Self Help

Rebel Talent - Francesca Gino

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 47 min read

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  • The author, a Harvard Business School professor, spent time working at Osteria Francescana, a top Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy run by chef Massimo Bottura. He served dishes like “The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna” and “Boiled Meats, Not Boiled.”

  • Bottura often makes impulsive management decisions, like hiring people on the spot without traditional interviews. This reflects his rebellious approach to tradition.

  • Bottura did not attend culinary school and had no restaurant experience when he bought his first trattoria at age 23. Cooking had been a hobby and act of defiance after dropping out of law school.

  • Bottura was inspired by conceptual artist Ai Weiwei, who would break traditional art forms as a constructive act. This reflects Bottura’s philosophy of breaking rules and traditions to create something new.

  • The author implies most businesses focus on following traditions and rules, whereas Bottura represents a rebellious approach of breaking conventions to transform and create. This introduction establishes Bottura’s rebel philosophy.

  • The passage describes the Battle of the Pyramids in 1798, where Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army fought against the Mamluk forces in Egypt.

  • Napoleon invaded Egypt to gain control of an important British trade route to India and hoped to liberate the Egyptians from the oppressive rule of the Mamluks.

  • On July 21, Napoleon’s tired, thirsty army approached the fortified village of Embabeh, near the Great Pyramids and the Nile River, where the Mamluk forces waited.

  • The Mamluks had around 40,000 soldiers, including mounted cavalry armed with muskets, blades, and other weapons, and peasant infantry armed mostly with clubs and spears.

  • Napoleon inspired his men by pointing out the pyramids and invoking the grandeur of ancient Egyptian history before the battle.

  • The key points are the opposing forces, Napoleon’s motivations, the location near the Pyramids, and Napoleon’s rousing of his troops before the pivotal battle.

  • Napoleon faced the Mameluke forces in Egypt in 1798. The Mamelukes vastly outnumbered the French but were positioned with their backs to the Nile, giving Napoleon an advantage.

  • Napoleon used innovative military tactics against the Mamelukes, including the ‘divisional square’ formation to defend against cavalry charges. The French defeated the Mamelukes.

  • Napoleon revolutionized warfare through strategies like the corps system which allowed flexibility on the march but unity in battle. He studied past generals and implemented their ideas.

  • Napoleon fought in the trenches with his men, earning their loyalty. He introduced merit-based promotions and reforms like the Napoleonic Code.

  • Historians debate whether Napoleon was driven by ego or strategic mistake. But he was an outlier in battle strategy compared to other monarchies that used rigid hierarchies and distanced generals.

  • The passage contrasts rule-breaking business innovators like Morning Star with dangerous rule-breakers like the Wells Fargo scandal. It argues that context matters - rules exist for a reason but can sometimes stifle progress. Rule-breaking should aim to benefit the collective.

  • The passage discusses how most people follow established rules and norms in society, such as laws, organizational policies, and social customs. However, some people break or bend these rules, like the employees at Wells Fargo who opened accounts without customers’ consent, or Bernie Madoff who orchestrated a massive financial fraud.

  • The passage argues that breaking rules is not necessarily bad - rule-breakers like Napoleon Bonaparte can sometimes be heroes. Bonaparte went against protocol and manned a vulnerable artillery battery himself during a key battle, earning his soldiers’ respect and admiration. His rule-breaking signaled talent, courage and leadership.

  • The passage explains that we often engage in costly signaling to convey desirable qualities about ourselves that aren’t directly observable, like commitment or prestige. This is similar to conspicuous consumption, where people buy expensive items to signal wealth and status. Risky or wasteful signals can demonstrate qualities like strength or discipline.

  • Bonaparte’s risky maneuver of manning the artillery battery was a costly signal of his bravery and leadership, allowing him to break rules and earn respect. Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg wore casual clothes to Facebook’s IPO roadshow, signaling his indifference to status and fashion.

In summary, the passage argues that breaking rules can sometimes send positive signals about admirable qualities, using examples like Bonaparte and Zuckerberg to illustrate this point. Costly, risky rule-breaking can act as a signal of desirable traits.

Here is a summary of the key points in fewer than 150 words:

Research shows that intentionally deviating from social norms and expectations can signal high status. Wearing casual clothes to a formal event or business meeting defies conventions and implies autonomy. Studies found that a woman in gym clothes was perceived as higher status in a luxury boutique, and a professor wearing sneakers and more casual attire was seen as having greater standing by his students. Such nonconformity boosts confidence as well. Experiments found that singing while wearing an unusual bandanna improved performance and lowered anxiety. Subtle deviations from the norm demonstrate that one can afford to flout conventions and pay the cost of nonconformity.

  • The passage describes an improv comedy class the author attended with her husband. During one exercise called “actor switch,” the author went on stage after another man had pretended to be driving a car.

  • The man was actually imitating Captain Kirk and pretending to drive the USS Enterprise from Star Trek, but the author didn’t realize this. When she joined the scene, she took it in a completely different direction by talking about striped underpants.

  • This got a laugh from the audience. The author’s husband explained she had missed the Star Trek reference and went off on a tangent.

  • The exercise demonstrated how improv comedy works - each new person builds on the scene with unexpected ideas, often taking things in new directions. The author initially went in an unanticipated direction by misunderstanding the initial Star Trek scenario.

  • The passage suggests improv requires creativity, spur-of-the-moment thinking and a talent for novelty to build humorous scenes without preparation. The author showed a knack for bringing in a novel idea, even if she didn’t follow the initial Star Trek theme.

In summary, the passage uses an example from the author’s improv comedy class to illustrate how improv relies on novel thinking and taking ideas in unpredictable new directions.

  • The author decided to take improv classes with her husband as a fun weekly date night activity and a way to inject novelty into their relationship.

  • In improv, you accept the scene your partners establish and build on it in unexpected ways using “yes, and…” rather than contradicting. This forces you out of your comfort zone.

  • The author initially struggled with improv because she missed pop culture references, but learned to embrace the unexpected and flourish outside her script.

  • Rituals and traditions like weddings can provide meaning but rob us of making exciting choices. The author broke tradition by eloping before her big Italian wedding, upsetting her mom.

  • We often follow traditions blindly like children copying adults’ unnecessary steps. The author and her husband brought novelty to their marriage through improv.

  • Overall, the passage explores how improv comedy and rebelling against tradition forces novelty and excitement versus following the expected script. The author advocates embracing the unexpected in relationships and life.

  • Over-imitation is the tendency to copy all actions, even unnecessary ones, when learning something new. Studies show this tendency increases with age. Adults often perpetuate inefficient practices simply because “that’s how it has always been done.”

  • The status quo bias causes people to favor existing rituals and traditions over potential changes, even if the changes would be an improvement. Losses are weighed more heavily than potential gains, anchoring people to the status quo.

  • Improv theater traces back to 16th century Italian street performers. It was later reinvented in the 1950s by Keith Johnstone and Viola Spolin as a more spontaneous, audience-inclusive form of theater.

  • Improv requires unpredictability and novelty, skills which push people out of their comfort zones. Studies show that novelty-seeking is deeply rooted in human evolution, driving exploration and learning.

  • Though improv is uncomfortable, it builds critical skills for innovation: reacting in the moment, cooperating, and staying open to new ideas. Practicing improv can help overcome resistance to change.

  • Humans are born with a strong drive to seek novelty, but this fades over time as we age. Other desires take over, like wanting more predictability (e.g. paychecks on time, job routines).

  • Organizations reflect this need for predictability with established processes and known activities. But too much tedium is a threat.

  • Pal’s fast food chain fights tedium by constantly varying the order of work stations employees move through each day. This novelty boosts performance.

  • Studies show novelty increases job satisfaction, creativity, productivity, confidence and willingness to take on new challenges.

  • Excitement is a powerful source of novelty. Couples engaging in exciting shared activities report higher relationship satisfaction.

  • Even brief novel activities can boost relationships. Surprisingly, novelty is even more important than stability for relationship quality.

  • At work, employees who experienced more novelty were more satisfied and engaged. Stability did not provide the same benefits.

  • The intensity of any emotional experience, positive or negative, fades over time. We adapt to the new normal.

  • The Hippodrome Theater in New York City opened in 1905 and was hailed as the largest and most extravagant theater in the world at the time.

  • In January 1918, the famous illusionist Harry Houdini performed there before a sold-out crowd. He was known for his daring escapes and illusions.

  • One of his most famous tricks was the “vanishing elephant.” He brought out a full-grown Asian elephant named Jennie on stage and had her step into a large wooden box on wheels. After closing the box, Houdini waved his hands over it and said magic words. When the box was reopened moments later, Jennie had disappeared, astonishing the audience.

  • Houdini perfected the art of showmanship and spectacle. He left audiences spellbound, wondering how he achieved his illusions. His performances were about more than just magic tricks - they were carefully crafted stories filled with drama, suspense, and surprise.

  • The vanishing elephant act demonstrated Houdini’s showmanship and ability to make even a 6,000 pound elephant seem to disappear before the audience’s eyes. It exemplified his talent for creating a sense of wonder and impossibility.

  • Houdini was fascinated by magic and performing from a young age. As a child, he learned tricks like escaping from locked cabinets and performing acrobatics.

  • He launched his professional magic career as a teenager, performing in various venues like sideshows and vaudeville theaters. He became an expert at escaping from handcuffs and locks.

  • Houdini had a innate sense of curiosity and wonder his whole life. He was always looking to elevate his craft and learn new tricks.

  • This childlike curiosity differed from Henry Ford’s approach with the Model T. Ford focused on efficiency and lowering costs, failing to innovate as consumer tastes changed.

  • Unlike Ford, Houdini continuously reinvented himself, guided by his sense of wonder. He represents how holding onto curiosity as an adult can fuel creativity and innovation.

In 2000, the BBC was facing many challenges, including new competition from commercial cable channels. Internally, it had lost its creative spark and become a complex, confused organization. To turn things around, the BBC hired a new director-general named Greg Dyke. Rather than come in with a bold vision for change, Dyke spent his first months traveling to BBC locations and asking employees two simple questions: What is one thing I should do to make things better for you, and what is one thing I should do to make things better for viewers and listeners? This unconventional approach surprised employees, who expected Dyke to impose his own plans. But by listening first, Dyke gained insight into problems and won the staff’s trust and enthusiasm to collaborate on improvements. Within a year, BBC ratings and audience satisfaction rose significantly.

The passage goes on to explain how leaders often wrongly believe that asking questions makes them look foolish or incompetent. However, research shows the opposite - asking for advice increases perceptions of competence. People feel flattered when asked for their opinion. Overall, asking questions builds stronger relationships and gains others’ trust. Dyke demonstrated this by using questions to successfully turn around the troubled BBC.

  • Curiosity allows people to share personal experiences and wisdom, which can stroke their egos. It also represents a form of productive rebellion where people push past discomfort to learn.

  • Studies show curiosity brings greater positive emotions, closeness in new relationships, satisfaction in existing ones. Asking questions makes people feel more connected.

  • Curiosity reframes problems as interesting challenges rather than threats. It reduces defensiveness and leads to more openness.

  • How curiosity develops in childhood depends on encouragement from teachers and parents. Organizations can foster curiosity through recognition, failure parties, and openness to exploration.

  • Schools and workplaces that focus too much on perfection, skill-building, and avoiding mistakes can inhibit curiosity. Managers who tap into employees’ curiosity like Max Zanardi can improve business performance.

  • The summary illustrates key research on curiosity’s benefits and how environments shape it, using examples like Zanardi’s hotel. The main points relate to curiosity’s positive impacts and the need for supportive cultures.

  • Adriano Olivetti joined his family’s typewriter business in the 1920s and noticed the poor working conditions and monotonous tasks of the factory workers.

  • Adriano believed work should provide joy and have a noble purpose, not just economic rewards. He felt companies had an obligation to promote cultural and social initiatives to help workers flourish.

  • Unlike Ford’s focus on efficiency, Adriano focused on worker engagement and curiosity. He provided libraries, lectures, art, and other perks to stimulate employees.

  • Adriano’s approach led to innovations like the Divisumma calculator and Valentine typewriter. Olivetti became a leader in industrial design and expanded internationally.

  • Adriano had no proof his methods worked but correctly intuited that investing in workers’ well-being and curiosity would lead to innovation.

  • Like IDEO today, Adriano hired for depth of skill as well as empathy and curiosity to foster collaboration and creativity.

  • Research confirms the link between curiosity and innovation. Adriano’s emphasis on curiosity was key to Olivetti’s creative success.

  • Curiosity benefits employees and organizations in many ways. Curious employees have larger networks, are more comfortable asking questions, and build important connections. This leads to better performance, innovation, and satisfaction.

