book covers rebel talent

A One-Page Summary Of

Rebel Talent

Why It Pays to Break the Rules At Work and In Life

The Main Idea

As strange as it may sound, the people who are doing the best work in their respective professional fields generally tend to be the rule breakers rather than followers of all the conventions. They are the rebels and the world is certainly a better and more interesting place because of them.

That's interesting because education in general teaches people to be rule followers from an early age. There's always pressure to fit in, to get good grades and to conform to the group standards and that pressure tends to grow the longer you stay in a field. That's unfortunate because conformity and mindless acceptance of rules stifles creativity.

If you really want to stand out at work and in life in general, break the rules. Break, transform, create. Apply a little constructive nonconformity. That's what it means to tap into your "Rebel Talent".

Rebellion is an approach to life and work that we can all embrace. Rule breaking does not have to get us into trouble, if done correctly and in the right doses—in fact, it can help us get ahead. I began this project by trying to understand rule breaking in the workplace. But breaking rules, as I discovered along the way, enriches every aspect of our lives. Living life like a rebel is energizing. I’ve tried it myself, and it’s opened me up to a world of new experiences. My hope is that this book will help you discover your own rebel talent and allow you to help others to do the same. There are strong habits that pull us toward the familiar and comfortable. We need to learn to “break” these habits, like so many Han dynasty urns. Only then will we be ready to transform them—and, ultimately, to create our own success.
Francesca Gino

About the Author

Francesca Gino is professor of business administration at Harvard Business School where she teaches courses on decision making and negotiation. She is also a behavioral science researcher, business consultant and keynote speaker. She has worked with companies like Bacardi, Akamai, Disney, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Novataris, P&G and the United States Army, Navy and Air Force. Francesca Gino previously published the book Sidetracked and is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

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