The Maverick Magician do you know him? Or her? Why do leaders and managers hate mavericks so much? It’s got a lot to do with the tendency to not think about things in the same way as most people and to therefore see things that other people don’t.
Mavericks are great at seeing how things could be better, different, more fun, take less time and so on. These kinds of contributions are not welcome under every leadership style. It’s a pity, but its probably the biggest reason why many Mavericks are constantly on the move: their contributions are often simply unwelcome.
Imagine how this could be exploited for good, if Leadership was to be less threatened by a diversity of thought and opinion. Not every idea a maverick come sup with is gold. Statistically, many are nonstarters, interesting perhaps, but not ultimately useful. But the sheer volume of ideation means that a lot of useful stuff is being generated… and lost.
The Maverick Magician do you know him?
Many mavericks are not interested in control or leadership. It’s the puzzles, the novelty and the challenge that gets most of us going. To be threatened by the constant flow of analysis and ideas is to miss the point: we don’t want to take charge, but we’d love to contribute.
Mavericks are often cast as outsiders who just want to do their own thing. But if that was true, why would we constantly be looking for ways to improve things, to contribute? What we really want is to be of use, in a meaningful way… preferably one that will change… and soon!
But what is it that a Maverick does? How do they magic these new ideas out of nothing? The essence of the maverick mindset is the ability to be at ease in ambiguous and complex spaces. In this soup of uncertainty, there is freedom to try out new connections and versions with no pressure eon them being right, wrong, good or bad. They are just connections, sparks in the dark.
Mostly, human beings have been conditioned to do the opposite: stay in the light, seek clarity, simplicity, black and white, right and wrong. Without giving up their personal compass, mavericks can engage in what amount to flights of fancy in many directions and return to who they were and how they thought at the start.
This is hard for many people to accept. How can you think certain things if you don’t believe them? Having those thoughts must surely define you as a certain kind of person? But the maverick understands that these are all just possibilities drawn from the endless array of such… looking at them does not mean being or becoming them. Quite the opposite. Being informed as to the range of potential choices throws the choices we DO make into greater clarity and power.
The maverick magician can throw a point of view over themselves like a cloak, temporarily seeing the world through someone else’s eyes, and then another and then another. Not accepting or judging, merely looking. From this sum of perspectives, we begin to see the unexplored options and the hidden difficulties with processes, ideas, projects and methods. It is far from being magic and just as far from being negative.
This idea-based creativity is by definition positive: it is not focused on breaking down. It is focused on more, new solutions, moving forward and growing.
But I suppose, like real magicians, sometimes Mavericks are a little too comfortable with what they do and forget to communicate these ideas in a way that is a little more palatable to the rest of the world.
Remember the 90’s bumper sticker, ‘Why Be Normal?’
This is the question a maverick asks every day. And the answer changes form day to day. But the asking doesn’t.