Rookie Smarts

Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work

Has your knowledge become stale?

In a rapidly changing world, experience can be a curse. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset. Rookies are unencumbered, with no baggage to weigh them down, no resources to burden them, and no track record to limit their thinking or aspirations. For today’s knowledge workers, constant learning is more valuable than mastery.

Leadership expert Liz Wiseman argues that the most successful rookies are hunter-gatherers—alert and seeking, cautious but quick like firewalkers, and hungry and relentless like frontiersmen. 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.

Liz 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. This isn’t just for professionals seeking personal renewal; it is an indispensable resource for all leaders who must ensure their workforce’s remains vital and competitive.

Are You In The Learning Zone?

Meet The Author

Liz Wiseman

Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to executives around the world. She has conducted significant research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence. 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.


Use these free Rookie Smarts resources as you begin and continue your Rookie Smarts journey.

Discussion Guide

Facilitate a group discussion or take a deeper dive into Rookie Smarts.


Your Rookie Itinerary

Use this travel itinerary as you begin your Rookie Smarts journey.

30-Day Multiplier Challenge - Multipliers - The Wiseman Group

Teleport Yourself

Rediscover your rookie mindset and apply it in your current work.


Book Trailer

Is it still possible to recapture the enthusiasm, curiosity, and fearlessness of youth to take on new challenges? With the right mindset, you can.

Working With Child-Like Wonder

Listen as Liz Wiseman shares her experience as a true rookie and about the benefits we all can have by returning to that zone.

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