“Rebel Talent” will make you wish your employees have the core elements

Your latest hire came highly recommended.

His former employer spoke very favorably about him but there was something unsaid that you picked up on, and it’s nagging you. He’s very competent — and yet, he’s also pretty far outside the box. Read “Rebel Talent” by Francesca Gino, though, and you’ll wish you had more employees like him.

As do most, your business undoubtedly runs on rules: when to be at work, how to claim territory, when to meet, and when to leave. That’s how a business runs… except when it doesn’t. Sometimes, rules need to be stretched, bent, and broken.

In her career as a researcher, Francesca Gino studies things like that, how employees react to rules, and how corporations thrive or fail. As it turns out, those are all strongly linked and what Gino calls “rebel talent” may be a powerful game-changer.

Being a rebel talent doesn’t mean “becoming an outcast;” it’s more of a nonconformity thing. It’s being confident and mature enough to understand which rules are immovable and how to break the ones that aren’t. Rebel talent is knowing then how to harness the power that comes when behaving “in ways that are unconventional or unexpected.”

There are, Gino says, “five core elements of rebel talent.”

Novelty is the embrace of new, the celebration of differences and ritual, and the ability to see when change is “clearly in our best interest.”

Curiosity is what makes toddlers ask “why?” It’s also where innovation comes from and new ideas are launched.

Perspective is the ability to turn personal experience into real-time relevance.

Diversity is knowing that differences aren’t divisive but are enhancements offering “a competitive advantage.”

And authenticism is staying engaged, living honest, embracing your imperfections, and doing what you do best.

Being someone with rebel talent can lessen stress, enhance relationships, and further careers. It helps with employee retention and satisfaction. And it’s fun for you, too: you can become a “Rebel Leader” like the pirate, Blackbeard, who gained “glory and riches” without harming a single captive during his career.

Unlike most business books you’ll find that recommend embracing that employee who marches to a different drummer, “Rebel Talent” has another thing to offer: in addition to its informative value, it’s also a blast to read.

In her book, author Francesca Gino doesn’t take a cause-and-effect tactic. Readers don’t even get instruction here; instead, you’ll read anecdote after example of small businesses and national corporations that turned around, grew, or reinvigorated after doing things in ways that counteracted what conventional wisdom indicated.

Gino advocates allowing workers more autonomy, and listening to what they have to say about their workplace — and she shows how not doing so can hurt both entity and employee. There’s plenty of research to back up what Gino says, and humor to keep you engaged.

Reading this book is like thinking outside several boxes, simultaneously. It’s like suddenly wanting to loosen the buttons on your button-down suit. “Rebel Talent” is fun and promises more fun, and it comes highly recommended.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Founder and co-owner of Red Tea Room Donna Wong puts the finishing touch on their most popular dessert— Lemon Meringue Glacée. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Renton catering company pivots during pandemic

The Red Tea Room Catering’s move to takeout helped keep the company going— and get closer to neighbors

Courtesy of Lindbergh High School.
Congrats to the Class of 2020— virtual ceremony June 15

Students were also celebrated using walk-up ceremonies at Renton High School, Lindbergh High School, Hazen High School and Talley Sr. High School

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                A woman checks out jars of honey and jam at the Renton Farmers Market in 2018. This year social distancing guidelines are changing the look of the market.
Renton Farmers Market is back June 9

The 19th season of the market will look a little different due to social distancing guidelines

Relay for Life of South King County moves online

American Cancer Society donations to be taken during May 30 virtual gathering

Auburn Symphony Orchestra announces 2020-21 season

Begins with Summer Series scheduled to start June 21

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Auburn dance studio finds creative solutions to keep going during COVID-19

Pacific Ballroom Dance moves to online classes; group returned home early from national competition

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                Boon Boona Coffee in downtown Renton is well-known for its large cafe space, but owner Efrem Fesaha has found a creative way to keep people to to-go orders only, putting a table right at the door. The order from the Governor hasn’t been easy for small businesses in Renton, and many are just taking it day to day and hoping for financial relief from local and regional leaders.
Renton communities reach out during shut-in

Local organizations, volunteers and businesses try to make the best of quarantine

Renton and AARP team up for seniors

New fitness park to funded and will open late in the summer

Schindler’s legacy bounces along at Baden

CEO of Baden Sports died unexpectedly in February