I love my work as co-founder of the Rebels at Work movement, helping people develop the practices and self-esteem to lead change, regardless of their positional authority. Here are observations of what rebels need from their bosses in order to thrive and provide value to their teams.
Reflections on creative dormancy and the rebellious nature of silence.
“The task of calling things by their true names, of telling the truth to the best of our abilities, of knowing how we got here, of listening particularly to those who have been silenced in the past, of seeing how the myriad stories fit together and break apart, of using any privilege we may have been handed to undo privilege or expand its scope is each of our tasks. It’s how we make the world.”
There are a lot of reasons why good ideas never get adopted. Sometimes they’re not critical to the organization’s goals, require too many resources, or scare the managerial keepers of the status quo.
But there’s another reason that’s rarely acknowledged: we’re trying to solve the wrong problem.
“Wow, that would be amazing for us to do. It could really change how we work together,” concurred a group of managers at one of the biggest technology companies in the world last week.
“But it’s just not how our culture works,” someone said.
Then the grumbling about the culture began until, as the strategy facilitator, I cut the naysaying short and asked:
Why couldn’t this group start working differently and then open the way for others to follow? Change has to start somewhere. Why not you? You view yourselves as creative and innovative.
Someone has to start, having the guts to stand alone.
And someone has to be the first to follow, also an act of leadership.
That’s how culture changes and movements start.
Dare to start or be the first follower.
What's the value of a facilitator? "I do not think that cerebration sessions can be left unguided. There must be someone in charge who plays a role equivalent to that of a psychoanalyst... In the same way, a session-arbiter will have to sit there, stirring up the animals, asking the shrewd question, making the necessary comment, bringing them gently back to the point."
I'm reclaiming conversations because relationships turn into transactions and we lose our capacity for learning, friendship, love, and empathy without them. Here's what MIT's Sherry Turkle has to say about why we need to stop hiding behindtexts, Tweets, emails, and other person-behind-the-screen communications.
Courage helps us challenge what no longer works, fight for better ways, achieve more than we thought possible and overcome all the stress and unexpected land mines that are thrown in our paths. How do you become more courageous? By using these four strengths.
Good questions help us see what we should do next. What do you need? opens up helpful conversations with others and ourself.
One of the most popular questions Carmen Medina and I get asked during our Rebels at Work talks is, “What happens when your boss takes your idea and doesn’t give you credit for it?”