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Wall Street Journal Bestseller
Is it possible to be at your best even when you are underqualified or doing something for the first time? Is it still possible, even after decades of experience, to recapture the enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearlessness of youth to take on new challenges? With the right mindset—with Rookie Smarts—you can.
In a rapidly changing world, experience can be a curse. Careers stall, innovation stops, and strategies grow stale. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset. For today’s knowledge workers, constant learning is more valuable than mastery.
In this essential guide, leadership expert Liz Wiseman explains how to reclaim and cultivate this curious, flexible, youthful mindset called Rookie Smarts. She argues that the most successful rookies are hunter-gatherers—alert and seeking, cautious but quick like firewalkers, and hungry and relentless like pioneers. Most importantly, she identifies a breed of leaders she refers to as “perpetual rookies.” Despite years of experience, they retain their rookie smarts, thinking and operating with the mindsets and practices of these high-performing rookies.
Rookie Smarts addresses the questions every experienced professional faces: “Will my knowledge and skills become obsolete and irrelevant? Will a young, inexperienced newcomer upend my company or me? How can I keep up?” The answer is to stay fresh, keep learning, and know when to think like a rookie.
Rookie Smarts isn’t just for professionals seeking personal renewal; it is an indispensible resource for all leaders who must ensure their workforces remains vital and competitive.
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About the Author
Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to executives around the world. She is the author of New York Times bestseller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools, and Wall Street Journal bestseller Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work.
She is the CEO of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Some of her recent clients include: Apple, AT&T, Disney, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Salesforce, Tesla, and Twitter. Liz has been listed on the Thinkers50 ranking and named one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world.
She has conducted significant research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence and writes for Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and a variety of other business and leadership journals. A former executive at Oracle Corporation, she worked over the course of 17 years as the Vice President of Oracle University and as the global leader for Human Resource Development.
She is a frequent guest lecturer at BYU and Stanford University. Liz holds a Bachelors degree in Business Management and a Masters of Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University.
Table of Contents
Part I Rookie Smarts: Living on the Learning Curve
1 The Rise of the Rookie 17
2 Backpackers: An Unencumbered Mind 45
3 Hunter-Gatherers: Finding Expertise 72
4 Firewalkers: Moving Cautiously but Quickly 99
5 Pioneers: Forging Ahead 123
Part II Cultivating Rookie Smarts
6 The Perpetual Rookie 143
7 Rookie Revival 162
8 The Rookie Organization 187
Appendix A The Research Process 227
Appendix B Frequently Asked Questions 232
Appendix C Learning Experiments 241
Appendix D Learning Itineraries 249
Appendix E Rookies and Perpetual Rookies 259
Appendix F Discussion Fire Starter 263