Are Rebels born or made? And what exactly makes someone a “Good Rebel?” As the leader of a Latina Female Black owned agency it’s someone who is constantly curious… always asking questions and not conforming to the status quo and saying “buck the BAU.” Who wants business as usual? No one. Certainly not me.
As the Founder and CEO of an award-winning multicultural agency, I didn’t get here by following all the rules or coloring inside the lines. Growing up in Salinas, CA, I was fortunate to be part of a community of hardworking and innovative thinkers that opened my eyes to a world of possibilities.
My parents, who were immigrant entrepreneurs, introduced me to the world of business at a young age. They taught me that entrepreneurship is inherently risky, but that taking risks can lead to new insights, innovation, and remarkable growth. That planted the seeds of my inner rebel.
Having that foundation allowed me to develop a unique perspective on challenging conventional practices in traditional settings. I learned to see potential where others might not, and I embraced discomfort as a means of unlocking new opportunities. These experiences have been invaluable as I’ve navigated the often white male dominated marketing and advertising industry.
I believe that creativity and risk-taking are inextricably linked. To be at our most innovative, we need to be willing to try new things, challenge conventions, and push beyond our comfort zones. We all have the potential to step outside of our comfort zones and embrace risk. It’s a matter of creating an environment that fosters experimentation and rewards creativity.
As the founder and CEO of one of the few Latina and Black-owned creative agencies in the country, I’ve made it my mission to integrate good risk-taking into the core of our agency. I call this approach being a “good rebel,” a set of traits and practices I’ve developed through my entrepreneurial roots and experience as a proud rebel in marketing. Being a good rebel is one of our foundational pillars. We believe that the most transformative ideas come from those who challenge the status quo.
If you want to stand out, make a difference and create real change – no matter the industry, Here are my top three strategies to help you develop a good rebel framework within your organization.
TOP 3 STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP YOUR GOOD REBEL
1. CONSTANTLY CHALLENGE YOUR OWN ASSUMPTIONS
At our agency, being curious and questioning our assumptions is an integral part of our daily decision-making. It’s this Good Rebel thinking that has helped us land new business opportunities and inspire a culture of continuous learning.
Challenging our assumptions has enabled us to create some of our most groundbreaking campaigns for global brands. We not only pursue quality data, but spend significant time reflecting on strategies that move beyond generalizations and cultural assumptions. This aligns with our mission of taking calculated risks and pushing boundaries for future-forward campaigns.
2. EMBRACE YOUR INNER REBEL
Reflection is the foundation of creativity, and it starts with you. Bringing your authentic self to the table is a key part of being a good rebel. Acknowledging and embracing our unique strengths and weaknesses can help foster robust connections with both ourselves and our peers.
We assess our staff’s natural talents using the Clifton Strengths Assessment and create a visual map of where they fit best within our agency. The assessment promotes stronger relationships among our staff, who empathize with their peer’s individual gifts. We’ve found that this exercise empowers our staff to perform at their best every day. Being able to ask questions like “Why?” “What if?” and “What might be?” opens up new possibilities for creativity to flourish.
3. NEVER STOP LEARNING
Creating a learning environment is a powerful way to empower rebel talent within your organization. By fostering an open mindset and providing opportunities to tap into creative potential, individuals are encouraged to take leaps and try new things.
To be effective, a learning culture must align with the mission and goals of the organization. At our company, we use a combination of formal and informal learning to cater to the diverse needs of our team members. Formal learning includes analyzing and discussing cutting-edge case studies to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing trends and strategies. We also incorporate mentorship as a key part of our informal learning process, recognizing the potential for leadership and growth.
Looking back at my 9 year-old self in Salinas, CA, I know that Good Rebels are made, not born. I learned that when you take risks and embrace your inner rebel, amazing things happen with significant benefits for creativity, innovation, and growth. As I stand here today, surrounded by my talented team of rebels, innovators and culture connectors, I am inspired to see them grow to unprecedented levels.
I invite you to embrace a learning culture and unleash the potential of your people.