Over the past decade, I’ve become something of an expert in personal disruption, after quitting a high-profile position on Wall Street, pursuing several entrepreneurial paths, co-founding two investment firms, and reinventing myself as a writer and speaker. If you are going to disrupt your career there are a lot of questions. But maybe the biggest […]
When I hear the phrase “managing up,” I reflexively think of the seemingly spineless J. Pierrepont Finch who rises from window washer to president of Worldwide Wicket Company in How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. By lying: he tells the head of HR that the CEO said to give him a job when […]
“This seems like pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Have you actually seen this done?”
I often hear this question when I visit companies and speak about how to make an innovative idea less terrifying to high level executives. The skepticism is warranted. There are plenty of pundits arguing that big companies need to innovate, and pointing out that […]
In early 2011, I gave a TEDx speech. Because I wanted my ideas around dreaming and disrupting to come alive in a way that’s not possible in writing – and because of my nagging performance anxiety – I started working with a speech coach. Since then, I’ve given a series of talks across the country. […]
I had been hired to do 1-on-1 speed-coaching sessions at the Summit Series at Powder Mountain, and I was confident I could help one person, in particular, to take his career to the next level. Once back in the office, I pinged him: “I would love to coach you. Any interest in exploring?” He responded […]
If you’re interviewing for a job and pregnant, should you keep your pregnancy a secret? Or do you have an obligation to tell your prospective employer? When I posed this question on LinkedIn, about half the responses defended a woman’s right to hide her pregnancy from a potential employer. The other half insisted that employers […]
“I’m in over my head.” How often this thought has crossed my mind.
If you’re ambitious, this will happen to you a lot. It has with me: in every single job.
You reach a plateau. You are no longer enjoying the feel-good effects of learning so you jump from one learning curve to the next. And at […]
Three years ago, as I was putting the finishing touches on my book Dare, Dream, Do, a friend sent me a link to a contest sponsored by Oprah. The prize was your own talk show. Immediately, I was thrilled by the giddy fear I feel when I know I’ve got to take something on.
Almost simultaneously, […]
Four years ago, Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, approached me about a brainstorm: an event recognizing and celebrating breakthrough innovators. When I suggested to Clayton Christensen that we partner with Hatkoff to create the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, Clay’s response was: I trust you Whitney. If you say we should, let’s do […]
Shortly after my 21st birthday, I went on hiatus from university, and lived in Uruguay for a year as a missionary. Because I had studied Spanish in school, I thought I knew Spanish. It turns out I didn’t; I could say little, understand less. After eight months, when I was assigned to a town in […]