Being Maverick In The ‘New Normal’. No-one knows what the future will look like. The optimistic feel there’ll be a vaccine and we’ll go back to something like what the world used to look like. The pessimistic think this is the first in a wave of such pandemics and humans are pretty much doomed. Suspicious people are pretty sure this is all just a push for control by the Illuminati.
The rest of us are adrift somewhere in the middle of that Venn diagram, trying to make sense of contradictory, vague and uncertain messaging. Who now the maverick? When nothing is normal, what can be safely said to be different? And who cares?
These are the times when massive shifts in thinking and ideas take place: precisely because normal has been abruptly shunted off stage by a new performer. From the first weeks of lockdown, it became apparent that many people were starting to think differently about their work, their load, their balance, their families and more.
What’s more, being safe at home, away from the scrutiny of peers and the boss, many people were coming up with truly amazing stuff. When social norms become unmoored, it is human instinct to find new ways to find security and comfort.
Of course, there is no ‘new normal’ in much the same way there was no ‘normal’ to begin with. Most people just pretend there was one in order to feel safe. Our world is in constant evolution, it’s just that much of it is not in direct sight of large segments of the population, so it’s easy to pretend that nothing is changing.
All of which means, many people are now acting in a way that is maverick compared to who they were before this crisis. It means things that seemed quite outlandish only a few months ago have become normal. Take working from home. Remote working has been possible for years and years. And yet most businesses have been reluctant to embrace it.
Why? Because they didn’t trust the work would be done. But now, forced to utilise the tools, companies and people are finding out that not only can it be done, but things tend to get done better and faster and the people doing it are happier.
These normal people are fast encroaching on maverick territory! But, there will always be outliers, mavericks and adventurers who are cruising out beyond the bounds of what is considered normal behaviour.
What is for certain, trying to ‘be maverick’ now is sad, unsafe and doomed to failure. We can’t be ‘trying’ to do anything. And no, I am not channelling Yoda here. Now is no time for inauthenticity, for forced bravado. Instead, this is a time when we will suddenly start calling new people mavericks, where actions will define the character of a person or a business.
In short, being a maverick in the new normal is of course to test the limits of the new normal. But not with wilful, lawless behaviour. Rather, let’s see just how far we can take the reinvention of our working world while the shackles and chains of 9-5 in the office are off … if we do it right, maybe they can stay off.
Now wouldn’t that be a thing?