Experience Kills

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There is tremendous value in the experience you bring to the table. However, as with all things, there can be a diminishing return on that experience. Sometimes, experience kills!

In her book Rookie Smarts, Liz Wiseman argues that being a rookie trumps experience in the knowledge industry or where speed is required.

Experience can be a disadvantage because of the blind spots caused by the confidence of experience.

Innovation can suffer with experience. People can become stale with experience. Frankly, we can get lazy because of our experience.

We are often at our best when we do something for the first time. I know, for example, if I have to give the same speech back to back, the first one is always better than the second. Even though I have the experience of the complete presentation under my belt, the second session somehow lacks the energy of the first.

This is where mental toughness comes into play. We need to consciously cause ourselves to bring the vitality of the ‘first time’ to our work. Only then can we get the benefit of experience without the downside.

Remember when everything was new? When you attacked an assignment with a fervent curiosity and desire to learn? When you didn’t know how it was always done? Remember that feeling? The feeling of being a rookie and all the promise that existed. Remember?

What if you could conjure up that rookie feeling at will?

Some words associated with the rookie mindset:

  • Alert
  • Fresh
  • Vital
  • Quick
  • Energized
  • Inquisitive
  • Wondrous
  • Hungry
  • Hunter

Can you bring these characteristics to the table every day?

Can you be headed up the steep vertical of the learning curve?

Can you think like a rookie forever?

Can you think like a rookie but allow your experience to protect you from dumb mistakes? It’s a delicate balance that allows for the best of both worlds.

The goal is to use our experience as an asset while remaining relevant and competitive.

To do this week: Think of one project this week like a rookie. Come at it with fresh eyes like you did when you were truly a rookie.

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» Leadership » Experience Kills
On October 4, 2016
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