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Jan 22, 2022

When I first received the book The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively by my guest on today's show, Todd Kashdan, I thought it was going to be some fringe rebel handbook or something like TheAlchemist's Cookbook, or a title that was meant to incite riots and violence.

I was dead wrong.

Instead, this book is a research-based toolbox for anyone who wants to create a world with more justice, creativity, and courage.

For ideas to evolve and for societies to progress, we desperately need rebels to challenge conventional wisdom and improve on it. Unfortunately, most of us fear nonconformists, perceiving them as disloyal, reckless, destructive, or just plain weird. Because most would-be rebels lack the strength and skills to overcome hostile audiences, principled insubordination remains an underleveraged asset in the workplace and public square.

Based on cutting-edge research, The Art of Insubordination is the essential guidebook for anyone seeking to be heard, make a change, and rebel against an unhealthy, stagnant status quo. The book also gives the rest of us the evidence-based strategies we need to become better allies of our leaders in change, ensuring that the best ideas, products, and solutions survive and win the day. Inside this book lie answers to several questions, including:

• What are the most effective ways to express unpopular, important ideas?
• How can we help principled rebels be heard and influential?
• How can we better manage the discomfort when trying to rebel or interacting with a rebel?

Filled with fresh and engaging stories about dissenters in the trenches as well as science that will make you see the world in a different way, The Art of Insubordination is for anyone who wants to see more justice, creativity, inclusion, cultural dynamism, and innovation in the world.

As a Professor of Psychology and a leading educator to the public, Todd Kashdan translates state-of-the-art science for practical application to improve our everyday lives. He is well-known for his energetic and disarming communication style. Todd received the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year Award at George Mason University for his teaching and mentoring. He gave a TEDx talk on psychological flexibility and writes the “Curious?” blog for Psychology Today, which is enjoyed by more than four million readers.

After receiving a Ph.D. in clinical psychology (2004), Todd founded the Well-Being Lab at George Mason University which has produced over 210 peer-reviewed journal articles on well-being and resilience, psychological flexibility, meaning and purpose in life, curiosity, and managing social anxiety.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How to define "insubordination"...

-The difference between principled and destructive insubordination...

-Five principles of persuasion when you're in the minority or demographically disadvantaged...

-How a minority that affects change can avoid the mistakes of the preceding majority...

-The three steps to raising principally insubordinate kids...

-How to teach kids to view themselves as heroes in waiting...

-And much more!

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Episode sponsors:

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-Kion Immune

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Todd Kashdan or me? Leave your comments at and one of us will reply!