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Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life
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Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,546 ratings  ·  207 reviews
#1 Bestselling Business Books of 2019 - Porchlight Books

Inc Top 10 Most Inspiring Books of 2018

Forbes Top 10 Creative Leadership Books from 2018

"Great stories, great science, and great practical advice about how, when, and why to break the rules." — Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit

"In this groundbreaking book, Francesca Gino shows us how to spar
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Dey Street Books
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Said AlMaskery
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
The only good thing about this book is the title and the concept. Everything else wasnt as I expected.

THe book was filled with stories to the extent you just lose hold of what the writer is trying to tell you. There were also instances where the stories had nothing to do with Rebel Talent but was included for purposes only known to the author.

I am only giving it two stars because i read it to the end ...
Brenda B
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
The Pygmalion Effect and a "CV of failures": these are my big takeaways from this book.

Rebel Talent started off a bit slow for me: too much of the author establishing her own connection to the concept. However, it picked up the pace quickly enough to become a great read with lots of nuggets of wisdom for all.

The section on the Pygmalion effect had the most direct influence on me. (p126.) The Pygmalion effect is where "a person's expectations of another person turn into a self-fulfilling prophe
Charity Hall
Jul 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Simply because my conscience won't allow me to mark this book as complete without some sort of disclaimer: I didn't actually finish this book. Our work club unanimously decided to stop reading/discussing the book at Chapter 6.

I was pretty disappointed with this book. The Introduction seemed to be the most informative part of the book, setting the five guidelines for rebel behavior. The rest of the book morphed into story after story of so-called "rebel talent" that left quite a bit to be desire
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A lot of really interesting insights into how to have a more successful workplace and be a better "rebel" employee. Unfortunately I will probably never be really good at most of these, but I might be more willing to tolerate and even applaud these things in others even if it makes me uncomfortable, which is apparently a better way to be anyway. ...more
Wilde Sky
This book claims to present a discussion on 'rebel' individuals in the workplace.

Having worked in numerous companies (both start ups and multi-nationals) it is clear that people with different ideas are important, but this book lacked any real depth, it mentioned people / companies but in (what felt like) a superficial way. An in-depth study of a single organisation may have worked better.

It read like a newspaper article stretched out to fill a book.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

This was an interesting read. For a non-fiction book it had some good real life examples and studies of leaders in the workforce. However, I would have liked if there was more of an outline on how to take the steps to become a rebel leader. It was actually a quick read and I gained a couple insights.
Raz Pirata
“Most of our decisions are governed by well defined institutional arrangements with pre-specified obligations and rights.”

When I was in grade 7 the lunch lady at my school told me I was a ‘despicably sweet little rebel’. I didn’t know what any of that meant, and I was hungry, so I didn’t bother to stick around to find out. At the end of the school year she wrote it on a card (she gave one to every student, she was super nice). I gave my mom the card, and it horrified her. I was berated with ques
elif kalafat
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The book Rebel Talent wasn’t just a book, it was a kind of journey for me that discover myself and people around me. My lovely boss gave me this book by saying you are rebel too, and she wanted me to read this. She always says you’re a rebel talent, and I was supposed that this was something bad, I’ve got shocked while reading, this is the nicest thing I could ever heard. Firstly, I should thank my boss, she is exemplarily a rebel one that I am so appreciated to meet. Francesca Gino the writer o ...more
Connie Crosby
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Gino pulls together many anecdotes, studies and experience to build up a picture of what constitutes rebel talent and rebel leadership. The main premise unfolds slowly; it takes patience to work through all the stories and discussion to get to the point. I enjoyed the stories and did get some good food for thought.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Some good stories in this book, so I'm glad I read it. And I'm a fan of the central idea that rebellious attitudes towards work create greater value than traditional, hierarchical, and non-creative approaches. But I thought the book lacked focus, splashing around in the shallows of unrelated topics and failing to connect them well enough. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gino teaches MBA at Harvard Business School. Rebel talents are leader who do things the non-traditional way. Gino is Italian so she is fascinated by Chef Bottura who dropped out of law school to start a Michelin-star restaurant. He has inspiring books in a library for his staff to read and he invites speakers to talk to his staff and make dishes out of the topics shared. She also introduced other leaders in Pixar and Campbell, who have decidedly unorthodox ways to manage their staff. Staff are e ...more
Ankit Sharma
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life
by Francesca Gino (Author)

