GLS15: Session 7b Liz Wiseman

Global Leadership Summit 2015
Session 7b
Liz Wiseman
Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing  

  • rookie moments when doing something challenging and meaningful
  • “I don’t want a job I’m qualified learn or there would be nothing to learn.”
  • Questions to ask yourself about rookie moments:
  • how di dyou feel
  • how did you operate
  • what did you do when you didn’t know what to do
  • what was your aspiration?
  • We operate in simple small gritty and powerful way
  • Experience
    • “Once we have knowledge we tend to make assumptions and they can often be bad assumptions.”
    • With experience, sometimes we see what we expect to see and sometimes we can miss things entirely.
  • Inexperience
    • bound to make some rookie mistakes
    • has an upside that must be explored
  • The upside of inexperience
    • operate in hunter gatherer mode to seek expertise from others
    • LEARNING CURVE: delight > discovery > desperation (fire-walker mode–quick and careful) we tend to learn the most when we are feeling a bit desperate > deliver > delight > comfort OR hubris
      • signs you are on a plateau
        • things are running smoothly
        • you already have the answers
        • you get positive feedback
          • when we are at the top of our game we are in danger
        • you’ve become the mentor
        • you’re busy but bored – soul-sucking and contagious
      • can we be dulled to danger simply because we feel comfort?
    • when you have nothing it forces you to turn outward
    • when challenge level goes up, satisfaction level goes up
    • the secret of the rookie zone is it is powerful because we don’t like it–we want to reduce the tension (rubber band stretch between people)
    • as leaders we sometimes stretch too hard or we reduce the tension to rescue people
  • How do we rekindle rookie smarts?
  • master the art of the pivot of Leader & Learner by trying the following:
    • things are running smoothly SO INSTEAD throw away your notes in order to have fresh thinking
    • you already have the answers SO INSTEAD ask the questions
    • you get positive feedback SO INSTEAD admit what you don’t know
    • you’ve become the mentor SO INSTEAD let someone else lead
      • leaders need to be able to stop and to be able to go in reverse
      • try following someone on the team
      • go and spend time with the newcomers and allow them to renew you
    • you’re busy but board SO INSTEAD disqualify yourself and put yourself back at the beginning of the learning curve
      • when we put ourselves back in the rookie zone we do our best thinking and find our greatest joy “It’s awkward but it’s exhilarating”
  • “If you want your team to stay relevant, lead them into the unknown”
  • stay a learner and know when to put your rookie on
  • Our greatest joy comes from daring to begin again.