As I’ve written about before, one of the most heated discussions the book reviewers (and authors) had was about the inclusion of the word “rebel.”

Inclusion of the word “rebel” caused the most divided opinion. Some people loved it, it excited them, they thought it defined us and our approach perfectly.

Others thought it was trying too hard,  sounded cheesy, too informal and would put off people or scare off anyone who “wanted to paint within the lines.”

We’d written a third of the book before I settled on the title.

I’d researched other books on company culture and employee engagement on Amazon and tried to figure out what sold best and where there was a gap in the market. But ultimately I fell back on one of my founding principles to guide the choice.


If I’m honest and transparent, this can only be a book for rebels.

That’s what I’ve always been and it’s what employee engagement needs. I’ve spent the most enjoyable parts of my life breaking and bending rules, leaping before looking, asking for forgiveness rather than permission. (My wonderful co-author Debra, is always reminding me to look before I leap, I should say!)

Most companies “do” employee engagement terribly, so if you want to be above average, you’re going to have to rebel in some way.

You don’t need to break every rule you were taught but you’re going to need to bend some, be brave enough to try new things, experiment a little and put yourself and your organization out there.

And that’s why I realized that if you don’t have a bit of a rebel in you, if you really prefer convention and safety then this book probably isn’t going to be your favorite anyway, so best and most honest to get that all upfront on the cover.

But I’m also serious about my company’s mission, “Making the world a better place to work,” and I’m conscious that to make that happen we need to be able to help and support our HR colleagues in big companies who don’t have the benevolent dictator-like freedom of your average tech entrepreneur.

And that's where my co-author Debra comes in. With a whole career spent in corporate and enterprise HR she has a sackful of useful tools and techniques to help anyone to take charge of their rebellion!

To end this blog, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

He who dares loses his footing for a while, he who dares not loses himself.

—Søren Kierkegaard
Find more stories like this one in "The Rebel Playbook" 


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