Remarkable Organisations Need Rebel Leaders Like You

How to be the Inspiring Rebel Leader Your Team Needs

5 June 2017

Are you ready to be a rebel leader?

Yes? No? Not sure?

Here is why you might want to be one.

Organisations hell-bent on growing and being remarkable have identified creativity and the ability to innovate as two the most desired skills and mind-sets needed from their employees.

Creativity and innovation will not magically appear in a team of head-down, order-following workers who have been robbed of the desire to take initiative.

Remarkable organisations roll out the red carpet to welcome rebel employees. Click To Tweet

Face the facts. Building an employee community with creativity embedded in the culture can mean the difference between stagnation and growth for a business. Increasingly, recruiters and HR pros are using progressive recruitment processes to attract and hire employees with these premium qualities.

Innovation will not magically leap out from workers robbed of the desire to take the initiative Click To Tweet

Shifting cultural ‘norms’ and mind-sets are transforming work habits and our expectations of how we work, where we want to spend our time and talent and who we follow. Best of all, we get to decide who is a follow-worthy leader.

These mind-sets and premium qualities are often found in a band of rebels. You might know them as different-thinking, problem-finding, solutions-driven, trouble-making, status quo-rocking individuals united behind a shared purpose.

Here are their demands courtesy of the folks at Rebels at Work.

If you have read thus far, I imagine you are you are willing to meet their demands.

You will more than likely have to disregard commonly held wisdom about existing leadership styles and throw out the trusty ‘leadership and management practise’ rule book.

Before you run for the hills at the thought, stop and consider this. Genuine rebel leaders are as rare as hen’s teeth. For the courageous few, this is an opportunity not only to lead but also to stand out, make a real difference and create deep value.

You can’t be a control freak. Rebel employee teams don’t tolerate industrial era command and control management practices.

There is no secret formula nor guaranteed hack on offer here; because being a rebel leader is an unconventional choice where you carve your own path.

But you will get pointers to some powerful steps to help you on your way to becoming an inspirational rebel leader.

2 Powerful Steps to be a Follow-Worthy Rebel Leader

Get ready. Change is on the way.

1. Mattering Mindset: What you think and your intent will inform the action you take as a rebel leader. Your band of rebels need to feel that they matter and you notice them as individuals. They need to trust that you care about them and rely on them to make their unique contribution.

Careful! Rebel employees can sniff out fake care and intent a mile out.

Our human minds cannot do otherwise than search for mattering; our human hearts cannot do other than have others matter to us and our selves to others.” Ellyn Kaschak Ph.D in Psychology Today.

Whilst you may set the goal and create the framework of what needs to be done, rebel employees set a blistering pace. They question existing systems thinking, bringing fresh ideas and alternative approaches into the mix.

Hold each individual accountable to deliver their contribution and then get out of their way. Oh and be sure to clear any organisational obstacles from their path too – meddlesome ‘politricks’, lack of resources, frightened folks in other areas of the business.

Image source: unknown

2. New Script: Perfect alignment and consonance between your words and actions is critical in leading rebel employees. Any sign of fault lines popping up is a disaster waiting to happen. Disconnect and dissonance causes well-earned trust and belief to get lost in the cracks.

You may have adopted a rebel leader mind-set but it is hard to untie your words from decades-old directives and industrial era management language.

A fresh script is just the ticket to help you be the inspiring rebel leader your team needs.

Here is one of my favourite unconventional leader language crash courses. ‘Do we have a choice?’ by Seth Godin.

It has 8 rebel leader phrases worth stealing. Ditch the old authoritarian style and pick up the new style phrases that open doors to engagement and creativity.

“Do what I say” vs. “Use your best judgment.”

“I’m in charge because I have authority” vs. “Take responsibility if you care.”

“It’s simple and easy but ineffective” vs. “It’s difficult and a bit complex, but you can handle it and it’s more likely to work.”

“It’s the same as last time” vs. “This might not work.” But let’s do it anyway and see what we can learn from the experience.

“Because I said so” vs. “Show your work.”

“Comply” vs. “Question.”

“You haven’t been picked” vs.“It’s always your turn.”

“You have no choice” vs. “It’s always up to you, if you care enough.”

You have a choice.

Ultimately, it is up to you to create your unique style of leadership.

Only you can decide what mind-sets and comforts you will need to give up in order to be a successful rebel leader.

The world needs you to be more unconventional.

Remarkable organisations need rebel leaders like you.

Rebel employees need a follow-worthy leader.

Try these ideas to get you started and you will be on the path to creating meaning for yourself and mattering to others.

What kind of rebel leader will you be?

Until we meet again down The HR Rabbit Hole…





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2 thoughts on “Remarkable Organisations Need Rebel Leaders Like You

    1. nicoleg Post author

      Hello Joyce. Thank you for stopping by and I am glad you found this post inspiring. Yes, being a leader is hard and one that is authentic to your values and character is even harder. Leadership is one area where typical advice of ‘fake it until you make it’ does not apply. Keep learning definitely; but unlearning what does not work for you or serve the community you lead is super critical too. Lead on and lift as you climb!


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