The Story of Bridgewater Associates: When a Rebel Should Quit
Rebels at Work
by Lois Kelly
3M ago
The new book, “The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend” by investigative reporter Rob Copeland, is a fascinating read and an example of where good rebels can't effect change; their best action is to leave a company. The book unveils many “worst business practices”: CEO benevolent narcissism, cultivation of a fear-based culture wrapped in the guise of radical transparency, and years of brilliant CEO positioning/promotion about a groundbreaking system to codify human behavior for better decision-making, which was nothing more than a CEO's musings (s ..read more
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Jacinda Ardern: Dare to Lead with Humanity
Rebels at Work
by Lois Kelly
5M ago
We are waiting. More than 2,000 students, faculty, and community members are in the Brown University sports complex to hear her speak about leadership. “I’ve never seen so many students show up for this annual lecture on leadership,” says a university staffer. Are they interested in leadership? Or are they interested in what she believes and was able to accomplish?  Or are they looking for hope that leaders can be kind and strong, empathetic and decisive, optimistic and focused? That bravado, certainty, and confidence needn’t be the traits needed to lead? It turns out, all of the above. J ..read more
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Learnings on the Rebel Trail
Rebels at Work
by Carmen Medina
7M ago
Lois Kelly and I have been talking with Rebels at Work for more than a decade. You would think there’s not much more for us to learn, but you would be wrong. Just in the past few weeks, I’ve accumulated a bunch of new “truths”, trenchant and often also poignant. Many were first said by other people; others emerged, as you will see, from recent headlines. AI-generated images of Rebels at Work Just becoming exhausted from trying to do something hard can be mistaken for cynicism. This is such an important consideration for Rebels at Work. Lois and I are often asked how does a Rebel know when ..read more
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Another Inflection Point for Rebels at Work
Rebels at Work
by Carmen Medina
11M ago
A painting of Cassandra, the doomsayer of Troy. Have you played with the Generative Artificial Intelligence engine ChatGPT? I have and was immediately reminded of my seminal Rebel at Work experience almost exactly 30 years ago. The internet was just emerging in 1993; I remember my mom buying a personal computer that year—she was always on the cutting edge. And soon there I was walking the corridors of Langley—the Cassandra of the CIA—intoning darkly that the internet would soon change the work of all knowledge organizations. The internet was our generation’s Wooden Horse. And now I’ve become ..read more
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The Joys and Sorrows of Being a Rebel at Work
Rebels at Work
by Lois Kelly
1y ago
How do you stay positive and effective when challenging the status quo and trying to introduce new ideas at work? In my conversation with Celine Schillinger, author of “Dare to Un-Lead,” I share ways to be a more effective good Rebel at Work, and find more joy and meaning in the process ..read more
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Make It Easy
Rebels at Work
by Lois Kelly
1y ago
The biggest secret to changing behavior or getting your boss to say “yes”: make it easy. So many of us lay out masterful proposals and presentations on why our idea should be supported or adopted and how we can make it happen. But rather than get people interested, we often overwhelm them. It’s not that they dislike our concept. They dislike how complicated it seems. Warning signs in their brains go off, “Danger. Too complicated. So much work. Overwhelming. Disengage.” Neuroscientists have found that humans are hardwired to choose the easiest way. The greater the effort to do something, the m ..read more
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A Few Words about Accountability
Rebels at Work
by Carmen Medina
1y ago
Accountability is a really good thing, correct? Organizations would perform so much better if they had a culture of accountability. Managers who hold their direct reports accountable are practicing tough love, and if they actually hold themselves accountable, you could call that tough narcissism. But like almost all cliché business concepts, the notion of accountability frays under scrutiny. (A favorite example is “authenticity” which just goes POOF as soon as you pronounce the word.) Often the individual that is typically held accountable in an organization is the one who made the final mist ..read more
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Good Rebels Persevere: Boston's New Police Commisioner
Rebels at Work
by Lois Kelly
1y ago
Boston’s new police commissioner, Michael Cox. Photo @BostonGlobe. People often ask Carmen and me for examples of good Rebels at Work. Here's one: Boston's new police commissioner Michael Cox. He's rebelled for justice, accountability, and the possibility of better Boston police. Despite what the very same police force brutally did to him. I'm not sure I could have overcome such violence and betrayal of my co-workers. He's a testament to Rebel perseverance and, as Carmen has observed, that optimism is the greatest act of rebellion. Highlights from today’s Boston Globe story about Cox: "Co ..read more
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Ten types of Rebels at Work
Rebels at Work
by Lois Kelly
1y ago
Rebels at Work can’t be neatly categorized. We’re far too complex, as are most humans. What is important is that we value different approaches to solving problems and improving situations at work. That we invite people different from ourselves to join the cause or help us think about our approach. That we share what we’re particularly good at with one another so that a team can figure out who is best at doing what. Diversity of thinking creates better strategies. Diversity of approaches gets the job done. Over the last decade, we’ve observed some common qualities of Rebels. None are “pure.” We ..read more
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Rebels At Work: Control is for Amateurs
Rebels at Work
by Carmen Medina
1y ago
We came across this graphic the other day and it reminded us of something we observed a few years ago. Control is for amateurs. This usually applies to new managers, who often default to micro-managing their team lest a mistake get made that will reflect badly on them. Probably almost all managers start out this way but the good ones learn quickly that a better route is to trust your colleagues. But Rebels at Work can also suffer from the desire to control others, sometimes out of insecurity and sometimes because it’s just too hard to let others be the ones to implement your dream. Then there ..read more
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