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The Maverick Executioner

The Maverick Executioner. One of the keys to success in business is simply getting stuff done.

Completing projects. Delivering a product. Executing.

Maverick behaviours, whether innate or learned, have the potential to make a massive difference to a business’ ability to execute. This is because the Maverick will see a task, or a problem, differently from the Conformist [1]. Indeed, the Maverick will probably see that task or problem in a lot of different ways, possibly all at the same time. They may sense things which could be missing, or unseen risks, or simply wonderful opportunities which, with targeted creativity, could not only resolve the problem but bring some other related win, too.

The Conformist will probably approach a task by identifying the desired outputs – the things that need to be produced as a result of the task or project. They will probably seek guidance on what are the available resources and necessary inputs for the task – what they have at their disposal and how they should be doing the tasks. There are hundreds of project management and management theories which evidence the Conformist’s appetite for a structure, a framework, for rules.

The Maverick, on the other hand, is likely to approach a task by identifying the desired outcome – what’s the impact it needs to make? What’s the difference everyone needs to see as a result of the task being completed? Is the task even necessary, to get to that outcome?

The Maverick Executioner

By bringing the Maverick’s trademark curiosity to a task or problem, they will inevitably be bringing creative approaches to finding solutions. The solutions may not be a like-for-like fit for the problem, as would be the case with the Conformist approach. In fact, at first examination, the solutions may sometimes not even seem like a solution at all. And that’s the point. Mavericks will immerse themselves in delivering the impact, getting stuff done to meet the need.

Mavericks answer the “So what?” question.

Executing a task is not a simple equation of stimulus triggering a response. Not with a Maverick around. Instead, it will involve a purposeful examination of why the stimulus is that particular stimulus. What really is the point the project is trying to reach? Does it really have to go through umpteen process hoops to arrive there … and is “there” really worth it anyway?

We often ask the Maverick Executioner – is there a better way?

You may be thinking that this is a bit self-indulgent: “Who does this Maverick think they are?”. And, if the Maverick is an Extreme Maverick [2], you may have cause to worry. Insufficient checks and balances on their working practice could mean they might take the project down some interesting but ultimately futile rabbit hole, because they believe firmly it’s the right way to do things.

The best way to harness a Maverick’s creativity, and still guarantee execution of the task or project, is to agree the resources available, and be clear in agreeing the desired outcome (and probably confirming back that understanding), and the budget and time parameters. Then, allow the Maverick to work their magic, exploring new and better ways to get you to your desired delivery point. It’s highly likely they will deliver on time, on budget AND with additional benefits which you had not anticipated at the start.

For the Conformist client or commissioning manager, this will be a massive exercise in trust – at first. However, when the results roll in, and the solutions pile up and yield benefits the company has not even dared to hop for, the Maverick approach to execution is likely to win people round. It may be unconventional and surprising, but that’s the point!

Challenging norms is what we Mavericks do, every day.

It’s what makes us an important part of any successful workplace. Just imagine the productivity leaps and transformational innovation your business could enjoy, when you introduce (or simply recognise) Mavericks in your workplace.

Maverick executioners – now there’s a concept you didn’t expect to want in your business. Give it a try – you won’t regret it.


[1], [2] Germain J, The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders. PublishNation 2017

Astrid Davies
Astrid Davieshttps://astriddaviesconsulting.com/
Astrid Davies MA is an Executive Coach and change consultant who uses her 30 years of leadership experience to help her clients make positive changes which last. She is a mentor and guest lecturer at the University of Southampton, including supporting their Enactus chapter for social entrepreneurs. She also runs a series of successful leadership training networking events across the South of England, where she helps young professionals to build an ethical and effective leadership career alongside their professional development. A passionate champion of diverse and sustainable workplaces, Astrid integrates several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into her client projects. If you would like to find out more, please go to www.astriddaviesconsulting.com.


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