Don't change who you are. Be more of who you are - Sally Hogshead
Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman
Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman

Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman

Not knowing perceived limits enables rookies to score more often, and it also allows them to score bigger gains ― Liz Wiseman

I started running in 1998. I use that term loosely as it involved a lot of walking and did not necessarily look like running to people passing by…walking their cats and pushing strollers. But I digress. I ran regularly and participated in at least one race each year. For years…I had the simple goal of running a whole race and keeping the pace around 10 min per mile. That is…until one day something changed. My watch died before a long run on a path I had never used. So, I started the timer on my phone and ran. And when I finished and stopped the timer…something happened. The time was faster than I had ever run. Faster than I believed was possible.

If you’ve read Multipliers or Impact Players you may be familiar with the writings of Liz Wiseman. A former vice president at Oracle, she leads the Wiseman Group working with companies like Apple, AT&T, Disney, Google, Nike, and Salesforce. In her 2014 book, Rookie Smarts, she shares her research regarding the value rookies bring to the workplace. The subtitle of the book is really the message: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. Wiseman shares her experiences as well as others when being the new person that was willing to learn really paid off. Throughout her book she shares many examples of newcomers or rookies that made a huge impact. Some were in sports, like Magic Johnson, and others like Sara Blakely are in business. In all cases, she describes people that are in a position to make change because they are in a position to learn.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this book is not that it describes all the rooks that have succeeded but rather that Wiseman outlines how we can all maintain a rookie mindset that opens us to the possibility of looking for new options, answers, and solutions. We can choose to become perpetual rookies – not people that never stick to one job…but people that remain willing to learn and not just rely on the tried and true. Rookie Smart also outlines how we can build organizations committed to maintaining the rookie advantage…hungry and willing to learn and do what’s needed. 

Why not start 2022 that sameway? If we’ve learned anything over the last 24 months it’s that we don’t have all the answers. We didn’t have all the answers regarding a pandemic. We didn’t have all the answers about operating our businesses while protecting our employees. And we certainly did not envision all of the new businesses and opportunities that would arise from these challenges. We can’t possibly know all that 2022 will bring our way, but we can choose to foster a rookie mindset. We can say that we don’t have all the answers…but we’re willing to find them and we’re willing to do what it takes!

When the world is changing quickly, experience can become a curse, trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances ― Liz Wiseman