Review of Rebel Talent

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Rebel Talent book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


“Comfort is overrated,” writes Francesca Gino about the consequences and benefits of breaking the rules. Rebellion, says the Harvard Business School professor, stimulates creativity, nurtures professional relationships and enhances your engagement with your work. But it’s not always easy to go against the grain. You have to be open to working with diverse sets of people and perspectives, know how to leverage the conflicts that these differences can fuel, be willing to expose your flaws and vulnerabilities and be ready for the backlash that often awaits those who step out of line. But Gino contends that such discomforts are a relatively small price for the creative energy and passion for your work that rule-breaking unleashes. In a matter-of-fact and often subtly humorous style, Gino dissects the elements that make up the psychology of the rebel and shows how to acquire them. getAbstract believes this book will be of special interest to entrepreneurs and professionals in creative industries, but it is also an excellent resource for anyone’s career development.

About the Author

Francesca Gino is the Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School's Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit. She has won the HBS Faculty Award and the Cummings Scholarly Achievement Award. Poets & Quants named her one of the world's Top 40 Business Professors under 40.


Rules Are Made to Be Broken

Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino acknowledges that every culture has its rules. Laws, norms and traditions, she says, help a society function by setting guidelines for acceptable behavior. Businesses and other organizations have their particular sets of rules, including codes of conduct, dress codes and standardized procedures. Most cultures, including corporate cultures, discourage stepping out of line and impose penalties of varying severity on rebels.

But following the rules isn’t always the best option, Professor Gino asserts, because rules have a serious downside: They can smother employees’ creativity and engagement. A standardized workflow that requires little creative input from workers quickly becomes routine and eventually turns to drudgery. If you can perform much of your job without thinking, you will sooner or later disengage from it. If you want to be creative and feel passionate about your work, Professor Gino believes you may need to go off script.

More on this topic

It Takes a Tribe
Creative Blindness (And How To Cure It)
Creative Calling
The Creative Mindset
The Creativity Leap

Related Channels

Comment on this recommendation