It is easy to recognize Rookies in sports. They are new to the game or to the current level of play, and they are learning the “rules” of that level of play, whether they are a freshman in college or a first-year player in the pros. They will learn the norms of each organization, such as the repercussions for being late, the level of work ethic or intensity demonstrated in practice, the attention to details, where they fit in the depth chart, dealing with the media, and so on.
Rookie executives are no different: They have started working at a new job or in a new industry/career, are in the early stages after receiving a promotion, started a new company, or merged their company with another and now need to learn and understand the rules of this new environment. They have trouble with the clarity of their new role.
During this time, Rookies deal with a tremendous amount of interference, distracting them from what’s really important, the job at hand. The Rookie earnestly works hard and has every intention to do well, they're just not sure what that means at the moment.