Break The Rules At Work And You’ll Be More Successful!

Break The Rules At Work And You’ll Be More Successful!

Break The Rules At Work And You’ll Be More Successful!

I can imagine right now you are a little excited and a little bit scared! 

Come with me… 

Most organisations are all about ‘following the rules’, sticking to what the rule book says. Do what you are told, stay within the guidelines. 

And you may be thinking ‘I can’t just go around breaking rules, I’ll get in trouble. It will affect my career. My boss will get angry. We have to stay within the rules.’

However, let me ask you this: 

  1. Who came up with the rules in your workplace? 
  2. When were those rules put in place? 
  3. When were those rules last changed to reflect forward momentum or innovation?
  4. When were those rules modified to encourage novelty, curiosity, perspective, diversity, and authenticity?
  5. When were those rules changed to reflect the latest evidence base around teams and productivity?

I’m guessing much like myself in my last place of work, you have no idea who came up with those rules. Nor do you know when they were set. I would take a guess that the rules do not reflect, encourage or require novelty, curiosity, perspective, diversity, and authenticity!

Therefore, if we just keep doing what we’ve always done because someone says so, nothing changes, nothing improves. If no-one questions the status quo, the harshness of the rigidity and follows through with action to change the status quo, we just keep doing what we’ve always done. 

So, the answer is, Be a Rebel and Break The Rules!

Be a Rebel

Yes, break the rules, unleash your Rebel Talents (novelty, curiosity, perspective, diversity, and authenticity). These are the five core elements of Rebel Talent according to Francesca Gino, Professor and Behavioural Scientist at Harvard Business School, Researcher of Talented Rebels. She defines being a Rebel as, not just simply about breaking rules, but  “allowing your best self and your talents to shine through in all aspects of your work, life and play”. 

When you unleash the five core elements of Rebel Talent, you are on your way to being successful in all that you choose to do! Novelty is about seeking out challenge, new ways of being and doing. Curiosity is that childlike enquiry to always ask ‘why’ with anticipation? Perspective is having the ability to broaden your view and see the world differently, as others do. Diversity is challenging the pre-determined social norms and including everyone. Authenticity is being open, vulnerable, self-aware, with the intention to connect with others, learn from them and bring out the best in each other.  


Rebels do not thoughtlessly accept the status quo; they challenge stereotypical attitudes and they refuse to accept labels (without ego or confrontation). Rebels are well aware how stereotypes, labels, rules and norms restrict innovation, creativity and momentum.  Breaking these rules is the only way to move ahead. 

Rebelling simply means being willing to break the rules (e.g. working within the hours you are paid to work, Stop waiting for peoples approval and justification), taking risks and go against the status quo (e.g. talking to others regardless of their perceived status, involving all levels of the organisation from a strengths base). To be comfortable with this uncomfortable way of life (speaking up, being inclusive, and being true to one self), a Rebel must find their tribe of fellow positive Rebels. 

You’ll find that when you break the rules, and maintain your positive Rebellion in the face of mediocrity you’ll never want to go back. You’ll be more successful, you’ll have more fun and you’ll definitely be more comfortable with who you truly are!

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