Historically, rulebreaking and rebelliousness were viewed as negatives – something HR professionals and CEOs avoided at all costs.
Instead, it felt safer to value diplomacy and ‘yes men’ in order to keep everyone aligned towards the same goal. Speaking up, speaking out, and going against the grain disrupted normal working order and wreaked havoc among senior executives unsure how to deal with these supposed traitors who could not just do their jobs.
And so the inevitable happened: these rulebreakers left corporate America and took their ideas elsewhere – often starting up new businesses propelled by the desire to do things differently.
Many of these new business leaders are the disruptive, and enormously successful, types who have completely ripped up the rule book of corporate America to make way for something new.
Businesses like Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Starbucks, Kylie Cosmetics, and Beats by Dre are all led by rulebreakers. People willing to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries.
These leaders are not unique, but what makes them revolutionary is that, despite all the corporate barriers put in place, they managed to completely disrupt their sectors – often toppling legacy brands that have held monopolies for centuries.
Fortunately, these rebellious leaders have done the hard work for us. They have proven that thinking differently should be viewed as a positive trait – and arguably, a necessary trait to keep up with the radical change we are experiencing.
But if you need more convincing, here are the top five reasons you need to know to hire rulebreakers:
1. They never stop questioning
Although this might feel challenging at times, it creates growth in an organization. Not everyone is brazen enough to question authority or question the way things are always done.
Most people are trained to just do their job, which makes it impossible to advance your organization if everyone continues doing their role exactly the same way, forever. Questioning sparks new ideas and is necessary for business growth.
2. They speak up
Most employees are taught to keep quiet. This gives HR and management a false sense of security – just because no one disagrees does not mean that everyone agrees.
Fortunately rulebreakers don’t mind taking the heat and will often bring attention to things that most other people in the organization feel, but are not willing to say. By having a rulebreaker on your team you can ensure that the entire company is truly aligned.
3. They are not complacent
Rulebreakers do not break rules just for fun, they are rebellious because they believe in a better way. You will never see a rulebreaker fight for change and then walk away.
Instead they are compelled to execute their vision – meaning they are going to work harder for you than anyone else on your team.
4. They think differently
Breaking rules goes against most of our upbringing and education so it takes a certain type of person to actively and radically disrupt the norm. This type of person is naturally curious, considers many angles, and has a unique perspective on the world.
These are traits that benefit organizations by helping them gain greater diversity in thought.
5. They’ll leave for your competitor
Rulebreakers are sought after by some of the world’s most progressive brands and organizations. Managed correctly they can be a significant asset to the business – especially as it relates to future-proofing an organization. In HR, spotting these individuals and understanding how to effectively motivate them to create positive change is the holy grail of becoming a business that people want to do business with.
Rulebreaking is fundamental in the future of work, but nurturing that trait in employees is incredibly difficult as it requires a complete mind shift for an individual. Instead, seek to hire those rulebreakers and rebels – they will completely transform your organization for the better.