Ginger Johnson is a connecting expert, speaker, trainer, and author. She frequently works with established and emerging agencies and organizations using her extensive knowledge of human connection to evoke positive change and mindset in a disconnected environment. Ginger’s mission is to build a connected world, one remarkable person at a time, on purpose and with purpose.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
Minnesota. Loved it! Snow, gorgeous seasons, water, very grateful for a loving and solid upbringing. Music was huge – competitive marching band and choir, the smaller school immediately adjacent to the Twin Cities’ bountiful culture and activities.
Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
The marching band trips we earned every summer – the 4th of July week – were remarkable. Our band leaders – Mr. Bjorkland & Mr. Wilke – along with earning the money (selling citrus, pizzas, whatever!) and traveling via coach buses or airline were magical.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Family is never a given. It requires continual energy, effort, and dedication if you want to have a healthy relationship with your family, in every case.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
The customer is always right. FALSE!! “Do what you love and the money will follow.” False bill of sale. The romanticism of the word/concept of Failure, the grind is good and a bunch of other hooey is damaging and leads a lot of hopeful people astray. Hope isn’t a plan.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
Change = growth. You must be open and more importantly willing to grow in order to live the fullness of life that’s fully available to everyone. No excuses.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
My unflagging positive optimism. There’s always a silver lining. COVID has been a gift – I don’t mean death and dying. I mean the slap across the face with a velvet 2 x 4 – a huge overdue wake-up call of possibilities in life. What we allow ourselves to perceive as reality often is our own construct. Like I teach my clients – ReSet, ReFresh, ReVitalize.
What is your morning routine?
It evolves with me. I think to tell people that there is a routine – a single routine for every day – is misleading. My brain wakes me up around 5 – 6 am, I often linger, letting my thoughts wander, snuggled next to my fine husband and often our kids (2 great dogs), then rise at 6 – move, meditate (usually), get started. Listen to your body. Find what works for you, as it works for you.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
A Handful of strong equally dedicated close & deeply connected friends who are also visionaries, determined, focused, curious, fun, smart, willing. Checking in with 2 every day – both across the globe + regular planned meaningful connecting with the others.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Listen to my body and self first. Rest, make sure I’m fueling properly – best food & drink. Making sure I plan recreation and movement to let this incredible vehicle called my body do the best for me. I have used a paper datebook calendar since college – they’re records of my life and there’s no way I want to go exclusively electronic. To feel the paper and use pencils and pens = my jam. Less screen time = better! More phone calls, less scheduled meetings – more impromptu, call-as-I-can leads to more meaningful conversations. Try it. A lot of laughter, personal dinner parties, and continual evolution in my work are fundamental, not optional.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
So many remarkable ones to cite. I’m a voracious reader so all printed matter is fair game! A few go-to’s = Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering, Dr. Vivek Murthy’s Together, Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit, Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate…. To read is to connect; to read is to lead. The NYTimes, my local paper, Young Adult (The List is unsettlingly magic), Calvin & Hobbes…
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Leap the net will appear.”
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin