Why Every Leader Should Have A Little Rebel Inside

The Rebel Within, Lolly Daskal, The Leadership Gap, To achieve something significant in the world, to have a meaningful influence, you need to be a rebel.

A rebel knows how to challenge the status quo and make an impact.

It’s the executive assistant who, frustrated by her nonresponsive boss, coordinates a meeting with the company’s vice presidents to help her develop a strategy for bringing about change.

It’s the manager of a team raising money for philanthropic causes who asks his team members to consider not only raising money but also giving and working toward the cause themselves.

It’s the security guard who, when his ideas for improved internal security are ignored by management, sets aside some of his personal time each week to teach and guide employees on the importance of security.

Every leader—no matter what position or title—has a rebel within. The question is how healthy or repressed your rebellious side is. Here are ways to recognize the rebel within:

A rebel has strong convictions. A leader who stands strong in their convictions creates an environment of certainty for everyone. When you are absolutely convinced that your decisions and principles are the best choice, you inspire others to follow you, and they in turn will absorb those beliefs and make them their own.

A rebel has inner confidence. To be a great leader requires confidence. Rebels demonstrate a strong sense of self-assurance, so people gravitate to them and anticipate that great things are in store. This high level of confidence comes from an inner passion to make meaningful things happen in a way that creates a real difference.

A rebel is a disruptor. A rebel never considers the status quo acceptable; they have an inner need to change things up. But they do it with a purpose: to make things better for others. They’re mindful that how they lead as very important as what they set out to do. When you lead by example, inspiring and influencing with your actions and words, others tend to trust them and admire you. Rebels disrupt people as well as things—they want people to know greatness lies within them.

A rebel knows their strengths and skills. Unfortunately, many people in positions of leadership and authority lack the capacity to truly lead. They are not credible, trusted or respected, and they don’t have the command to influence others. But rebels are aware of their strengths and lead with them. A commitment to continuous learning, growth and evolution keeps leaders rebellious and wise.

A rebel has influence and impact. Influence grows when you cede power without being forced to, when you care for others without being required to, when you empower others because you want to, when you serve others because you choose to. This kind of drive grants rebels tremendous influence and impact. They have a way of persuading people to do what they want.

A rebel is a trend spotter. Rebels are always planning and creating and thinking about what comes next. They’re gifted at connecting the dots between strategic priorities and peoples’ work, organizational problems and opportunities. They earn respect because they’re good at coming up with ideas and plans and equally adept at making things happen—not only for themselves but for the greater good.

A rebel is passionate about a cause. Rebels lead from extreme passion for a cause. Their focus is almost exclusively on others and how to serve them. One of the reasons rebels are so effective as leaders is that people understand that what drives them at heart is a cause bigger than themselves.

Lead from within: Rebels are those who know the why’s of their life, so they can bear all the hows of their leadership.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now


Additional Reading you might enjoy:


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Keith Schnekenburger

    18. Apr, 2017

    Great article!!!
    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  2. Chris McCrosson

    15. Jun, 2017

    Great article!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Michelle Pace

    08. Nov, 2017

    Hello Lolly! I found your articles posted on Linkedin and now I’m hooked! I just purchased your book!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Roberto Canas

    26. May, 2018

    It is an excellent article about leadership. Congratulations Lolly. There are a lot of bosses and managers that don’t know how to evolve as leaders because of their lack of defiant adoption of disruptive ideas in a company.

    Reply to this comment
  5. S.Sathish kumar

    25. Sep, 2018

    I love all ur articles . there is lot of wisdom in it . u r one of the finest leadership thinker.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Paul Alexander

    28. Oct, 2018

    Hey Lolly!

    Greetings from Sydney!

    This is a great post – and ever so timely, so thank you. I will now have to indulge in more from you… ( & Hat Tip to Jonathan Zaback for the link)

    FYI, I have just started a Podcast called Leading The Leader and we go Live this week… I interview C-Suite coaches, advisors and facilitators to unpack their different views and modalities on what it takes to be a successful leader in the 21st century…

    Would you like to be the first International Guest? You’d be in very good company (such as the Former MD of FaceBook here in Australia and New Zealand, Stephen Scheeler) – and your voice would be an awesome addition.

    Of course, a “no” will not offend in any way at all; just let me know!

    Yours in rebellion,
    Paul Alexander
    Consultant CD

    Reply to this comment
  7. roberto matosas

    19. Oct, 2019

    Frank Sonnenberg is right, you are the best! Thank you so much!

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply