387: You must ascend any mountain of challenges yourself, but you succeed when you bring others along with guest expert Whitney Johnson

Whitney Johnson, author of Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve

Bill Ringle and Whitney Johnson discuss the power behind thinking of your team as a collection of S-curves for small business leaders, managers, and rising stars.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com  for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. We need to be explicit with our communication when working in a hybrid or remote workplace because people cannot see what we are doing or any form of non-verbal communication.
  2. You want people who not only pull themselves up the mountain but pull other people up with them on the journey, as well.
  3. Anxiety is a performance killer. As leaders, we need to create an emotionally healthy and mentally safe environment.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • Whitney shares her favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson- “Rings and other jewels are but apologies for gifts. The only true gift is a portion of myself,” and why this is relevant to her as a coach. [01:52]
  • The characteristics of an A-Team, do they appear spontaneously, and what you can learn from Apple. [02:35]
  • “Communicate, communicate, communicate.” The advantages and disadvantages of remote and hybrid work to communication within a team. [06:31]
  • Defining the S-curve and its levels: Launch point, sweet spot, mastery. [09:03]
  • Why you would want a team that is a collection of different levels of the S-curve. Whitney advises on why you would like your team to have 20% of your members in the launch point, 60% on the sweet spot, and another 20% on mastery. [11:50]
  • How managers can open a conversation on bridging the gap while de-risking resentment. Whitney gives seven pieces of very valuable advice on how we leaders can do this. [15:12]
  • 7 tools to optimize your journey up the S-curve. [20:31]
  • The DOs and DON’Ts of giving an excellent initial experience, such as onboarding. [21:41]
  • CASE: Marco Trecroce, the CIO of Four Seasons Canada to highlight the importance of the onboarding process despite already having someone with skills and experience. [23:20]
  • CASE: Samantha, an exemplary leader whose employees’ trust keeps them safe emotionally and mentally at work. [25:06]
  • My Quest for the Best lightning round begins. [27:21]

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Expert Bio

Whitney Johnson is the CEO of Disruption Advisors, a tech-enabled talent development company, and an expert on smart growth leadership: growing your people to grow your company.

Thinkers50 ranked her among the top ten management thinkers in the world in 2021, and in 2020 she was a Top Voice on LinkedIn, where she has 1.8 million followers.

Johnson is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker, frequent lecturer for Harvard Business Publishing’s Corporate Learning division, and an award-winning executive coach and adviser to CEOs.

She is the author of several bestselling books, including Disrupt Yourself and Build an A-Team, and hosts the weekly Disrupt Yourself podcast.

Contact Info and Social Media for Whitney Johnson

  • Travels from: Lexington, VA

Resources Mentioned During the Interview

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed, so you can explore further.

Published by Whitney Johnson

Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company
Build an A Team by Whitney Johnson
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