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Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve

Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve

by Whitney Johnson


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Lead each person on your team up the learning curve.

What's the secret to having an engaged and productive team? It's having a plan for developing all employees--no matter where they are on their personal learning curves.

Better morale and higher performance happen through learning, argues Whitney Johnson. In over twenty years of coaching, investing, and consulting, Johnson has seen that employees need continuous learning and fresh challenges to stay motivated.

The best bosses know this, and they know how to make it happen by thoughtfully designing people’s jobs around the skills they have today as well as the skills they'll need to be even more valuable tomorrow. That's how entire organizations stay competitive in an unpredictable, rapidly changing business environment.

In this book, Johnson explains how to become one of those bosses and how to build your A-team by:

  • Identifying what your employees already know and what they need to learn
  • Designing their jobs to maximize engagement and learning
  • Applying a seven-step process for leading each person up their learning curve

We all want opportunities to learn, experiment, and grow in our jobs. When our bosses work with us to help us leap to new challenges, the result is a team that knows how to thrive, no matter what the future holds.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633693647
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 556,563
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Whitney Johnson is a CEO adviser and the author of the critically acclaimed Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work (2015). Previously, she was an award-winning Wall Street analyst and cofounded the Disruptive Innovation Fund with Clayton Christensen. She is a frequent keynote speaker on disruption, is recognized as one of the world's most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50 and Fortune, and hosts the weekly Disrupt Yourself podcast. She is married and has two children.

Author social media/website info:,,

Table of Contents

Introduction: Being the Kind of Boss People love to Work For 1

1 The S Curve of Learning 13

2 The Seven Accelerants of Learning and Growth 31

3 Recruiting and Hiring 57

4 Managing the Hungry New Hire 87

5 Playing to Their Strengths 109

6 Managing Masters 129

7 Helping People Leap to New Learning Curves 147

Conclusion: Betting Started 167

Notes 173

Index 183

Acknowledgments 191

About the Author 193

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