Rebels don't need labels. Rebels want to be enabled.

„At the heart of a meaningful change is someone who thought beyond the boundaries. Someone who challenged the status quo. Someone who exerted emotional labor to pursue, fight for their ideas and convince others. And then they bring about change. You can call them rebels or change makers and they are inevitable for growth and positive change.

Rebels may not be a very popular lot and many bosses I’ve seen work overtime to subdue the rebels. But great leadership is about providing right channels to direct this energy, nurturing a mindset of continuous improvement and supporting people as they execute their experiments and ideas. That’s what rebels expect from their bosses.“ Tanmay Vora

I always was and I still am the unstoppable rebel. My rebellion style is different with years. Wiser maybe. No, no, wilder, that's a better word. I am a rebel since I was born (they say). Born 10 days "too late". On the first day of spring, the day of equinox and birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.. Makes sense. (Smile)

“WHY NOT!?” is my middle name, say those who know me well. I used to deny it, to suppress it, to fit in, only to be accepted (and loved) as a little girl. I was nodding a lot, do everything slower, killing billion questions inside my head and pretend I agree. Those were very hard couple of days, maybe even weeks. Not being 100% authentic is simply not the way to live or work. As a girl I was always rather punished or disciplined than follow the unreasonable. You know, proud of being the rebel kind.

I must say I am deeply grateful that I was fully supported by my early „bosses“ and mentors, the amazing leaders who helped me invest my extra energy and never ending curiosity in the optimal ways and directions. They believe(d) in me, helped me trust it is great to kick faster and jump higher, even if for the price of being excluded from the pack for a short time. They encouraged me ask questions, to never give up, to always pursue improvements, to keep on trying the „impossible“. And to not be afraid (especially as a girl and a woman) to stand alone, not joining the crowd. They assured me that my stamina is the best quality I should always keep and be proud of. There is a big difference between being unreasonably stubborn and performance driven stamina.

Today, 20 years later, I do my best to work and co-operate with the same co-rebels, with the doers, with the “Why not?” kind of pioneers, with the risk takers. With all who aren’t feeling comfortable in the comfortable zone or within the Status Quo. With the “crazy” kind who actually do change the world. Rebels who keep looking for better solutions and innovations and they foster all around them to make improvement, development, change and innovation happen. Who learn through their own failures and keep on trying hard(er). Smart and hard working rebels become the unicorn startups, founders, entrepreneurs and the greatest leaders of change. Rebels, if smartly supported, are the most creative employees and potentially those "rule breakers" who take the company 3+2 steps forward. Nobody says it is easy working with such revolutionary activists, but it is worth it. And believe me, rebels are those who jump in emergency, who help others, who actually listen to others, who give a hand and go an extra mile without complaining. Because rebels don't need titles or labels. Rebels want to be enabled.

Including rebels in teams needs to be done carefully and with consideration. Rebels walk the talk and foster disruptive change or innovation. Lazy, “take-it-easy/er”, comfortable employees and "all the credits taking" bosses are surely not very keen of those who want to move, act, results and jump over the fence. The talkers with the never-ending-boring-copy+paste PowerPoint presentations also can't stand those who adore challenges, are full of doubts and questions, are self initiative, think differently and have ideas that are far out of the square boxes, beyond xy charts. Rebels simply can't stand the it-looks-like-we-are-working time consuming noneffective meetings. Rebels don't have time to waste it, they have time to invest it.

Rebels surely don’t have the easiest way to work and live. It is a bumpy and adventurous, yet joyous journey of life. Rebels even don’t want it to be easy. Easy too fast becomes boring, set back and slow down towards stagnation, regression and decline. The point is daily enthusiasm of moving, passion for action. Every day, step by step, kick by kick, try after try. Every butterfly is a rebellious caterpillar whos' growing wings didn't let it stay inside its warm cocoon. Butterflies are beautiful, but the process of emerging from the chrysalis and spreading their wings is an act of rebellion. It is a beautiful transformation that hurts as hell as every growth out of the shell that is becoming to small to survive in.

As the great rebel Frank Zappa said: "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. "

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© 2018 by Mateja Kramar

Mateja Kramar