The 4th Option Junto
#14—Whitney Johnson: Disrupt Yourself by Mastering Your Own S Curve

#14—Whitney Johnson: Disrupt Yourself by Mastering Your Own S Curve

Whitney is the CEO of human capital consultancy WLJ Advisors, a2020 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company in America. She is an expert at helping high-growth organizations develop high-growth individuals, and recognized as one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world (#14) as named by Thinkers50.

Having worked at Fortune 100 companies, been an award-winning equity analyst on Wall Street, invested with Harvard’s Clayton Christensen, and coached alongside the renowned Marshall Goldsmith, Whitney understands how companies work, how investors think, and how the best coaches coach–––all of which she brings to her work in coaching CEOs and C-Suite executives. Whitney works with high-growth, venture-backed start-ups and Fortune 100 companies across a variety of sectors including consumer goods, technology, higher education and financial services. In 2017, she was selected from more than 16,000 candidates as a “Top 15 Coach” by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.

She is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker, and frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School's Corporate Learning. She is a popular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, has 1.8 million followers on LinkedIn, where she was selected as a Top Voice in 2018, and her course on Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship has been viewed more than one million times.

In this podcast...Whitney shares with us how to apply disruption theory to your career and your life, why sometimes it is a smart move to step back in order to get onto a faster growth curve, and why doing that is often so difficult (and it's not just because of what is going on your mind, but because of what others around you are thinking.)


"With people around us, what we have to remember is that whenever you disrupt yourself, you are disrupting the people around you, your disruption precipitates, their disruption."

-Whitney Johnson


Episode Timeline:

00:00—Introducing Whitney Johnson + The topic of today’s episode

3:01—If you really know me, you know that...

3:35—What is your definition of strategy?

4:08—What got you interested in strategy?

4:50—What would you say you are most known for?

5:34—How does the traditional concept of the J curve apply to one's own career?

7:25—How then does the S curve apply to people's persona life and career?

9:30—Where does "following your gut" fit into all of this?

10:40—Why is it so hard to disrupt yourself?

12:10—What would you say to someone who's scared of losing their identity in disrupting themselves?

14:49—What are other aspects that hold people back from personal disruption?

15:54—What do people usually get wrong?

16:12—What's one of the most important things that you've changed your mind about?

17:47—What's been most impactful for you or something maybe you wish you'd learned earlier?

18:41—What are you working on now?


Additional Resources:

Disrupt Yourself

Smart Growth (follow for updates on Whitney's release of her new upcoming book)

The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.