  • However, adults often lose the natural curiosity they had as children. Surveys show employees’ curiosity declines after starting a new job. Leaders sometimes discourage curiosity by focusing on rapid task execution rather than questioning.

  • Leaders can champion curiosity by asking “why” and “what if” questions themselves, and encouraging employees to do the same. Other ways to foster curiosity include allowing employees to explore personal interests, providing tuition support for advanced degrees, and acknowledging uncertainty.

  • Successful companies like Google, Facebook, and United Technologies have used tactics like math puzzles, learning goals, and tuition support to spark curiosity in employees.

  • Ultimately, curiosity needs organizational champions, especially from leaders at the top. By modeling inquisitiveness and providing resources for exploration, leaders can reignite the curiosity present in childhood but often lost in adulthood. This benefits both employees, through greater development and satisfaction, and organizations through enhanced innovation and performance.

  • Maintaining curiosity is crucial for creativity and innovation in organizations. The Polaroid instant camera was inspired by the curious question of Edwin Land’s young daughter who wondered why she had to wait to see a photo.

  • Leaders can encourage curiosity by creating a psychologically safe work environment where people feel comfortable taking risks and asking questions without fear of embarrassment.

  • Training programs that encourage questioning assumptions and common practices can boost creativity compared to traditional training.

  • Leaving people curious, like not revealing how a magic trick works, makes them generate more creative ideas compared to explaining the trick.

  • Just like magician Harry Houdini constantly challenged himself with new escapes, we can choose to focus on what we don’t know to engage our curiosity. Leaders like Houdini, Greg Dyke, and Adriano Olivetti created innovative organizations by fostering curiosity.

  • The US Airways Flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City on January 15, 2009, headed for Charlotte, North Carolina. Just minutes after takeoff, it struck a flock of geese, resulting in failure of both engines.

  • With no engine power, experienced pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles had to act quickly. They determined they did not have enough altitude or speed to turn back to LaGuardia or divert to another nearby airport.

  • Air traffic controller Patrick Harten offered assistance, suggesting runways at LaGuardia and Teterboro airports in New Jersey, but Sully determined they did not have enough control of the plane to reach them.

  • With all other options eliminated, Sully decided the only place he could attempt to land the disabled aircraft was the Hudson River. He announced “brace for impact” to the 150 passengers and crew.

  • Though he had never landed a plane on water before, Sully’s piloting skills allowed him to glide the powerless jetliner to a smooth landing on the Hudson. All aboard survived the water landing, with some treated for hypothermia from the frigid January waters.

  • Sully’s experience, decision-making under extreme pressure, and piloting talent were credited with saving all 155 people aboard what became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

  • Captain Sully faced an emergency when birds struck both engines of his plane shortly after takeoff. With no engine power, he had to make an emergency landing.

  • Sully initially tried to follow standard procedures by getting out the checklist for dual engine failure. But he quickly realized he did not have time to go through the lengthy checklist before needing to land the plane.

  • In a crisis, people often narrowly focus on the most obvious or familiar options for what they “should” do. Sully was able to think more broadly about what he “could” do, which led him to the creative solution of ditching in the Hudson River.

  • Sully credits his lifelong commitment to learning and improving with every flight for helping him avoid narrow thinking and being open to new options. By considering what he could learn on each flight, he avoided routinized or scripted thinking.

  • The author argues that “could” thinking is valuable not just in extreme emergencies but also in everyday decisions, helping us consider a wider range of possibilities instead of just what we “should” do based on routine or assumptions. This rebel mindset of being open to new perspectives served Sully well in the crisis.

  • The author describes a fictional moral dilemma faced by a former student who learned confidential information that could hurt his employer if not shared, but he had promised to keep it confidential.

  • When study participants were asked “What could you do?” instead of “What should you do?”, they came up with more creative solutions that did not require compromising one moral principle for another. This “could” thinking led them to see fresh perspectives.

  • The author gives an example of cardiologists continuing to use a risky medical device even after dangers were highlighted, due to the influence of more experienced doctors. We tend to follow the crowd rather than make independent judgments.

  • Sully’s aviation expertise did not lead him to make mindless decisions. He continually learned from experience and prepared for the unexpected, which was crucial in the Hudson River landing.

  • Framing work around learning rather than performance goals improves outcomes. The “feeling of knowing” from experience can close our minds rather than open them up.

  • Sully exemplifies avoiding this trap by always asking “What can I learn?” before each flight, to fight complacency and be ready for surprises.

  • People tend to accept evidence uncritically when it confirms their existing views, but question or disregard evidence that contradicts their views - this is like stepping on the scale again if you don’t like the number.

  • An experiment found people were more patient waiting for test results if they hoped the results would reassure them versus scare them.

  • Another experiment gave participants damning information about a student one piece at a time. Those who liked the student kept looking for more information to evaluate him positively, while those who disliked him stopped sooner.

  • When we feel powerful, we tend to listen to our own opinions more and devalue others’ perspectives. Leaders can fall into the trap of “playing deaf.”

  • Sully exemplifies good leadership by thanking a baggage handler who spotted a potential issue, rather than asserting his authority.

  • Powerful people dominate conversations instead of listening. Research shows less autocratic surgeons have better team outcomes.

  • At a Michelin-starred restaurant, the maitre d’ listened to kids who didn’t want the tasting menu and ordered them pizza instead. Good leaders are open to changing course based on others’ input.

  • The film Sliding Doors shows how small events can dramatically change the course of someone’s life, leading people to wonder “what if?” about key moments. This “counterfactual thinking” helps us consider situations from a fresh perspective.

  • Counterfactual thinking makes us more grateful for what we have, more committed to organizations, and more inclined to make positive changes. It takes the focus away from just our own view and helps us approach life with a more open mind.

  • Experts can fall victim to the “curse of knowledge” where they have trouble relating to novices. One study found experts were better able to advise beginners when they temporarily mimicked being a novice themselves.

  • Rebels understand that different perspectives can lead to deeper, more powerful thinking. Alph Bingham realized his chemistry students all solved problems differently based on their unique backgrounds, more so than what they were directly taught. This inspired him to later co-found InnoCentive, a platform connecting problems to diverse solvers.

  • Massimo Bottura, chef at Osteria Francescana, often has his staff create dishes inspired by music to encourage creative thinking and show there are diverse perspectives. For example, he once had them make dishes based on Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.”

  • This challenges the staff to think in new ways, makes work more playful, and reminds them their knowledge is limited, increasing motivation and humility. Psychologist Tenelle Porter’s research shows intellectual humility is linked to greater openness to views that differ from our own.

  • Bottura’s dish Camouflage: Hare in the Woods, inspired by a story of Picasso seeing camouflage and declaring it was cubism, shows how our perspective shapes what we see.

  • The main point is that outsiders can bring fresh perspectives to problems, as their views are less rooted in existing mindsets. Challenging assumptions expands our thinking and reminds us our knowledge is incomplete. As experts, we can be too focused on our own viewpoints.

  • Ava DuVernay, an African-American filmmaker, was offered the chance to direct a Disney adaptation of the novel A Wrinkle in Time. This was a big opportunity for her, as it was a major studio production with a significant budget.

  • DuVernay faced challenges as a black woman director in a male-dominated Hollywood, including assumptions about her abilities and experience. However, the Disney executives saw her talent and potential, not just her race and gender.

  • DuVernay’s background was not typical for Hollywood - she started directing later in life and lacked industry connections. But she worked hard and made her own opportunities with small budget films before her breakthrough with Selma.

  • The Disney executives admired DuVernay’s previous work like Selma, and saw her as the right fit for A Wrinkle in Time based on her talent and vision, not her race. She was able to walk into the meeting “like a white man” and pitch her ideas.

  • The story highlights how opportunities can open up when people are judged solely on their abilities and potential, not limited by stereotypes. DuVernay was given the chance to take on a major studio film thanks to executives who recognized her as simply a gifted filmmaker.

  • Stereotypes are rooted in human nature as a way to quickly judge people based on observable characteristics like age, gender, race, etc. They help us make sense of the world but can also lead to discrimination.

  • Stereotypes form early in life. Babies show gender stereotyping by 10 months old. By age 3, children attach stereotypes to gender related to possessions, toys, roles, appearance, and activities.

  • Parents reinforce gender stereotypes through things like decorating boys’ and girls’ rooms differently. Media like fairy tales also portray stereotypical roles.

  • Once learned, stereotypes are hard to change, even with contradictory evidence. We feel more comfortable with similar people.

  • Women in male-dominated fields often face backlash, seen as less likable though equally competent. This can impact opportunities and advancement.

  • Historically, women entered the workforce out of necessity in wartime. This helped break stereotypes and expanded professional opportunities for women, benefiting companies and the economy.

  • Organizations with greater gender diversity tend to perform better financially. Countries can boost GDP by increasing female workforce participation.

  • When women first entered the workforce during the Industrial Revolution, men viewed them as a threat and criticized working mothers.

  • Due to gender stereotypes, women are seen as communal while men are seen as agentic. This leads to bias against women in hiring, performance reviews, and promotions.

  • Ann Hopkins was denied partnership at Price Waterhouse in the 1980s despite bringing in more revenue than other candidates. She was told to act more feminine.

  • Even today, few Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs. Women are perceived as lacking leadership potential.

  • In group projects, women often do more work but men get more credit. This wastes talent and hurts organizations.

  • The author experienced sexist comments as a professor at Harvard, being told to dress less well and questioned on her ability to teach a class while pregnant.

  • In summary, gender bias and stereotypes continue to create obstacles and lost opportunities for women in the workforce.

The author describes moments when she has doubted herself and her abilities as a teacher and speaker due to comments implying she was judged based on gender stereotypes rather than her skills and expertise. She gives examples of how women are often interrupted, dismissed, and criticized in ways men are not, affecting their confidence and performance.

She explains the concept of “stereotype threat” - when people choke or underperform due to fear of confirming negative stereotypes about their group. Studies show reminding women of their gender before math tests lowers their scores, while reassuring them of equal ability raises scores.

The author argues expectations influence results, using placebo studies as an example. She tells the story of Pygmalion to illustrate the self-fulfilling prophecy of expectations. Teachers’ high expectations of randomly selected students improved their academic performance.

She rebels against stereotypes by reframing anxiety as excitement and opportunity. She gives an example of pushing past self-doubt to become a regular teacher in a program where she initially felt an outsider. Fighting stereotypes improves our own performance and can motivate others. Overall, we can shape expectations to bring out the best in ourselves and others.

  • Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb was denied entry to run the Boston Marathon in 1966 because women were banned, but she showed up anyway in disguise and finished ahead of many men. This helped lead to the marathon being opened to women in 1972.

  • Daughters of working mothers tend to earn higher salaries and be more likely to hold management roles compared to daughters of stay-at-home moms. Sons are unaffected career-wise but more likely to share household chores.

  • Harvard Business School case studies historically lacked female protagonists, but a push to diversify them helped convey that women can be leaders.

  • The #MeToo movement empowered women to speak out about sexual harassment and assault, leading to many high-profile men being held accountable.

  • Breaking stereotypes through small acts, like a visibly pregnant professor doing jumping jacks, can help change attitudes.

  • Workplace diversity has financial benefits for companies, and gender diversity specifically is linked to higher profits, growth, and innovation.

  • Mentorship and sponsorship initiatives aimed at advancing women and minorities are important for increasing diversity in leadership roles.

  • Homogeneous groups are more prone to groupthink, while diversity fosters better decision making, problem solving, and teamwork.

  • The passage describes a study where students worked in teams to solve a mystery. Diverse teams (with members from different fraternities/sororities) were less confident but twice as likely to solve the mystery correctly compared to homogeneous teams.

  • This demonstrates that diversity brings discomfort but better outcomes. Homogeneous teams work smoothly but lack range of perspectives.

  • Stereotypes and cues in the workplace environment shape perceptions of diversity. Leaders should confront stereotypes by increasing minority representation and role models.

  • Diversity promotes better preparation, creativity, and deeper thinking as people consider different viewpoints.

  • Organizations benefit from committing to diversity as an opportunity, not a problem. Rebels leverage differences and understand diversity is about long-term growth, not quotas.

  • The passage gives the example of the diverse San Antonio Spurs basketball team winning championships.

  • It also provides examples of how diversity improves performance, like on the murder mystery task.

  • The key is that diversity brings discomfort but ultimately better outcomes if leveraged properly. Rebels see its value for long-term growth.

  • At an NBA playoff game in 2003, 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert froze and couldn’t continue singing the national anthem.

  • Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks went over to help her by putting his arm around her and singing with her. He got the crowd to join in singing as well.

  • Cheeks was praised for his compassion in coming to the aid of a child in distress. His authentic act of kindness resonated more than the game’s outcome.

  • Sharing vulnerabilities and flaws can build trust and connection. Research shows that appropriate self-disclosure makes people seem more real and likable.

  • Intuit co-founder Scott Cook gave a commencement speech focused on his failures, bucking expectations. He related better to students by showing he was human.

  • Rebels are willing to show their flaws and humanity. This vulnerability earns admiration and helps others relate. Authenticity inspires people more than perfection.

  • Scott Cook, former CEO of Intuit, stepped down when he realized he lacked the necessary leadership skills. He was honest with employees about his weaknesses and asked for their help to improve. His authenticity was inspiring.

  • Entrepreneurs who openly discuss failures as well as successes are viewed as more relatable and motivate others to work harder. Students who read about scientists’ struggles improved their science grades more than those who only read about achievements.

  • Sharing failures brings better performance, as seen in studies of firefighters and surgeons. Princeton professor Johannes Haushofer published his “CV of failures” to show his rejections and make clear that success is not guaranteed.

  • Hiding our true selves with a facade of perfection often backfires, leading to less connection, lower self-esteem, worse job performance, and higher stress. Authenticity helps create stronger bonds.

  • Faking comprehension or abilities leads to anxiety, lower morale, damaged self-image. Job candidates who are inauthentic are less likely to be hired.

  • Vulnerability enables connection. Embracing imperfections is more inspiring than a false veneer of perfection. Authenticity builds trust and motivates others.

The main idea is that authenticity - being our true selves - has advantages in work and life. People who conceal their personalities are less likely to be hired or attract investment. It’s better to be real like Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, who got a job despite admitting she wasn’t the typical fashionista.

Research by the author shows entrepreneurs pitching startup ideas were rated higher and had better odds of winning when they were authentic, not just telling judges what they wanted to hear. Inauthenticity also hurts motivation and resilience. Another study found Red Sox fans quit a painful ice water task sooner when wearing Yankees wristbands versus Red Sox ones.

People can sense when others are being inauthentic, causing discomfort. We even prefer outright bragging to “humblebragging.” Pretending to be happy takes a toll - bus drivers faking smiles had more insomnia, anxiety and home conflict versus those behaving authentically. But medical teams with a climate of authenticity coped better with challenges.

At Bottura’s Osteria Francescana restaurant, he encourages authenticity, having staff share dishes from their culture and express themselves openly. This helped refine the cuisine and earn Michelin stars. The article argues focusing on weaknesses, as in performance reviews, is less effective than developing strengths. Authenticity lets us be our best selves.

  • Research shows that people believe they can more easily improve upon their weaknesses than build upon their strengths. However, the opposite is true - we actually improve faster by focusing on our strengths rather than weaknesses.

  • Coaches work with athletes by building on their tremendous skills, not just addressing weaknesses. A study in the 1950s showed students made huge reading gains when instruction focused on their pre-existing strengths.

  • Organizations like Deloitte have moved away from traditional performance reviews focused on weaknesses and toward coaching and development centered on applying strengths. Data shows this strengths-based approach improves performance, commitment, and energy.

  • Employees who use their strengths daily are much more satisfied and productive. Focusing on weaknesses can actually decrease performance.

  • Reflecting on our strengths can give us confidence and allow us to bring more of our true selves to work. Experiments have shown reflective exercises boost performance and retention.

  • Overall, we should shift focus away from fixing weaknesses and instead build upon strengths. This allows people and organizations to thrive authentically.

  • The author contrasts his experience as an airline passenger tuning out the flight attendants’ routine safety announcements with his engagement teaching a class of executives.

  • Flight attendants are highly trained in safety procedures but their scripted announcements often fail to capture passengers’ attention. This risks passengers’ safety if they don’t listen. It also becomes monotonous for the flight attendants to repeat the same words and motions flight after flight.

  • Many workers start jobs excited but soon grow frustrated as their work becomes routine. The author’s research shows engagement drops as early as 3-6 months into a new job.

  • Leaders need to counteract this by nurturing employees’ passion and creativity. Telling inspiring stories connects with people more than facts or figures. Stories tap into emotions and imagination.

  • Stories unite people around common goals and values. Leaders should share stories that convey the organization’s purpose and highlight examples of employees living the values.

  • Stories make abstract ideas tangible. A story about one person’s experience puts a human face on data about customer satisfaction. Stories are memorable and spark discussion and engagement.

  • By inspiring people through storytelling, leaders can reignite the passion and sense of purpose that attracted employees in the first place. Engaged employees are more effective, innovative, and loyal.

  • Research by Gallup and others shows that employee engagement declines steadily after starting a new job. Excitement turns to boredom and employees become disengaged over time.

  • Disengagement is costly, lowering productivity, retention, innovation, and profitability. Highly engaged workforces are more productive and profitable.

  • Only about 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. The problem is worse in large companies.

  • Disengagement also plagues schools and personal relationships. There is a broader crisis of engagement.

  • Southwest Airlines allows employees to inject humor and personality into routine announcements, keeping both employees and passengers engaged.

  • Engagement enhances creativity, productivity, relationships, and customer satisfaction. But habits like conformity reduce engagement over time.

  • Struggling companies like Campbell Soup suffered from employee disengagement. Turnaround efforts focused first on increasing engagement.

  • Engagement stems from feeling valued, respected, and cared for. It can be increased through leadership, alignment, accountability, and inspiration.

The main point is that employee engagement tends to decline over time due to habitual conformity, but it can be increased through leadership strategies that make people feel valued, respected, and inspired. This benefits individuals, organizations, and customers.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • Employee morale at Campbell’s was extremely low when Doug Conant took over as CEO in 2001. A Gallup survey found over 60% of employees were disengaged and 10% were actively disengaged.

  • To turn things around, Conant focused first on the employees. He set a goal to walk 10,000 steps per day to interact with staff. He also started “One-Over-Ones”, informal meetings with managers, their reports, Conant, and HR to open communication.

  • Conant sent handwritten thank you notes, up to 20 per day, to recognize employee contributions. He also improved the work environment by removing razor wire fencing, repainting, etc.

  • Within his first 3 years, Conant replaced over 300 of the top 350 leaders at Campbell’s. He promoted 150 from within and brought in outside high performers to replace those fired.

  • By 2009, employee engagement rose significantly. 68% said they were actively engaged, only 3% actively disengaged. Revenues also rose 24% from 2001-2011.

  • Engaged employees are more dedicated, absorbed in their work, and exhibit vigor. This benefits organizations through better quality, productivity, satisfaction, etc.

  • The talents of rebels - novelty, curiosity, perspective, diversity, authenticity - are paths to engagement. Rebels are engaged and inspire engagement in others.

  • The author visited Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California in 2017. Pixar has a sprawling campus with sports fields, gardens, an amphitheater, and the Steve Jobs Building at its heart.

  • Ed Catmull, Pixar’s president, explained that Pixar films often go through many iterations and changes before reaching their final form. Failed versions are seen as learning experiences rather than true failures.

  • Pete Docter, director of several Pixar films, learned an important lesson while making Monsters Inc. Early test audiences didn’t engage with the main character Sulley until Docter gave him an emotional connection - caring for the young girl Boo.

  • Engaging stories have an emotional core where characters react authentically to challenges and expose their vulnerabilities. This helps the audience empathize and care about the characters.

  • SAS founder Jim Goodnight promotes emotional engagement at work by giving employees freedom to make choices. This authenticity makes people view their relationship with the company as emotional rather than just transactional.

  • Pixar stories resonate when they appeal to some fundamental human truth. Authenticity helps audiences connect to stories and characters. Similarly, organizations can encourage authenticity from employees to drive engagement.

Pixar President Ed Catmull believes that candor and constructive conflict are key to Pixar’s creative culture. In 2013, Pixar held “Notes Day” where employees were asked to provide honest feedback to improve the company. This helped make Pixar’s culture safer for people to express disagreements. Catmull himself would have prolonged disagreements with Steve Jobs, persisting over weeks and months to eventually reach consensus. At Pixar, tension and conflict are seen as necessary for generating original ideas. Constructive dissent is encouraged through practices like assigning “devil’s advocates.” Though conflict can be uncomfortable, when handled openly it allows for exploration of new possibilities and insights.

The key points are:

  • Catmull values candor and sees lack of it as dysfunctional
  • Pixar created “Notes Day” for employees to give unrestrained feedback
  • This helped make disagreement feel safer
  • Catmull would persist in disagreeing with Jobs over time to reach consensus
  • Pixar sees constructive conflict as vital for creativity
  • It uses practices like devil’s advocates to spark dissent
  • Openly expressed conflict, though uncomfortable, allows for exploration and insights

Here are a few key points about Blackbeard and rebel leadership:

  • Blackbeard was a legendary 18th century pirate known for his fierce reputation and democratic leadership style. He allowed his crew to vote on important decisions.

  • Rebel leaders often adopt a more democratic, participatory style to empower followers. This contrasts with traditional “command-and-control” leadership.

  • Rebelliousness involves questioning the status quo and advocating for change. Effective rebel leaders inspire others through their vision while also listening to input.

  • “Flatness” refers to decentralized, non-hierarchical organizational structures favored by many rebel leaders. This allows more autonomy and creativity among team members.

  • The 8 principles of rebel leadership highlighted are: advance a cause, not yourself; inspire, don’t coerce; lead from any position; excel at collaboration; expect greatness; rebel for others; make your team feel safe to disagree; and empower through trust, not fear.

  • Overall, rebel leaders reject autocratic leadership and aim to distribute power, spur innovation, and rally people around a shared purpose of changing the status quo for the better. Listening, collaborating, and trusting followers are key.

Does this help summarize the key points about Blackbeard and principles of rebel leadership from the passage? Let me know if you need any part of the summary expanded on.

  • Blackbeard was an infamous English pirate who attacked ships in the West Indies and North America in the early 1700s. He used sneak attacks and trickery to capture merchant ships and steal their valuables.

  • Pirate ships were surprisingly democratic compared to merchant ships of the time. Pirates elected their captain, limited his power, and voted on decisions. This contrasted with the dictatorship-like rule of merchant captains.

  • Pirate crews were diverse, welcoming blacks as equals at a time when slavery was common. The goal was a competent crew, not skin color.

  • Though ruthless in reputation, Blackbeard did not actually kill anyone during his piracy career. His image was a clever marketing ploy.

  • Experiments show hierarchies and leaders naturally emerge in groups, even among equals. Hierarchies can be useful but also lead to unequal resources and power. “Rebel organizations” like pirate ships aim to avoid hierarchy downsides.

  • Some modern businesses like Valve Software successfully use flat organization without bosses. Workers make decisions through persuasion and argument. The founders saw problems with hierarchy at Microsoft and chose a different course.

  • Rebel leaders encourage constructive dissent. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy wanted advisors who would argue and challenge each other’s views, leading to better decisions.

  • Rebel leaders seek out the new. Adriano Olivetti gave factory workers time to “eat culture” and be inspired. Chef Massimo Bottura finds inspiration from art, music, and literature. The author is inspired by his interest in motorcycles, even though it has no practical purpose.

  • Rebels are voracious learners with wide-ranging curiosity. Interests don’t need justification if they might lead to insights later. Fangio’s knowledge of racing history may have saved his life.

  • Rebel leadership is accessible to anyone willing to challenge conformity and human nature’s draw toward the comfortable and familiar. Rebels know themselves yet see no limits.

  • The eight principles of rebel leadership are: seek out the new, encourage constructive dissent, practice curiosity, break routines, work with purpose, court controversy, build social capital, share power.

The key ideas are that rebel leaders encourage new perspectives, dissent, and curiosity to build better organizations, while challenging conformity and sharing power. Anyone can adopt this mindset.

Here are five key points I gathered from the summary:

  1. Encourage open and frank conversations by breaking hierarchies and formality. Kennedy did this by having aides meet without him and mixing up ranks during meetings.

  2. Welcome diverse perspectives and dissenting views. Successful leaders intentionally include dissenting voices to make better decisions.

  3. Keep conversations open rather than closed. Techniques like Pixar’s “plussing” build on ideas constructively rather than shutting them down.

  4. Reveal yourself honestly and encourage others to do the same. Doug Conant and other leaders fostered trust by sharing who they really are.

  5. Master fundamentals deeply but don’t become a slave to the rules. Bottura reinvented Italian cooking by learning traditional techniques and then forgetting them when needed.

Here are some key points and takeaways from the book Rebel Talent by Francesca Gino:

  • Rebels challenge the status quo and refuse to accept mediocrity. They question assumptions, experiment, take risks, and break rules.

  • To spark originality, rebels foster diversity of thought by surrounding themselves with people of different backgrounds and viewpoints. Cross-pollination of ideas leads to innovation.

  • Rebels find freedom in constraints. Limitations can actually boost creativity and resourcefulness.

  • Instead of top-down leadership, rebels lead from the trenches. They get their hands dirty alongside their teams.

  • Rebels design workspaces and teams to maximize “happy accidents” and chance encounters that can unlock new ideas.

  • Rebels are not afraid to make mistakes - they see failures as opportunities to learn. A mistake may lead to a breakthrough.

  • The chef Massimo Bottura exemplifies many rebel talents, from challenging conventions of Italian cuisine to fostering creativity and innovation in his kitchen.

Overall, the book highlights how rebels question the status quo, embrace diversity, learn from failures, and lead from the front lines. By breaking rules and taking smart risks, rebels can drive creative breakthroughs.

  • In 2012, powerful earthquakes struck the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, causing extensive damage to medieval castles, churches, homes, and other historic buildings.

  • The quakes also damaged around 400,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that were aged in warehouses, threatening huge economic losses for the region’s cheese producers.

  • Famed chef Massimo Bottura decided to help by creating a new risotto dish featuring Parmigiano-Reggiano called Risotto Cacio e Pepe.

  • Bottura and Parmigiano producers organized a global online fundraiser where people made and shared dishes with the cheese. This helped sell all of the damaged wheels of cheese.

  • The fundraiser showed Bottura’s creativity and generosity in using his skills as a chef to help others in a time of crisis. Despite being very busy running his acclaimed restaurant Osteria Francescana, he made time to support Emilia Romagna’s cultural heritage and economy.

  • Massimo Bottura is an Italian chef who rebelled against the traditions of Italian cuisine by using innovative techniques and embracing imperfect ingredients.

  • As a teenager, Bottura discovered the Michelin Guide in his father’s car and told his dad he would someday earn a Michelin star, even though his father wanted him to become a lawyer.

  • After leaving law school to become a chef, Bottura faced criticism but persevered, driven by his passion and vision. In 2001, he earned his first Michelin star.

  • Bottura exemplifies how rebels go against the grain and break rules to bring about positive change. Rebels take the first step even when it’s difficult, stay humble and keep learning, and feel fulfilled by following their unconventional path.

  • The epilogue encourages readers to understand their own “Rebel Quotient” and offers resources at to help unlock one’s inner rebel. It emphasizes there is no better time than now for rebel action.

  • The journey of rebels like Bottura shows that great things can be accomplished through small rebellious acts brought together over time. Embracing one’s rebel talent requires fighting against elements of human nature but can produce powerful results.

Here are the key points about Napoleon Bonaparte and social rebels:

  • Napoleon was a brilliant military leader who rose through the ranks from humble origins to become emperor of France. He challenged the aristocratic status quo and mercantile values of his time.

  • Even as a young officer, Napoleon bucked conventions by wearing casual clothes like a hoodie, rather than the formal uniforms expected. He also broke rules about fraternizing with lower ranks.

  • Social rebels like Napoleon deviate from norms and conventions of appearance, behavior, and values. Their nonconformity can signal competence and high status, attracting followers.

  • Research shows that subtle signals of nonconformity like wearing red sneakers can increase perceptions of status and competence, by signaling confidence and authenticity.

  • Throughout history, social rebels have challenged traditions and hierarchies. Their nonconformity often paves the way for innovation and social change over time.

  • Napoleon’s casual style and disregard for aristocratic norms presaged the meritocratic values of the modern era. His rebellion against the status quo led him to power and changed Europe.

In summary, Napoleon exemplifies how rebels buck social conventions and hierarchies, using nonconformity to signal status and power. Though often controversial in their time, rebels’ defiance of tradition can transform societies.

Here is a summary of the key points about Houdini, Ford, and the importance of curiosity:

  • Harry Houdini was a famous magician and escape artist known for his spectacular illusions and death-defying stunts. As a child, his curiosity and fascination with magic led him to devour books on the subject and launch his career.

  • Early in his career, Houdini focused more on traditional magic tricks, but later shifted to escape acts, driven by his curiosity to conquer new challenges. This allowed him to captivate audiences with his vanishing elephant illusion and other novel feats.

  • Likewise, Henry Ford’s curiosity and appetite for learning enabled key innovations at his company. While Ford Motor Company once dominated the auto industry, it grew rigid over time and was surpassed by more innovative rivals like GM.

  • Research suggests curiosity is important throughout our lives, enabling cognitive flexibility, critical thinking, and discovery from childhood through adulthood. It can help individuals and organizations adapt to changing environments and identify new opportunities.

In summary, satisfying one’s curiosity creates novelty and sparks innovation, as seen in the careers of Houdini and the early success of Ford. However, sustaining success requires maintaining curiosity to continuously evolve.

Here is a summary of the key points about Captain Sullenberger and the “Miracle on the Hudson”:

  • On January 15, 2009, Sullenberger was the captain of US Airways Flight 1549 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina. Shortly after takeoff, the plane struck a flock of geese, which disabled both engines.

  • With no power and unable to reach any airport, Sullenberger and his crew made the unprecedented decision to ditch the plane in the Hudson River. Sullenberger managed to glide the plane to a smooth landing on the water, allowing all 155 people on board to evacuate safely.

  • The successful water landing was dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson” and hailed as one of the most remarkable feats of aviation skill in history. Sullenberger was praised for his calmness under extreme pressure and his ability to solve a novel, never-before-encountered emergency situation.

  • Sullenberger had over 40 years of flying experience, including training on water landings and aircraft performance. His depth of knowledge, skill, and decisiveness were critical in saving lives that day.

  • The event demonstrated Sullenberger’s lifelong commitment to the highest standards of moral duty, safety, and performance. It cemented his reputation as a consummate professional and “Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger” became a household name representing these values.

  • The dramatic emergency landing on the Hudson has been immortalized in media and continues to inspire lessons about leadership, preparation, skill, and grace under extraordinary pressure. It remains one of the most famous aviation events in recent memory.

Here is a summary of the key points about Ava DuVernay and her approach to uncomfortable truths:

  • Ava DuVernay is an acclaimed film director known for movies like Selma and A Wrinkle in Time that tackle complex social issues.

  • She seeks out “uncomfortable truths” in her films, aiming to challenge audiences and spark dialogues on difficult topics like race, injustice, and discrimination.

  • For Selma, DuVernay focused on the internal divisions and debates within the civil rights movement, not just the opposition activists faced. This made the film uncomfortable for some audiences.

  • Her goal is to portray the full humanity of marginalized groups, not just their victimization. She wants to show their resiliency and strength.

