147. Disrupt Yourself: How to Innovate Who You Are and Become Who You Can Be | Think Fast, Talk...

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147. Disrupt Yourself: How to Innovate Who You Are and Become Who You Can Be | Think Fast, Talk...

Introduction (00:00:00)

  • Matt Abrahams introduces the Radical Candor podcast and its benefits.
  • Encourages listeners to join him as a guest on the podcast on June 19th.
  • Introduces Whitney Johnson, a keynote speaker, executive coach, and author of several books on disruption and growth.
  • Mentions his previous conversation with Whitney on her podcast and expresses excitement for their discussion.

The Concept of Disruption (00:01:25)

  • Whitney Johnson defines disruption as a term popularized by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor.
  • Disruption initially referred to products, services, companies, and countries.
  • Johnson had a realization while working with Christensen that disruption could be applied to personal lives as well.

Identifying and Leveraging Distinctive Strengths (00:02:48)

  • Disruption is a process of deliberate self-innovation to rewire the brain and build new neural pathways.
  • Growth is the default setting for humans, but it requires self-disruption and deliberate self-innovation.
  • Identifying strengths can be challenging because they are often invisible and undervalued.
  • Some tools, like Strengths Finders, can help identify strengths.
  • Two ways to identify strengths:
    • Observe what exasperates you - if something seems easy for you but not for others, it might be a strength.
    • Pay attention to compliments received from others - write them down or record them to reflect on later.
  • We often don't value our strengths because they come easily to us, limiting our ability to lean into them and contribute uniquely.
  • Example: Non-native English speakers have the strength of translation due to their ability to translate from their native language.
  • Articulating strengths clearly and concisely is crucial for effective communication and self-awareness.
  • To articulate strengths effectively:
    • Be specific: Avoid vague or general terms.
    • Use examples: Provide concrete instances where you've demonstrated your strengths.
    • Quantify achievements: Whenever possible, use numbers or data to support your claims.
    • Seek feedback: Ask others for their perspectives on your strengths to gain a well-rounded understanding.
  • Clear articulation of strengths enables better self-awareness, more effective communication, and increased opportunities for growth and collaboration.

The S Curve of Learning (00:06:11)

  • The S-curve, introduced by Everett Rogers, describes personal growth and disruption in three stages: Launch Point, Sweet Spot, and Mastery.
  • At the Launch Point, predictions are inaccurate, leading to mixed emotions and self-doubt.
  • The Sweet Spot is reached when predictions become accurate, resulting in emotional surprises and rapid growth.
  • Mastery is achieved when the predictive model is debugged, leading to slow growth and a choice between comfort or further disruption for growth.
  • Mastery can be personal, such as reaching a goal or completing a learning journey, rather than becoming a world expert.

Tenacity and Tolerance in Personal Disruption (00:11:56)

  • Give yourself permission to be at the launch point of learning something new.
  • Being at the launch point provides a fresh perspective and opportunities for growth.
  • Tenacity is crucial when embarking on self-innovation and building new neural pathways.
  • Understand that the initial phase of learning something new is challenging and requires patience.
  • Use a mental framework or model to develop tenacity and navigate the emotional terrain of doing something new.
  • Not every S-curve (learning curve) is the right fit, and it's important to recognize that.

Encouraging Disruptive Ideas in Organizations (00:13:35)

  • Leaders can foster a culture that encourages disruptive ideas by creating a safe space for open dialogue.
  • Sharing personal feelings and experiences can help build trust and emotional connections among team members.
  • When team members feel safe, they are more likely to engage in constructive dialogue about disruptive ideas.
  • Focus on the ideas themselves rather than the individuals presenting them, fostering a collaborative problem-solving environment.

The Final Three Questions (00:17:00)

  • The key to successful communication is emotional connection and taking the time to make connections so that people feel comfortable sharing what's important to them.
  • Psychological safety is critical to creating an environment where people feel comfortable being emotionally connected and open.
  • To tailor messages for different audiences, have a conversation with representatives of the audience to understand their needs and wants.
  • Ensure the introduction to the speech is clear and credentials the speaker.
  • Start with a story to allow the audience's brains to fire together and wire together, making them more receptive to the content.
  • End with a moment of inspiration to motivate the audience to take action.
  • Jacob Collier is a musician and communicator who collaborates with different musicians to create fresh and magical music.
  • He turns the audience into a choir during live performances, creating a shared experience and uniting them.
  • Focus on the person you're talking to, see them, smile at them, and listen to them.
  • Be present and engaged in the conversation.
  • Be authentic and genuine in your communication.

Conclusion (00:22:30)

  • Focus on the other person, be present yourself, and focus on listening and validating to have a transformative and disruptive experience.
  • Validate and repeat back what the other person says.
  • Being present means being fully engaged in the conversation and not thinking about other things.
  • Preparing for a conversation is important, but once the conversation starts, it should be more like a jazz improvisation than a classical performance.

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