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HomeMaverick DRIVEN Leadership™The effective Maverick Leader - Part 2

The effective Maverick Leader – Part 2

The effective Maverick Leader – Part 2. In Part 1 we established the two main components of the effective Maverick Leader:

  • Mastery of the Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™
  • Mastery of the © Maverick Impact™ and the Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ Methodology

Let’s look at the Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ and their drivers in more detail, before we move onto mastery of the Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ Methodology.

Below is an excerpt from my book The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leadership ….

“The Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™, a key to future success.

The Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ are a foundational step to becoming a maverick leader. If the workforce masters these capabilities it will bring success to the organisation too. If the organisation’s leaders are brave enough to accept the challenge, a win/win situation can occur.

Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ are not hierarchical in nature which means that they do not need to be developed in any specific order. It is beneficial to realise that you are instead developing multiple capabilities simultaneously. This is a journey of Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ mastery and as such it is impossible to announce that you are now completely proficient in all the Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™. The journey of mastery is never completed, because self-knowledge and the ability to translate that self-knowledge into effective action never ends”.

© Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ – Key Drivers: Judith Germain 2020

Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ works on three levels:

  • Aspiring and/or experienced managers can nurture their Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ within their organisation to develop their leadership capability.
  • Companies can use the Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ to vastly improve their leadership cadre and organisational capability
  • Individuals outside of a corporate framework, can develop their Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ to run their businesses, improve their own lives, or their chances of becoming a leader within an organisation of their own choosing

An advantage of the Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ is that their mastery enables growth and advanced capability, whether that’s an individual, business or leadership cadre. Mastery is an essential stepping stone to equipping Maverick Leaders to change the world we work in.

This is a driving passion of mine.

Let’s take a look at KEYSTONE™.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives three definitions of the word keystone:

  1. the wedge-shaped piece at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place
  2. something on which associated things depend for support determination, a keystone of the puritan ethic— L. S. Lewis
  3. keystone species: a species of plant or animal that produces a major impact (as by predation) on its ecosystem and is considered essential to maintaining optimum ecosystem function or structure

Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™ are the capabilities that locks the other Maverick Leadership principles into place. They are foundational because Maverick Leadership cannot take place effectively without the knowledge and demonstration of them.

Effective Maverick Leaders understand that these capabilities build their reputation and enable them to execute well.

Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™

Here’s a little more detail on Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™


“The KEY capabilities unlock and enhance the STONE capabilities, which taken together are the KEYSTONE to Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™” .

Judith Germain

When we are looking at the KEY capabilities we are considering:

  • Knowledge
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Your vision

We will look at these capabilities in more depth at a later date, so an overview will have to suffice for now.

The effective Maverick Leader – Part 2

The Knowledge capability is about being able to understand and interpret what you have learnt as well as the recall of facts. The ability to be objective is driven partly by the Knowledge capability. When you are making decisions or analysing data and / or actions, it is easier if you have wisdom. That you learn from experience and modelling, in an unbiased way. That you set aside your own feelings and prejudices, to become objective in the assessment of new and current facts and opinions. The pathological curiosity of mavericks leads to the natural pursuit of knowledge in all its forms and guises. This Knowledge capability calls for deep understanding of what you have learnt, and the discernment of that information.

Types of questions you may ask yourself …

  • Can you trust the information that you’ve seen, heard, read?
  • Does the information change your position, identity, beliefs?
  • What action will you take now that you have absorbed this information?

‘Wisdom is the ability to use your experience and knowledge in order to make sensible decisions or judgements


Socialised Mavericks utilise their Knowledge capability with their maverick attribute kNowledeable (from the acronym WHINES™), to amplify their ability to execute well. Being kNowledgeable is more than becoming a specialist in your chosen subject – or having insight and wisdom. An effective Maverick Leader recognises that such a narrow focus can be a hindrance in the real world and a great way to stifle creativity and stimulate ego worship. For the Socialised Maverick and those wanting to become effective Maverick Leaders, having an ever expanding collection of related and unrelated specialisms is the basis of real knowledge.

Following their pathological curiosity leads to innovation, connection and leaps of great insight and wisdom. It also enables them utilise their success, execution and output driven maverick attributes.

Being Emotionally Aware [1] is more than understanding your EI, your Emotional Intelligence. It can be expressed by this equation:

EA = EI + SI + TC

    • Where EA = Emotional Awareness
    • Where EI = Emotional Intelligence
    • Where SI = Social Intelligence
    • Where TC = Temperature Check

Succinctly EI is being able to manage and understand your emotions, how they affect you and being able to name those emotions. SI is being able to manage and understand your social impact on others and the environment around you. TC is the ability to interpret and understand the emotional and social environment around you in quick order. This is something that usually happens ‘in the moment’ and contributes to ‘gut feeling’ or instinct.

