Episode 19

Whitney Johnson: Mastering your learning curves

How do you master the process of changing as a professional and as a person? How do you understand where you are on the S-curve of learning? And when you do, what will you do next? Dig into exploring the possibilities in front of you, shift gear and career, or disrupt yourself once you’ve reached mastery? How to avoid the distractions that impede your progress and focus your attention wisely?

Whitney Johnson, CEO of Disruption Advisors, and the author of a brilliant book called Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company, describes three phases on this S-curve of learning: launch, sweet spot and mastery, and the six roles you play along the way: explorer, collector, accelerator, metamorph, anchor, mountaineer.

It’s clear that our development, our learning, is a strategic exercise. We need to make choices about where we go next, who we serve and how we win. Whitney left me optimistic about the potential of humankind to do this, armed with her insights, stories and tools.

The best bits of these conversations are captured in my newsletter Flashes+Sparks.

Further resources

Whitney Johnson is CEO of the tech-enabled, talent development company Disruption Advisor. Named one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, Whitney is an expert at smart growth leadership.

VIEW RUNNING ORDER

04.30 The challenges of the explorer leadership role.
06.57 The challenges of the mountaineer leadership role.
08.50 How to engineer your learning.
11.33 Walking into the messiness.
14.36 How much the context influences the S-curve.
17.14 Creating the conditions for people to flourish.
21.28 The importance of disclosure in teams.
23.00 Firing up your childlike fascination.
26.24 Whitney’s own stories.
28.14 The biggest distractions that hinder learning.
30.52 Professional and personal S-curves.
33.50 Whitney’s action board.

“In the mastery phase, in order to get us to do something new, we need to be disrupted.”

Whitney Johnson, CEO, Disruption Advisor

Amy Gallo: Working with difficult people

Amy Gallo: Working with difficult people

Paul Polman: Creating companies that give more than they take

Paul Polman: Creating companies that give more than they take

Jim Detert: Cultivating your courage

Jim Detert: Cultivating your courage

Andrea Olson: Truly understanding your customers

Andrea Olson: Truly understanding your customers

Jeffrey Shaw: Crafting your best self-employed life

Jeffrey Shaw: Crafting your best self-employed life

Chris Rangen: Venturing into the future

Chris Rangen: Venturing into the future

Steve Blank: Reinventing entrepreneurship

Steve Blank: Reinventing entrepreneurship

Janice Lintz: Advocating for access

Janice Lintz: Advocating for access

Roger Martin: Thinking afresh about business

Roger Martin: Thinking afresh about business

Share This