.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Whitney Johnson: I’m going to give you three. One is do not dare not to dare, C.S. Louise and another is I passed the test this coladrial of when we see power wanting it so desperately like The Ring and Lord of the Rings and being able to look at power and not grasp it. And then the third is a little bit more practical it’s Alan Mulally former CEO of Forbes who said, Trust the process put the process in place and then trust it.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Whitney Johnson: I’m hungry I want to improve. The brass ring it’s pretty hard wired and so I find that I’m continually nothing. I have moments of happiness and celebration of what I’ve been able to accomplish but I’m still very, very hungry.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Whitney Johnson: I have a great team of people that I work with and the Headspace app.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners and it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to Build an A Team on your show notes page as well.
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, you know that’s so funny I remember once I was doing this question and I ask people, what book had inspired you? And this man said my book, I’m like no, what book? And he’s like, my book, I said, no, you can’t say your book anyway. So, the book that inspired me are two that I think that really are powerful is Grit by Angela Duckworth and Born Rich by Bob Proctor.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Whitney Johnson. Okay, Whitney this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Whitney Johnson: Because I’m a disruptor I’m going to give you more than one. The first is get a coach now, now, now, now don’t wait until there’s a problem everybody needs a coach athlete needs a coach you need it. Second is recognize that everything is a head game. If you can change how you think and feel not just consume information but like really change your habits and your hire wiring that’s going to make all the difference. Because if you change that then you can change how you manage your change and like I said it will make all the difference. And the thing that I would do all over again is I would marry my husband.
Jim Rembach: Whitney, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with a Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you?
Whitney Johnson: Yeah, if you want to take the escrow locator see where you are on your learning curve go to whitneyjohnson.com/diagnostic or if you want to download the first chapter of the book you can /ATeam, those are the best ways to get hold of me.
Jim Rembach: Whitney Johnson thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
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