187: Whitney Johnson: It’s not that I turned it around

//187: Whitney Johnson: It’s not that I turned it around

187: Whitney Johnson: It’s not that I turned it around

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

Listen to @johnsonwhitney to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“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 

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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.

Recommended Reading

Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve

Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

You Were Born Rich

Contacting Whitney Johnson

website: https://whitneyjohnson.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitneyjohnson/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnsonwhitney

Resources and Show Mentions

Disruption Diagnostic

Free Chapter of Build An A Team

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


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2018-08-29T01:01:21-04:00August 22nd, 2018|Podcasts|0 Comments

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