Having Emotional Awareness is essential to the effective Maverick Leader as it enables them to discern the situation and environment, whether in the past, present or future. Maverick Leaders always apply Emotional Awareness to the decisions and analysis that they make. It also drives the Trust capability. The ability to engender and give trust is more than the effective utilisation of Emotional Awareness, however, it’s very hard to have trust without it. It’s impossibe to lead effectively without trust.

This is one of the reasons that they are transformational leaders that others rate and follow. They have great Emotional Awareness and they are trusted.

The ‘Y’ in KEYSTONE™ relates to Your Vision. The term ‘Your’ relates to the maverick. Socialised Mavericks and other effective Maverick Leaders know how to translate their vision into an engaging narrative that others understand and want to follow. When their vision is aligned to the company’s then a powerful alliance forms. It is important to remember that mavericks have a fierce determination to succeed in executing their goals.

This capability (Your Vision) drives engagement with others that they impact. Without engagement the desires and collective ability of others aren’t activated. This can make execution against goals or objectives problematic.

Mavericks can be a force to be reckoned with, and when they have chosen to lead others, it is an almost foregone conclusion that their vision will be realised. This is one of the key reasons why aligning your vision with theirs is essential. Their natural ability to influence will mean that they will soon have others following them.


When we are looking at the STONE capabilities we are considering:

  • Self-efficacy
  • Trust
  • Objectivity
  • Networkability
  • Engagement

We will look at these capabilities in more depth at a later date, so an overview will have to suffice for now.

The effective Maverick Leader – Part 2

Self-efficacy is

“The belief in one’s capabilities to organise and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations”.

Albert Bandura

Effective Maverick Leaders have an extremely strong sense of self-efficacy. Kendra Cherry at Verywellmind.com describes this as:

  • Developing a deeper interest in the activities in which they participate
  • Forming a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities
  • Recovering quickly from setbacks and disappointments
  • Viewing challenging problems as tasks to be mastered

As you can imagine this puts them at a distinct advantage when compared to those who have low self-efficacy. Having a deep seated belief that you will succeed at whatever you do lessons the likelihood of personal change resistance. Being pragmatic of the challenges that you face, coupled with fierce determination and an acceptance that failure is often on the pathway to success, can make their execution of a goal almost unstoppable.

The effective Maverick Leader empowers those around them to develop self-efficacy also.

Without trust you cannot influence, and without influence you cannot lead. This truism explains the essential need of trust in the leader relationship with those around him. Trust is more than a soft skill, it includes more than character and personality traits. The ability to be both trusted and trustworthy is an essential capability of the transformatinal leader.

One of the things that make Maverick Leaders effective is their ability to use extreme objectivity in their decision making and assessment of the world around them. This means that they have an uncanny ability to detach their emotions whilst analysing the situation they face themselves in. They use their emotions (and others) as a ‘sense check’ after the analysis has been completed but before the final decision has been made.

In the gap between analysis and the attachment of emotions the maverick can be seen as ‘cold’ as they are only looking ‘at the facts’. This is something that mavericks should be aware of, so that if necessary, they can minimise this assessment.

Generally speaking the effective Maverick Leader is a warm empathetic leader, admired and followed by many.

Knowing who’s who in your network and how to maintain an engaged one is an important skill for all leaders. Socialised Mavericks and other effective Maverick Leaders have great ‘networkability’. This capability is not driven by need but by curiosity.

Many people maintain a network of contacts, especially in business. This is seen, by some, as having a reliable list of contacts to call upon when something is required.

It’s a network built upon need.

Maverick Leaders see things differently. Their curiosity leads them to interesting people, which includes people of interest. They learn about the people they interact with, what they do, what they desire and how they act. They find people interesting and enjoy developing real relationships with them.

It’s a network built upon curiosity.

The Maverick Leader always knows someone who can help. They have large engaged networks, lovingly maintained. Understanding the need for engagement and how to influence others is essential. Socialised Mavericks enable people to be engaged with them through the force of their personality and transformational leadership style.

This has an advantage in the work environment as their large engaged network often enables them to cut through bureaucracy and across silos. Thus making work more efficient and enabling a diversity of thought.

“The KEY capabilities unlock and enhance the STONE capabilities, which taken together are the KEYSTONE to Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™” .

Judith Germain


[1] Emotional Awareness – Judith Germain. The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders. PublishNation 2017

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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