The Rookie Advantage

Experience can be a curse. Being new and naive can be an asset. New studies show that constant learning is more valuable than mastery. Conventional wisdom suggests that mastering a discipline would provide the knowledge worker with a competitive advantage. But the opposite is actually true. We are often at our best when we do something for the first time. We often see it on the athletic field, but it also plays out in the workplace. Leadership expert Liz Wiseman and her team of researchers studied almost 400 organizational scenarios, comparing the performance of productive veterans versus productive rookies. They defined a rookie as “someone who had never done that type of work” and a veteran as “someone who had previous experience with that type of work.” Here’s what they found:

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