Rekindle a Childlike Wonder in Jaded Workers

Originally published by Beth Braccio Hering in Business Management Daily. November 17, 2014

"As you encounter children this holiday season, take note of their wide-eyed passion for everything from snow falling to sugar cookies baking. Wouldn’t it be nice to recapture some of that zest for life, especially when it comes to work? Are there secrets children can share with us?

“Kids are excitable because every day brings novelty and there’s a surprise around every corner. Adults can fall into ruts, not because they get older, but because they get familiar with the world,” says Liz Wiseman, author of Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work.

To generate more childlike excitement and curiosity in your team, Wise­­man suggests putting people in situations where they will find surprises—where their deeply rooted expectations will be violated."

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  • “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
  • “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
  • “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,
  • “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