  • DuVernay embraces discomfort in her creative process, remaining open to critiques and multiple perspectives to improve her storytelling. She engages in lively debates with her collaborators.

  • She believes storytelling should make people think critically about society, even if it means pushing them outside their comfort zones. DuVernay wants her films to promote understanding.

  • Rather than shying away from hard truths, DuVernay confronts them directly in her art. She tackles issues many would avoid out of fear of backlash or controversy.

In summary, Ava DuVernay intentionally uses film to deliver uncomfortable truths, spur dialogue on difficult issues, and inspire critical reflection on injustice in society. She embraces discomfort as a path to greater understanding.

Here is a summary of the key points from the provided sources:

  • Ava DuVernay is a pioneering African American female filmmaker who has directed acclaimed films like Selma and 13th. She has broken barriers for women and people of color in Hollywood.

  • Despite progress, gender stereotypes and biases still negatively impact women in many fields. Studies show people view leadership ability and competence as more masculine traits.

  • Women still face backlash and penalties for not conforming to expectations, like being communal and deferring to others. Displaying stereotypically male behaviors like assertiveness can prompt pushback.

  • Biases also emerge in how women’s work and performance are assessed, such as in performance reviews. Women tend to be judged more critically.

  • Stereotype threat, exposure to negative stereotypes about one’s group, also impairs women’s performance on important tasks.

  • However, expectations also have a positive side. Believing in someone’s potential can improve their outcomes, as with the Pygmalion effect. Framing anxiety as excitement can also boost performance.

  • Exposure to female role models and leaders can help counter gender biases. Increased representation of women, as on corporate boards, can enhance companies’ financial performance.

  • Stories of pioneering women like filmmaker Ava DuVernay, marathoner Bobbi Gibb, and senior banker Eileen Taylor illustrate Determination in breaking gender barriers.

Here is a summary of the key points from the excerpt:

  • Coach Maurice Cheeks helped a young girl, Natalie Gilbert, sing the national anthem when she forgot the words. His act of compassion earned him the nickname “guardian angel.”

  • Self-disclosure and admitting mistakes makes leaders seem more authentic and human. Research shows it improves relationships and trust.

  • Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, openly talks about failures and setbacks in his career. This models perseverance and helps motivate employees.

  • Studies find that reading about the struggles of great scientists increases students’ motivation more than reading just about achievements.

  • Learning from errors is beneficial. Surgeons who discussed their own failures had lower patient mortality rates than those who didn’t.

  • People feel inauthentic when they pretend to be flawless. Admitting flaws relieves this feeling and restores a sense of morality.

  • Authenticity builds trust and connection. Admitting mistakes shows courage and humanity, earns respect, and sets an example.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article by Kim and Cable on applicant self-verification in hiring decisions:

  • Research on “self-verification theory” suggests that people prefer to be seen by others in a way that is consistent with their own self-views, even if those self-views are negative.

  • Kim and Cable examined whether self-verification processes play a role in organizational hiring decisions.

  • In two studies, they found that when an applicant’s self-view aligned with the hiring manager’s evaluation of the applicant, the applicant was more likely to be hired. This effect held even when the self-view was negative.

  • The findings suggest that hiring managers prefer applicants who verify their self-views, and that applicant self-verification can influence hiring decisions above and beyond applicant qualifications.

  • The authors discuss implications including that organizations may limit diversity by seeking applicants who verify existing self-views, and that applicants may be motivated to distort their true selves when applying.

In summary, this research indicates that self-verification shapes hiring decisions, as hiring managers favor applicants who match their existing impressions, whether positive or negative. Self-verification may limit diversity and encourage applicant inauthenticity during hiring.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article “Ce 20, no. 9 (2009): 1125–1131”:

  • Disagreement and conflict can stimulate creativity and innovation if handled constructively. When people experience cooperative tension and maintain a focus on common goals, disagreement leads them to consider more perspectives and generate novel ideas.

  • However, conflict can also inhibit creativity if it creates hostility andharshly criticizes ideas rather than building on them. Constructive dissent allows team members to voice alternative views while feeling psychological safety.

  • Research shows that constructive task conflict improves team performance, while relationship conflict focused on interpersonal issues is detrimental. Teams are most innovative when they experience moderate task conflict.

  • Leaders can foster constructive dissent by encouraging debate, actively listening, asking open-ended questions, and ensuring all voices are heard. Techniques like Kennedy’s “plussing” build on ideas rather than rejecting them.

  • Psychological safety builds trust and prevents conflict from becoming personal. Framing conflict as cooperative efforts toward shared goals maintains team cohesion. Structuring dissent to be expressed privately can also help.

  • Ultimately, leaders must balance encouraging disagreement with building consensus to make decisions. Constructive dissent harnesses conflict as a creative force for innovation.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  • The article is by ner, Zoe Chance, and Mike Norton and is titled “Giving Time Gives You Time.” It was published in Psychological Science in 2012.

  • The authors discuss how spending time doing things for others can counterintuitively lead to perceptions of having more time.

  • In one experiment, participants were asked to keep track of time spent helping others versus time spent on themselves over a few weeks. Those who helped others reported feeling like they had more spare time.

  • This effect held even when the total number of hours recorded by each participant was held constant. Simply spending time on others led to feeling more time affluence.

  • The authors propose that giving time makes people feel more efficient and effective with their time, leading to perceiving greater time abundance. Helping others provides a sense of accomplishment and productivity.

  • The research suggests that giving time to others can improve feelings of time affluence and could be a useful tool for combating feelings of time scarcity and stress.

Here is a brief bio of the author Frances Frei:

Frances Frei is an award-winning professor at Harvard Business School, where she studies trust, purpose, and impact in organizations. She has helped organizations around the world, including Uber, the Boston Celtics, Pixar, Intuit, WeWork, Delta Air Lines, GSK, Riot Games, and Anne Frank House Amsterdam, unlock the full potential of their people. Her work has been featured widely in popular media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlantic, Wired, Fortune, Forbes, and BBC. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Francesca Gino is an award-winning researcher and professor at Harvard Business School.

  • She consults and speaks for major companies like Bacardi, Disney, Goldman Sachs, P&G, and the U.S. military.

  • She has been honored as one of the world’s top 40 business professors under 40 and one of the 50 most influential management thinkers.

  • Her work has been featured widely in major media like CNN, NPR, New York Times, Financial Times, etc.

  • She is the author of the book Rebel Talent.

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