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The Richie Norton Show

Mar 21, 2020

To fear or create. Richie Norton interviews world-renowned expert Whitney Johnson about tools to thrive during disruption. Whitney recently, writes, "But as novel as the novel coronavirus is, there is nothing new about trouble and challenge. I think when we succumb to fear and the paralysis or overreaction that it can stimulate, we are more likely to abandon the ship than to have it simply sink on its own." Whitney Johnson explains,"Resources are meant to be used. Let’s keep the resources circulating and at work. Let’s keep livingInvest in the future. It will affect everything we do and are. And our children. Our children’s children. There will be opportunities for new growth; if we look for those and embrace the constraints (can’t travel, must telecommute, lost half the budget, have to start again in a new place or start a new business, etc.) we will emerge from this perhaps historic moment better prepared for the challenges of the future. Which will come.Innovation is the happy fruit of the resourcefulness demanded by hard times."

Whitney Johnson is the CEO of WLJ Advisors and one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world as named by Thinkers50. She is an expert on helping high-growth organizations develop high-growth individuals. Whitney is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker, frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School's Corporate Learning and an executive coach and advisor to CEOs. She is a popular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, has 1.7 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 1 million times. In 2019, she was ranked #3 on the Global Gurus' Top 30 Organizational Culture Professionals. In 2017, she was selected from more than 16,000 candidates as a “Top 15 Coach” by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.

An innovation and disruption theorist, she is the author of the bestselling Build an “A” Team: Play To Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve, and the critically-acclaimed Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work.  In these books, she codifies her frameworks for developing high-growth individuals and organizations – the Personal Disruption and the S Curve of Learning frameworks. Whitney was the cofounder of the Disruptive Innovation
Fund with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen, through which they invested in and led the $8 million seed round for South Korea’s Coupang, currently valued at more than $9 billion. She was involved in fund formation, capital raising, and the development of the fund’s strategy.

As a former award-winning Wall Street stock analyst, Whitney understands momentum and growth. She was an Institutional Investor–ranked equity research analyst for eight consecutive years and was rated by StarMine as a superior stock picker. Whitney hosts the weekly Disrupt Yourself podcast, publishes a popular weekly newsletter, and she is married with two children.

The interview takes place on March 16, 2020 just as the USA wakes up to the impacts and implications of COVID-19 and social distancing becomes the new normal. Gathering places like restaurants and event are closed down. The nation is being asked to not meet in groups larger than 10. Major cities worldwide are shutting doors, countries shutting borders and the future is unknown. COVID-19 carriers are rarely speaking up. The world fears contracting the Coronavirus and little is known about what to do if you do.