Award-winning Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino shows us why creative rebellion is essential at work and in life, and why the most successful among us are those who break the rules.
On the first day of a new job or at the start of a new relationship, we feel energized and excited. Yet this euphoria doesn’t last. Why? Because of conformity, Francesca Gino contends. From an early age, we are taught to follow the rules, and the pressure to fit in only increases as we age. But going along to get along comes at a steep price for our careers and personal lives. When we conform to well-accepted rules and norms rather than constructively rebel against them, we keep our doubts and disagreements to ourselves and ultimately become less happy and less successful. As leaders, we are less effective and respected. As employees, we feel dissatisfied and are more likely to be overlooked for top assignments and promotions. As partners or friends, we are checked out and unhappy.
Gino has been studying how rebels can be successful in life and in the workplace for more than fifteen years. She has discovered that conformity has crippling effects and that sheep are easier to herd than wolves. But while rebels—those who practice “positive deviance” at work—may seem harder to manage, they are good for the bottom line: their passion, drive, curiosity, and creativity raise the entire organization to a new level. In personal relationships, rebels foster smooth sailing rather than fights against turbulent seas.
Rebel Talent provides strategies and examples for cultivating and embracing nonconformity in the workplace and in life, and offers illuminating case studies ranging from The World’s Best Restaurant to fast food chains to corporations such as Google and Pixar. Gino encourages all of us to rebel and question the status quo so we can thrive.