Maverick training – 3 stages of being


Maverick training – 3 stages of being. There’s nothing worse than an untrained maverick wreaking havoc among people who want to work in harmony. It’s easy to use the term leader, or the phrase “free spirit,” but what I find is that a lot of people are simply immature and under-trained, hoping that no one discovers their lack of skill in the various levels of healthy communication and confrontation. What’s worse, when this individual causes an entire team to suffer due to their own blind independence, they play the blame game. Every problem is either someone else’s fault or it’s “out there” somewhere in upper management.

We all come from an untrained and immature beginning, and the normal path to development is rocky at best; but has anyone ever defined the levels of leadership that we can use to train an underdeveloped budding maverick, paving their way in the world with brutal excuses and pugilistic conversations? Yes, and their name is Stephen Covey.

“Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”

Stephen Covey

Maverick training – 3 stages of being

Out of the brilliant mind of international mentor and coach Stephen R. Covey, we have three levels or stages someone goes through as they learn how to work with others — and then eventually lead them.

  • Dependent
  • Independent
  • Interdependent


The evolution of a human being is naturally dependent on adults as it goes through infant to child, and child to young adult. In an ideal situation, the stability of the group, Mum, Dad, siblings, home, create a solid structure for an acceptable level of dependency. Likewise, when we have teachers, professors, role models, etc, we invariably end up in an intense period of “knowing nothing” and thus learning as much as we can from our seniors. We rely on others to inform us about what we don’t know, show us what we can’t see, and give us the way when no other path seems viable. This type of training never really ends either. As eternal students, we are always in a state of being dependent on the wisdom of those who have come before. That means, essentially, there’s always a healthy amount of dependency going on.

However, when we are dependent for the wrong reasons, inappropriately leaning on another due to our own incompetence, we will not only suffer ourselves but also create suffering for those we need in order to survive.


Hopefully, we get to the stage of leaning on our own spine to create strength and resilience. This level of freedom signifies we have grown up and detached from the stable nature of the familial group structure that raised us, protected us, and shielded the often violently chaotic nature of the world, the unknown. This unknown, anomaly-ridden, and sometimes threatening unexplored territory was kept at bay while we matured, and the successful albeit gradual schism from family occurs for us to face the world as an adult. We become independent, hopefully available to face chaos in all its terrible glory.

Yet, even though we’ve risen from our own adolescence, we still don’t realise the power of both group knowledge coupled with our own experience and will. The stage of independence is crucial to survival, but acts as a double-edged sword if we cannot realise the even greater power of the next level of maturity.


Synergy is the law of combined power to create the greatest possible outcome of genius. Our production as individuals pale in comparison to the group in many ways, and it is this way of thinking that allows others into our lives, work, and mind. Vulnerability stops most people from accepting this truth, or neglecting its power. The hero, you as a person, must eventually let people in on your heroic battle against chaos, anomaly, and the impending world that will come after you.

The interdependent reality both comprehends a problem, and resolves to overcome it with group strategy. Individual input is needed, wanted, and explored as a group, and thus synergy creates a third outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.


Self-development in full bloom is self-mastery; an interdependent world with independent parts. As we mature, so do the groups that protected us. The world and all of its complexities can be managed, in part, thanks to both the group and the individual. By allowing this process to unfold, by accepting that we can have both, means that structure is both confining and liberating. Confining in the sense that the individual is not allowed to flourish in a distorted schema; liberating when the organisation raises its consciousness and uses an enlightened perspective of purpose-through-solidarity and individuality.

Which represents your world? Have you quickly transcended one stage in hopes of never seeing it again, only to realise that you still need it? It’s ok to lean on others in a dependent reality if only for a little while. The other two stages, while seemingly more complex, shift in and out of view like the gears on a manual engine. The ultimate dance being a perfect mixture of all three at the right time, in the right place, with the right people, and in the right way. Maverick training – 3 stages of being. Is an outcome, however difficult, proving to be the most harmonious for mind, body, and spirit, and to be the natural evolution of history itself.