There are two kinds of rebels, according to Dr Justin Coulson: reflexive and reflective. Reflexive rebels are the teenagers without a cause who are probably bored and feel like they’re lacking purpose. It’s a phrase that most of us grow out of. The second type, reflective rebels, includes the likes of Nelson Mandela and William Wallace. They ignore the status quo and create their own version of normal.
The idea of rebellion is something we don’t tend to like. It’s associated with the angry kid on your living room couch who’s just returned from a night out after escaping through their window (*cough* doesn’t sound familiar at all). You immediately think of someone that has a lack of respect for authority and blatantly ignores rules. That’s all accurate, sometimes. On the other hand, we love the stories of rebels throughout history. They have movies made and books written about them. They’re courageous and have conviction in everything they do, even if the whole world is absolutely against it. So why do we discourage rebellious behaviour? And what does this have to do with business?
We need more rebels. Reflective rebels are both amazing business owners, and amazing team members. Innovation and change are the foundations of good business today. Those thinkers need to be rebellious.
As a business owner, you need the ability to choose the path of most resistance, not least. You need to be able to think outside the square and do things differently to everyone else in your field. These are also the people you want to hire.
Reflexive rebels are good to keep in mind too. Most people grow out this phase with maturity. Some of us don’t. If you’re having trouble with an employee, consider why they’re rebelling against you. A lack of respect? How do you treat them if you’re 100% honest with yourself? Maybe they’re bored and you need to change up their tasks and give them the motivation they’re looking for. Another cause can be a lack of purpose. We’ve all felt this at times and it’s a horrible place to be. What can you do to help fix it?
If you want to read more, check out Dr Justin Coulson who we heard speak at TedxMelbourne recently. Great food for thought!