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Diversity of thought – the maverick way

Diversity of thought is the Maverick Leader’s secret weapon. And one of the many engine’s behind the success of the Socialised Maverick. The effective Maverick Leader prides themselves on their ability to be objective in their decision making and their expertise is centred around their pathological curiosity.

This curiosity enables them to become more kNowledgeable. Which is one of the key maverick attributes that they possess. Their expertise comes from being specialists in a number of different areas, until they have a ‘patchwork quilt’ of knowledge that builds their reputation and credibility and informs their objectivity and reasoning skills. Maverick Leaders become great emergent thinkers because they have enough knowledge across multiple areas, to connect the dots and make intuitive leaps of insight.

Socialised Mavericks pride themselves with their ability to truly think. Whilst Conformists have one or two preferred styles of thinking, Socialised Mavericks tend to use all the thinking styles to reach an objective viewpoint.

Here are the styles:

  • Creative
  • Analytical
  • Critical
  • Concrete
  • Abstract
  • Divergent
  • Convergent
  • Linear
  • Holistic

See The Peak Performance Center for an explanation of the different thinking types.

By asking a lot of challenging questions, mavericks gather a lot of data; and coupled with their exceptional observation skills they process this data in a way that allows true insight to take place.

With years of practice, in these multiple thinking processes, their thinking often appears to be ‘at the speed of light’ when observed by others.

This is one of the reasons why Socialised Mavericks favour the ability to think well, as one of the things that makes others attractive.

“Socialised Mavericks will seek out the person that can hold them captivated with intelligent thought”.

Judith Germain

Maverick Leading Companies

Organisations that encourage thinking through challenges and then executing a well thought out plan, is a place where mavericks will thrive. Maverick Leaders empower other leaders, so will happily encourage good thinking practices.

It is self-evident to Maverick Leaders, and the organisations that they lead in, that you can’t think properly without data. The most diverse the better. Maverick Leaders know that diverse perspectives from people who walk a different path from you, and are interested in different things, will bring better results.

Your organisation becomes more productive and more profitable. What’s not to like?

This is why diversity of thought is important to the Socialised Maverick. I’ve written elsewhere, that Maverick Leaders are more concerned with someone’s ability to think, than their ability to fit in (all things being considered); especially if fitting in means maintaining a status quo which doesn’t work. This is due to the belief that to be truly objective and innovative, you need to be exposed to different ideas, environments and people. Including those that disagree with you.

Diversity Matters – a lot

Recently, I was speaking at Su Patel’s HR Networking Club, which is an online development forum for HR Professionals. The topic for the talk was How to lead equality, diversity and inclusion appropriately for HR leaders.

I found it a fun, interactive morning, where I learnt interesting things from the other speakers. I was joined by Su who spoke on HR development, Helen Frewin on unconscious bias and Chikere Igbokwe on Allyship. I was the final speaker; my talk was on Diversity Matters: Thought over Ethnicity.

The theme of my talk was that: Maverick Leaders, and we can all become one, focus on seeking diversity of thought over diversity of people. It is a leadership issue and a bedrock of the Maverick Leader’s mentality. When you focus on diversity of thought then diversity of people naturally happen. You no longer consider ‘diversity’ as an add on to your existing role as leader. Neither will you view it as the purview of the HR team or the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager’s.

It is an essential mindset that good leaders have, to ensure that they are able to execute well …

“Maverick DRIVEN Leaders™ solve the most persistent problems that they, and their organisations face”

Judith Germain

Diversity of thought means Maverick Leaders look for the impact that individuals make, regardless of the stereotypes that others may hold dear.

Otherwise, how can you execute on the strategy that you have decided? Execution matters greatly to mavericks. It’s one of the maverick attributes that drives them.

In the pursuit of this diversity, Maverick Leaders look for the best person who can provide the best impact to the team, or the work at hand. The best person that they deem can enable the success of the project, goal or objective.

It is this outcome to pursuing diversity of thought in all things, that the Maverick Leader seeks. The Maverick Leader ensures that the change that we make is intentional and works towards the greater good.

Here’s one way a Maverick Leader could consider the impact of themselves and others:

Considering the Change Maker Impact

The Change Maker Profile™ (A GC Index Product) – The Change Maker Group

An explanation

The Change Maker Profile™ consists of 5 proclivities that work interdependently although they are scored independently. (Proclivities are a fancy name to say predisposition towards something). Taken together, the Change Maker Profile™ looks at how a team or an individual impacts change.

Because we all impact change whether we want to or not.

© The Proclivity Question – The Change Maker Group

Here are some of the questions that each proclivity asks. As you can see each type of Change Maker in the organisation sees the world in a different way, and will need to access their thoughts differently.

​How does the Change Maker Profile™ impact on diversity of thought?

The Change Maker Profile™ is one of the instruments that can help the Maverick Leader focus on diversity of thought. This is because The Change Maker Profile™ helps you maximise your impact on others, and the environment you find yourself in. For example, the knowledge gained from understanding your profile enables you to demonstrate:

  • How you make your greatest impact
  • Your approach to leading change
  • Your approach to creativity and innovation
  • How to engage and influence
  • How to get things done
  • How to contribute to change
  • The power of your Change Maker Role in a team

When you have a team profile completed you can see how well the team is balanced and what you need to be mindful of, as a team. I have found that clients have valued this ‘Team Snapshot’ because it enabled them to execute their objectives in the manner and the timescales that they desired. This was possible because we insist on providing solutions that enhance performance, individually and as a team.

Our clients have discovered that when you embed your knowledge of HOW you impact change (and isn’t everything about change?), with a bespoke programme then you can enhance your leadership, change capability, culture, recruitment and performance. Amongst other things!

When you learn how to balance your proclivities you and/or your team learn how to ask the right questions, and how to maximise strengths and bolster weaknesses.

To be an effective Maverick Leader, you will understand and demonstrate the basic principle, that diversity of thought is the bedrock of your ability to analyse, innovate, influence and execute. Your ability to be curious about the world around you and the motivations of the people you meet, enables you to consider new possibilities. Wisdom comes from being curious and open.

Diversity of thought is the Maverick Leader’s secret weapon. Find out how to enable it in yours, and your organisation’s thinking …

Judith Germain
Judith Germainhttps://www.maverickparadox.co.uk/
Judith Germain is the Leading Authority on Maverick Leadership and has been defining Mavericks as wilfully independent people since 2005. Creating clear thinking & decisive leaders who execute well, transform the future, awaken, & align others to eclectic possibilities. She is a consultant, mentor, trainer and speaker. Judith is also the Founder of the Maverick Paradox and Maverick Paradox Media. She is HRZone's Leadership Columnist, a Brainz 500 Influential Leader and author of The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders. Her expert opinion is sought after by national press, radio and trade press. Judith is also Editor of The Maverick Paradox Magazine and Host of the Maverick Paradox Podcast. Do you know how influential you are? Invest 5 mins of your time and take the Scorecard to find out: https://amplify your influence.score app.com Click the contact us button to find out how to hire Judith, or ask her to appear on your show or in your publication.

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