Whitney Johnson knows that personal disruption is the best way to level-up in your own career trajectory. She jumped from earning a degree in music to becoming a sought-after equity analyst on Wall Street and knows that the experience helped her to jumpstart a new learning experience. Her work today focuses on helping companies and individuals disrupt their own projects and lives in order to be the most innovative that they can be.

Who is Whitney Johnson? Whitney Johnson is an expert in corporate innovation, specifically as it deals with personal disruption. She has been named one of the top 50 leading business thinkers in the world, is a LinkedIn Influencer and a contributor to Harvard Business Review. Formerly an institutional investor-ranked analyst at places such as Merrill Lynch, Whitney is the co-founder of the Disruptive Innovation Fund and the host of the Disrupt Yourself podcast. Whitney is also the author of three books, including her latest, Build An A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve.

Whitney is looking not only to change the way we approach our own personal career trajectories, but also to change the ways in which we build our teams. In keeping the S-Curve theory in mind, we can seek to hire potential instead of proficiency and create teams with balances of experience, drive, and perspective.


“Personal disruption is how you take disruptive ideas and make them meaningful to you.” — Whitney

“If you’re trying really hard to figure out something in one area of your life, you probably want to be in the sweet spot of another area.” — Whitney

“Sixty-seven percent of employees are disengaged because they are not learning on the job.” — Whitney

“If you’re willing to hire for potential and not for proficiency, then you’ve got an advantage.” — Whitney

Action Steps:

  • Be a spiritual first-responder. When you get a spiritual prompting from God, respond to it — quickly.
  • Every learning experience follows an s-curve. If you follow the 10,000 hour rule, you’ll likely spend 6-12 months at the low end of the curve, 2-3 years in the sweet spot, and you’ll usually spend less than a year at the high end of the curve before you start dialing it in. Often, every 3-4 years, people start to reset and do something new.
  • Make sure that new team members give you their feedback on your industry, company, etc. three months into their new role. This will inject fresh insight into your mission, and make sure they know their contributions are valued.
  • When looking at taking a new job, look where the people that have been growing under your potential boss are now. Are they farther along the curve? If the answer is yes, that boss will likely help nurture you, too.
  • Embrace failure. It can help you stop living in a silo and start being challenged. It’ll help you experience the fullness of life.

Resources mentioned:

Ways to get involved:

We look forward to hearing from you!