The Benefits of Becoming a Subversive Rebel


There’s a huge amount of literature on how important and healthy it is for people to see themselves as subversives. One of the biggest things we know about self-motivation is – I’m writing about this right now for a new book – is that people who are particularly self-motivated are people who see themselves as almost rebels, subversives. Not necessarily subversive rebels within their own company, although that happens quite frequently, but they see themselves sometimes as their company is the rebels against the current market. Or their marketing against rebels as the rest of corporate America. There’s something very powerful about that because what it says is that I’m going to actively take control of every choice that I am making, I am going to see myself as a person with what is known as an internal locust of control, this drive to exert myself to the choices around me and it turns out actually that these are the best employees. If you’re going to hire someone, hiring someone who see themselves as somewhat of a rebel is typically one of the strongest hiring decisions you can make. I think it’s important for people even if you’re a manager or you’re a leader or your market or the country you’re in isn’t supportive of that impulse, that rebellious impulse it’s important to cultivate it and prove to yourself that you are subversive. Sometimes that means that you are doing things that no one else can see, but that you can see, that matter to you and prove to you that you’re taking your own destiny into your own hands and sometimes that means recruiting allies to your cause and creating facts on the ground that management has to live with. At the key and heart of this is this impulse to say I’m acting contrary to the rules because I think I’m smarter than the rules and there’s something about making that decision that seems to be incredibly powerful to how people end up behaving.

What Did You Think?