Book Review: Disrupt Yourself


Have you ever been frustrated that your career may seem stagnant? Or that opportunity keeps passing you by? Maybe you feel unfulfilled in your life’s work and need a way to change things up?

Whitney Johnson’s new book, “Disrupt Yourself“, addresses those crossroads in our career pursuits. In “putting the power of disruptive innovation to work”, Johnson shows how you can take hold of the same methodology innovative companies use and apply it to your particular path.

Opening with her own personal story of changing her career path, Johnson outlines seven steps to foster positive disruption and keep yourself on track. She uses methods such as the innovation S-curve and shows how we can incorporate that pattern to be more effective in taking risks and creating opportunity within the given constraints of your company.

While many coaches teach you to work on weaknesses, Johnson asks us to play to our unique strengths, where your unfulfilled dreams and needs intersect some ground floor opportunity for growth.

My favorite takeaways come from three chapters. Here are some teaser points that convey some of Johnson’s most sound and powerful statements:

  • “We like ideas and people that fit into our world view, but there is tremendous value in finding room for those who don’t” (Chapter 4 – Battle Entitlement, the Innovation Killer)
  • “It is vital that we are also equipped with the humility to understand that changing the world and keeping innovation alive require that we change ourselves.” (Chapter 4)
  • “When you choose to step back, you can consider what you hope to learn or discover” (Chapter 5 – Step Down, Back, or Sideways to Grow)
  • “One of the key attributes ascribed to disruptions is that they play where no one else is playing” (Chapter 7 – Be Driven by Discovery)

Whitney Johnson’s book is a solid guide to challenging your perspective on your industry, your career, and yourself. For many of us, our trajectories need to be examined and shaken up a bit. Disrupt Yourself  is a valuable tool to do just that and impact our lives for the better.


About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on October.8.2015, in Book Review, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I read the book too and was surprised at how quickly I grasped the entire subject. My favorite takeaways were that we grow by stepping back, or down or sideways. We never grow straight ahead or straight up. And also, I have lived by the axiom – If you come upon a stumbling block, turn it over and use it for a stepping stone. I heard a story about that when I was 8 years old and I remember the place and the situation. Obviously it made an impression and I was reminded again, in this book, at how important that practice is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that quote Jane! I’ll have to remember to use it!


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