Growing up, you're taught to follow the rules. While this is helpful for teachers who are trying to tame and oversee large swaths of 7-year-olds, very soon you realize that the sheer following of rules doesn't get you very far.
The point, then, should be not to follow the rules, but to learn the rules.
Once you know the rules, you're aware of which ones can bend, which ones can't, which ones must be followed, and which ones should be abandoned and rewritten.
Your challenge as a leader isn't to play the game; it's to know the game. It's to understand your context (your people, your moment in time, current trends, the next opportunity) so you can apply the appropriate amount of rule bending, breaking, and following to accomplish something great.
Don't follow the rules; use them. Turn them into tools and not barriers.