What it takes to be a rebel at work and break the rules!
In a recent study of the character traits of 85 self-declared workplace rebels (change leaders), character traits were examined to determine those most strong.
The strongest traits of these rebels were:
Honesty, creativity, curiosity, fairness, kindness, love of learning.
Now, this study is clearly the not a definitive assessment of the attributes of the perfect change leader (if this could ever be possible). However, what I would like to draw your attention to, in particular, is the trait of 'curiosity'.
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths". - Walt Disney
When we are children we are naturally curious. We explore, invent, discover and imagine. Curiosity is our natural way of learning about the world and our place in it. However, as we get older something happens... We are exposed to rules, processes, policies - structures that shape our thoughts about the way we are expected to live.
This dependency on structure is further reinforced during our time within our school system. We aspire toward grades, results that reflect what others say is important. It's fair to say that many of us have been handed down a mindset by our ancestors that is all about 'fitting in'. By the time we leave school, it's tempting to believe that curiosity to be different, or non-compliant, has little place in adult life.
But here is the problem. In a world that is characterised by constant change, this mindset puts us at risk being too inflexible and unable to adapt to challenges that come our way. This is especially relevant in business.
The point is that we must recognise that rebels are the new 'A-grade students'.
Rebels who hold on to their child-like curiosity have what it takes to lead much-needed change in our organisations, industries and communities. Curiosity can inspire us to look beyond the structures that shape and contain our older compliant mindset. When we can combine our adult skills with a child-like curiosity, there exists the potential for rebellious yet valuable action!
For this reason, we each need to reconnect and promote our inner child-like curiosity and not 'look down' on rebels. This week I encourage you to seek out the rebels in your company, recognise the importance of their work and thank them for having the courage to break the rules!
If you want a fresh start in 2017 and want to take control of your future, checkout my new book Frontier Mindset. It will help you to develop the mindset advantage you require to succeed in our fast changing world.