How to Build an “A” Team with Whitney Johnson

Build an "A" Team with Whitney Johnson - Blanchard Leaderchat Podcast

In this episode, Whitney Johnson discusses the secrets to creating an engaged and productive team as outlined in her book, Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve.

Johnson shares seven ways managers can support their team members’ journey up the curve.

  1. Take the right kind of risks—Help team members understand the difference between doing something just to compete, versus finding a problem that needs to be solved and creating the solution.
  2. Play to your distinctive strengths—Help team members identify what they are good at and let them apply their knowledge to those types of projects.
  3. Embrace your constraints—By identifying constraints and taking a hard look at them managers can help team members inspire innovation.
  4. Battle entitlement—Encourage team members to think about new ways of doing things. Just because a process has been in place for years, doesn’t mean it is the best process. Entitlement can kill innovation.
  5. Step back, down, or sideways to grow—Continually pushing forward is not always the best way to drive innovation. Help people understand the positive influence of stepping back to look at other possibilities.
  6. Give failure its due—Accept what you can learn from failure. It might be the very thing to catapult you up the learning curve.
  7. Be driven by discovery—Encourage your team to ask for feedback and use what they learn to discover things that might be holding them back.

About The Ken Blanchard Companies
The Ken Blanchard Companies is the global leader in management training. For nearly 40 years, Blanchard has been creating the best managers in the world, training over 150,000 people each year. From the award-winning First-time Manager program, based on the best-selling business book, The New One Minute Manager®—to SLII®, the most widely taught leadership model in the world, Blanchard is the provider of choice for Fortune 500 companies as well as small to medium businesses, government agencies, and educational and nonprofit organizations.

About Whitney Johnson
For more information on Whitney Johnson visit Or visit to take an assessment to determine where you are on the S-Curve of Learning.


About the Author

Chad Gordon

Chad Gordon is the host of the LeaderChat podcast and one of Blanchard's top client partners dedicated to helping global organizations lead at a higher level.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More Content by Chad Gordon
Previous Resource
How to Build a High Performing Culture with S. Chris Edmonds
How to Build a High Performing Culture with S. Chris Edmonds

In this episode, S. Chris Edmonds discusses the key points of his book The Culture Engine: A Framework for ...

Next Resource
The Importance of Self-Awareness with Tasha Eurich
The Importance of Self-Awareness with Tasha Eurich

In this episode, Tasha Eurich describes concepts from her book Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Othe...

Streaming Now! Wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts

Subscribe Today