Teresa Roche

“Walking Into the Unknown”

Tell us your Rookie Story

As I look back on my life journey I think I have been given or created many rookie moments. Earlier on my path most were given, and I loved the thrill of being thrown into something new. I have made major transitions in where I have lived, where I have worked and I even went back to school at the age of 40 as I felt a profound hunger to deepen my learning and that was my only goal—to learn almost as if it were a soul calling.  

Today I’m experiencing my most conscious work-related rookie story.   After 12 years, I am transitioning from a company I love and people I adore. This has been my most remarkable chapter of both learning and contribution.  I have never stayed so long in one company with a group of colleagues, and yet each year felt new given the various business strategies we were pursuing. These challenges along with the exponential changes happening in the field of human development caused me to feel as if I was learning and working to always “catch up.”   I realized early in this long chapter that it was essential as while I learned so much from my numerous, earlier life changes, I had not deepened in ways that I think were vastly important. I witnessed mistakes I made and had to embrace and learn from them while being there. I understood more fully my gifts and my challenges, thanks to their willingness of others to share authentically with me. It has been a profound maturing experience, and my gratitude is in abundance.

About a year ago, I felt an inner sense that perhaps it was time to close this chapter, allowing others to take the lead and for me to find my next rookie adventure. I am transitioning without knowing what lies ahead, and yet I think I love the uncertainty – even though there are the 2:00am moments before all of my brain is awake and I ask myself, “what were you thinking?”   

As I tell people that I am moving into liminal space, I tell them I could list logical reasons for this decision and yet what I share is that it is a yearning to put myself into a new work situation where I need to suspend what I know to see what is being called for now.

I walk forward with hope and appreciation and even writing this story makes me smile. I often tell people that I think of the questions I want asked of me when I leave this conscious lifetime and one of them is “did I live in love or fear? I want my answer to be love, even when it sometimes scares me.

  • “Wiseman (co-author: The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools, 2014, etc.) provides a big boost for first-time employees and others who refuse to be bound by arbitrary limits. . . .An exciting promotion of lifelong discovery and enthusiasm as answers to routine and business as usual.”
    Kirkus Reviews
  • “Agility, resilience, grit, and a growth mindset—these are the attributes effective leaders need in a changing world. Rookie Smarts shows leaders at every age and at every stage of their careers how to master these skills.”
    University of Michigan professor and author of Leadership Sustainability
  • “As a company grows, nothing is more important than retaining a culture of innovation. Rookie Smarts shows how even a big company can take risks, innovate, and operate like a challenger.”
    Chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com
  • “Wiseman masterfully shows why novices can outdo veterans, expertise blinds us to fresh ideas, and the brilliance of newbies remains untapped. With sage insights and fascinating examples, Rookie Smarts is a must-read.”
    Wharton professor and author of Give and Take