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Rebels at Work by Debra Cameron, Carmen Medina, Lois Kelly

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Chapter 2. What Makes Me a Rebel at Work?

Do you ever say…

  • Are our assumptions about this right? What if we think about it from a different perspective?
  • I disagree with how everyone’s thinking about this issue.
  • Let’s try this. It might be a much better way to get things done.
  • There’s got to be a better way to do this.

Are you a person who…

  • Is curious, paying attention to emerging trends and how they might affect your work?
  • Names the elephant in the room and has ideas about how to get it out of the room?
  • Steps in to take on gnarly tasks that require creative solutions?
  • Has been told more than once by a boss to “give it a rest because that’s not how we do things around here”?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may very well be a rebel at work. Rebels ask hard questions, don’t take things at face value, and don’t accept that things have to be the way they’ve always been. We are also often the ones who can see the future coming and pick up on subtle indicators of change before others do. Above all, we’re people who want to create positive changes, not just whine about what’s not working. We’re an oddly optimistic bunch, believing in what’s possible while many of our coworkers give up.

Good Rebel from Birth?

Many rebels were born that way. Think back to incidents from your childhood and early adult years. Were you a handful even then?

We’ve heard hundreds of origin stories from rebels at work, and most—though not all—knew they were different early on in life, ...

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