GLS21 Notes: Rebel Talent

Published August 6, 2021

Conformity and mindless acceptance of rules stifles creativity. As strange as it might sound, the people who are doing the best work in their respective fields generally tend to be the rule breakers rather than followers of all the conventions. In her talk at The Global Leadership Summit, Dr. Francesca Gino helped leaders discover how to break the rules that hold us back. She also gave us three talents that the best rebels employ to create the future all of us desire.

Enjoy these official session notes to help you dive deeper into what you learned!

Dr. Francesca Gino


Rebel Talent
    • Osteria Francescana, the best restaurant in 2016 and 2018. A family of four made a reservation to dine. The father ordered fancy tasting dishes. The boys asked for pizza. The maitre d’ went and ordered a pizza for the boys. He went against the rules of the restaurant to create a moment. That’s rebel talent.
    • There are rebels that break rules constructively because they are focused on the mission.
    • When others see vulnerability, they give respect.
Rebels have a talent for authenticity.
    • When entrepreneurs were genuine and authentic, they were three times more likely to get funds.
    • In India, a company was spending lots of money on training. Most of the employees were leaving after 60 days. They began asking employees what made them feel authentic. Those who were acting authentically were more productive, had greater satisfaction and more willing to stay with the organization longer.
    • Authenticity pays big dividends.
Rebels have a talent for perspective.
    • Captain Sullenberger landed a plane in the Hudson River. He didn’t go into tunnel vision. He had a broader perspective. By the time the accident happened, he was an expert. He was an avid student of plane accidents. He used that experience differently. He used that as a signal that there was more to learn. He would ask, “What can I learn today?”
    • Experience can lead to perspective.
Rebels have a talent for curiosity.
    • As little kids, we have a sense of awe and wonder. It comes from a willingness to discover, rather than just be judged.
    • Tart fell on the floor. “I have an idea for a new dessert. ” It’s now the most popular dish on the menu. It’s called “Oops, I Dropped the Lemon Tart.”
    • Embrace curiosity. Keep asking a lot of questions.
How to Cultivate Rebel Talent
    • I call them rebels because it goes against human nature. We tend to conform rather than stand. We sit with what’s comfortable rather than come in with curiosity.
    • Captains of pirate ships in the 16th century: It was the most diverse organization in the planet. They were getting crew based on commitment to the mission. They were incredibly democratically organized. The crew could elect a captain of the ship and they could remove the captain. They got respect through their actions.
    • Am I the captain that my crew would choose as its leader today?
    • When we do this, we are more likely to act as a rebel and create a place where others are willing to embrace their inner rebel.


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