Best-selling author Whitney Johnson talks about personal disruption for personal growth

Reading Time: 2 minutes On Feb. 16, Whitney Johnson, as a part of Utah Valley University’s Presidential Lecture Series, discusses personal improvement and development.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On Feb. 16, the CEO of Disruption Advisors, Whitney Johnson, presented to students and the local community in the Vallejo Auditorium in the Keller Building. Johnson is known for her best-selling book “Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company” and for her appearances as a keynote speaker at schools such as Harvard Business.

Disruption Advisors is a group of coaches dedicated to helping individuals grow using a framework called the “S Curve.” Presenting this framework to students, Johnson walked the audience through its three phases: launch point, sweet spot, and mastery. If students would like to know more, visit their website here

She continued the speech by encouraging students to disrupt themselves with her five instructional points. Noting how these steps helped her grow from a secretary in New York to one of the top 10 business thinkers, according to Thinkers50, in 2021. 

The first of her points was “Show up to the messiness.” Johnson advised students to show up for moments that they know are going to be tough or messy, as they provide opportunities for growth and understanding. Her second point was “Face the bear,” which she referred to as anxiety or other obstacles that students are faced with. 

The third point was “Use your words.” She detailed the importance of practicing communication for all facets of students’ lives by sharing stories of people she had interviewed, like football player Steve Young, who overcame anxiety through communication. Her second to last point was “Get coached.” Johnson explained the importance of relying on others for advice. She asked students to engage with a professor they admire and to use the advice that they give to further reach students’ goals of personal improvement. 

Her last point was “Mark the moment,” so that students can look back at important moments of growth and keep an understanding of what it took to get where they are. 

After the speech, President Astrid Tuminez sat down with Johnson and opened the floor for discussion. Students and VIP guests asked questions, building on ideas in the presentation, and Johnson concluded with the importance of goals and personal disruption. 
To learn more about UVU’s Presidential Lecture Series or to find upcoming events hosted by the Office of the President, visit their website here.