Francesca Gino is an award-winning researcher and teacher, and a tenured professor at Harvard Business School.
This Is A Book Required To read And Develop Self Confidence And Energy In Ourselves. Author Present Book in a Most Effective Way and Try To explain How We Rebel In Such A Way To Get Success In Our Professional Lives. Book covers Various Examples of Peoples Who Adopt A Rebel Way To Achieve Something
W. Whalin
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breaking the Rules Can Be Innovative

Harvard School of Business professor, Francesca Gino has studied talent for years and writes a fascinating and engaging book in REBEL TALENT. In the introduction, she writes, “Over the years, I saw how much rule breaking is associated with innovation. I followed stories of corporate corruption and misconduct, yes, but also stories of courage. Thse were stories of rule breaking that brought positive change and, in ways big and small, made the world a better pla
Pete Wung
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I started this book because I had heard the author being interviewed on The Hidden Brain program on NPR. The topic seemed interesting and she told a great story.

As it is, I am not unhappy about buying the book, nor am I unhappy reading it. Francesca Gino is a great story teller, she is able to extract the lessons she wanted from the stories and her descriptions of the stories are excellent. Her firsthand stories of her teaching business executives at Harvard, her and her husbands venture in to t
[3,5 stars]

The book starts strong, with an interesting story about a small Italian restaurant in a small city of Modena, recently named the number one restaurant at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. The chef and owner is a unique, very positive character, and his approach to food and life is quite special.

But somewhere along the way, the book dilutes into a collection of seemingly unrelated short stories, out of which the author tries to distill strategies to encourage creative thinking w
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
There were about twelve copies of this book abandoned in the hallway of my work building and now I know why. I’ve heard many of these anecdotes from other sources and the overall organization of the book was a disaster. Very repetitive and I felt that many of the examples did not even relate to the concept of rebellion. Back to the hallway it goes
Michael Belcher
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Equal parts scholarly research, professional case studies and personal stories, this book adeptly addresses the reasons to rebel in the workplace (and to promote a non-conformist culture).
Jonathan Lu
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Not as good as I hoped - having become a big fan of Francesca Gino from her features on the Hidden Brain podcast. This book was full of confirmation bias for me - summarized what I believe and adhere to with stories and social research. Can't say that I learned much new, but am equipped with more ammo about the benefit of curiosity, seeking contrarian perspectives, how constraints drive curiosity, how to portray power from low status by showcasing surprise, and the power of being a man of the pe ...more
Jason Carter
Can you agree with nearly everything in a book and still find it mediocre? For that is the quandry I find myself in with 'Rebel Talent.'

The book is not really about 'rebels', per se, but about the value of intellectual curiosity. Leading examples include Sully, the US Airways Flight 1549 pilot who safely landed in the Hudson River after encountering a flock of geese soon after takeoff; and Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks who came to the aid of a thirteen-year-old girl who faltered while singing th
Ioana Dinu
Feb 07, 2022 rated it it was ok
I started this book because I had heard Francesca Gino on a Hidden Brain interview.
I'm only giving the book 2* because I was expecting more relevant insights (and maybe some that have not been covered over and over again in other books and articles).
So it wasn't much of a learning experience, but I must say, the author is a great storyteller (I found myself imagining Massimo Bottura's kitchen many times).
Priscila Cordero
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the real world examples and case studies the author walks through. Its an easy read and maybe nothing you don't already know or haven't heard but bring together all the ideas to remind you how to stay curious, keep learning and enjoy the process. ...more
John Spero
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Feel-good pablum by name-dropping HBS prof with emphasis on wokeness. Not sure how you depict Sully and Mo Cheeks as rebels. Conflates innovation with rebellion.
Varun Srinivasan
Nov 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a very important book for the modern age. Francisca Gino writes about sparking creativity, excelling at work and life and thereby becoming happier by learning how to rebel - against ideas, status quo, your own intuition. Rebels are often seen in a bad light both in the professional front as well as the humanity front but choosing which battles to fight becomes the key to bringing about positive change with rebelliousness. The traits of a rebel as described in the book are broken down int ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Relevant and applicable to so many areas of my life! The anecdotes were powerful.
Luke Thompson
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
i think the term rebel was a touch of an exaggeration and misleading...

