Summary of Rookie Smarts

Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work

HarperBusiness, more...

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Rookie Smarts book summary
Eager, curious rookies can outperform complacent veterans.


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Leadership expert Liz Wiseman says that “beginner’s luck” on a job may be the result of “Rookie Smarts.” She contends that experience can become a hindrance when it blinds people to opportunities, inhibits their ability to react or leads them to ignore new input. As newcomers, rookies naturally seek guidance. They welcome opportunities to learn and bring eager energy to the workplace. Drawing from research and interviews, Wiseman identifies the four different mind-sets of rookie smarts: “Backpacker, Hunter-Gatherer, Firewalker and Pioneer.” These traits help illustrate ways that someone with experience (referred to as a “veteran” throughout the book) can still manifest the best traits of an eager beginner. getAbstract recommends Wiseman’s insights to managers, coaches and leaders seeking to inspire their employees, whether rookies or veterans.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How job experience actually can be a detriment
  • How the four types of “Rookie Smarts” can contribute to your company
  • How to infuse yourself and your organization with rookie smarts


The Rookie Advantage
People usually revere experience, especially in the workplace. They admire those who master a skill, rise to the top or accumulate successes. A repertoire of abilities, resources and situational acumen comes with experience. Research shows a connection between experience...
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About the Author

Leadership expert Liz Wiseman wrote the bestseller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter and The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside our Schools.

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    Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown

    HarperBusiness, 2010


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