key take-aways that i will put to use...
1. seek out the new. engage your mind (and encourage others) to experience other things outside of their expertise
2. Encourage constructive dissent- CANDOR, devils advocates: even intentionally establishing a devil's advocate
3. Open conversations, Don't close them: "yes and..." from improv or "what COULD we do?" vs. "what SHOULD we do?"
4. Reveal yourself and Reflect: From Hamilton - "T
Overall, I enjoyed the book Rebel Talent. I read this book as part of my company book club and thought it had some really great nuggets to grab on to. I also thought it gave a lot of helpful tips to organizations.

Great choice for a work book club.

Random notes:

Loved the information about shoppers and how they were perceived. I think it is always fun to see ideas brought together with numbers. In high-end boutiques wearing sweatpants signaled to workers that you didn't need to impress.

The info
Brasukra Sudjana
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok so the book confirmed my biases at work (I tend to ignore office rules and practices, esp. the stupid ones). But, I give it a 3 star because of its focus on the successful rebels. Many of us are actually struggling rebels, working under repressive office environment. And if we manage to undertake initiatives that could be good for the organization, they often goes unnoticed or, worse yet, are deliberately ignored. For these everyday rebels, the book offers little insights. The book could also ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Gino's interview on the "Hidden Brain" podcast, and saw that this book was listed on several other websites I get great references from. That said, the book itself was a little bit of a letdown. While there's really nothing I disagree with, Gino is just not a writer to really grab you with a story or idea. "Think Different". "Seek New Things". "Embrace Discord". That sort of thing - it just sort of went from anecdote to anecdote without really inspiring. A nice book with some good idea ...more
Lorraina Raccuia-morrison
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some of it truly is about rebels, but most of it is about being thoughtful and a lifelong learner, and the author has just shoe-horned really awesome but less glamorous examples into the category of stories about "rebels." I don't think anyone else would say that Sully was showing rebel talent when he landed in the Hudson and saved all of those lives. Courage, experience, and brilliance, yes, rebel talent, probably not. And a lot of it is just nicely summarized organizational behavioral research ...more
Arturo Hernández
This book covers 8 lessons to break the rules for a good reason and be labeled as a "rebel".

Even though some of the lessons have been part of other books and articles, there are a lot of stories that are quite descriptive that make it engaging to continue reading.

It's a quick book with cool insights, however if you are looking for something completely novel, then perhaps you should keep looking for another publication...
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Francesca Gino is an award-winning researcher and teacher, and a tenured professor at Harvard Business School.

Her consulting and speaking clients include Bacardi, Akamai, Disney, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Novartis, P&G, and the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy.

She has been honored as one of the world’s Top 40 Business Professors under 40 and one of the world’s 50 most influential management thinke

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“When we challenge ourselves to move beyond what we know and can do well, we rebel against the comfortable cocoon of the status quo, improving ourselves and positioning ourselves to contribute more to our partners, coworkers, and organizations” 2 likes
“The first is novelty, seeking out challenge and the new. The second is curiosity, the impulse we all had as children to constantly ask “why”? The third is perspective, the ability rebels have to constantly broaden their view of the world and see it as others do. The fourth is diversity, the tendency to challenge predetermined social roles and reach out to those who may appear different. And the fifth is authenticity, which rebels embrace in all that they do, remaining open and vulnerable in order to connect with others and learn from them.” 1 likes
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