My passion is to equip Maverick Leaders to change the world we work in. There is a strong need for Maverick Leaders, regardless of whether those leaders work within an organisation or lead one.
The need for Maverick Leaders
What we (society) had accepted in our working world pre Covid-19 is no longer sufficient. Whilst in the past it was only the Mavericks that would loudly shout ‘The Emperor has no clothes’, Covid-19 has given everyone else the time and space to wonder why the Emperor is naked.
The Emperor is naked?
The Emperor is naked because modern work practices often don’t work and more importantly are often toxic. Long hours, terrible bosses, and organisations that care more about the shareholders than their employees or customers.
Work that has little meaning, unclear purpose and hardly any autonomy. In the past Mavericks have always demanded something different and got it. It is clear that late Millennials wanted it and Generation Z needs, something … different.
Covid-19 has shown us all a different world.
Working from home is now the expectation (although organisations have been saying for years that it’s not possible), nature is recovering without the humans polluting the environment, some individuals have learnt to blend home and work. Others are still struggling because the kids aren’t at school. All are savouring the time not lost to the commute, the time to reflect and ponder what’s important to them.
Many are mourning the loss of friends and family, whether that’s temporary or permanent. Those that work for others are wondering whether they want to return to the same employer. Business owners are wondering whether they are doing the right thing. This is a time for reflection and assessment.
We need Maverick Leaders because they understand that leadership has always been about people. More over, they seek self mastery as well as competence in the work that they do. They understand that to lead is to have integrity. Integrity in character and integrity, wholeness in their persona. (eg their work persona, home persona, game persona etc are integrated to form a cohesive whole). Maverick Leadership is a way of life, not an organisational formal process.
Maverick Leaders are top performers
“Mavericks are generally top performers since they prefer to become experts in their chosen field or specialism and they are always focused on the execution of the task and the output produced. They take pride in their work and would not knowingly miss a deadline or not complete a brief accurately. Mavericks tend to have good connections with influential people; which enables them to perform at a standard that exceeds the average person. They take their work seriously (or indeed any task they put their mind to) and expect those that they are working with to have the same work ethic”.
Maverick Leaders will also seek to influence the key players in their team to produce the best output that they can, thus elevating the performance of the whole team. This is exactly what organisations need right now. They need everyone in the organisation to be a Maverick Leader not hampered by title.
Maverick Leaders will not accept poor performance from others or themselves
“Mavericks are not comfortable with providing work that is of a poor standard and will work hard to ensure that they are never accused of sub-par performance. This is because poor performance causes significant cognitive dissonance as it is substantially contrary to how mavericks view themselves. They do not like feeling uncomfortable with their inner selves, so will work hard to be in a position where they can feel proud of their abilities. Subsequently, they tend to react badly when confronted with someone who is a poor performer, unless there is mitigating circumstances that does not point to laziness or a poor work ethic. They pride themselves with their own solid performance and expect others to care about their own performance as well. Mavericks find it hard to understand people who aren’t ashamed to provide shoddy work; they see it as a serious character flaw”.
Maverick Leaders show truth, tolerance and patience with others, however they cannot see a time where poor performance is permitted unless it has reasonable mitigation. For Maverick Leaders they own poor performance is a lie to themselves. If they have a capability issue then they need to find a way to resolve it. If it’s conduct issue, they are performing badly because they don’t want to do the task. They should stop doing the task rather than doing it poorly. Deal with the consequences of not doing the work, be honest with your opinions! Maverick Leaders expect the same courtesy from others.
Maverick Leaders break rules
“… will break the rules because they can see that the current rules are unhelpful and are not working effectively. They will try to change the rules to increase the potential for success. They will aim to reason, negotiate or influence and if that is not working, will aim to subvert the system in a way that can be justified …
… Mavericks realise that those that are successful are generally forgiven much. They also believe that in most circumstances it is easier to seek forgiveness rather than permission. Therefore, they will proceed with their endeavours as if they had permission. Therefore, breaking the rules to gain bigger and more sustainable success and progress in the task.
If … it appears that it is just not possible to influence a change of the rules, and to subvert them is too high a personal risk, they will switch tactics. They will carry on as the process is designed, but this time they will put their impressive resources towards assessing and detailing the consequences of following the rules. For example, they will provide an analysis that shows the opportunity cost of the status quo, the financial implications as well as the cost of disengagement, inefficiency, and the effect on customers”.
Maverick Leaders break the rules that need breaking, they are not afraid of accepting the consequences of their actions. They do this because they have an honest belief that what they are doing is right. Organisations want employees that break rules that do not serve them or the organisation. How many times do you find employees employing rules that no longer make sense ‘because we have always done it this way?’
Maverick Leaders who run their own businesses must break the ‘rules’ to succeed. Responsibly. This is not about illegality or manipulation. This is more akin to building and marketing the first IPod. The totally radical way to listen to music in 2001.
Maverick Leaders are catalysts for change
“(Maverick Leaders) can give an accurate indication on how long it would take to implement change and will consider all aspects of the change. From the practical aspects to the communication of the change and how to influence others to accept the change easily, to the training and feelings of others”.
Maverick Leaders are not comfortable with the status quo especially if it isn’t working. Unconcerned with company norms they will question and challenge until they understand what the problem is and what the desired outcome is. They will keep going until they can come up with or facilitate a solution.
Having the ability to catalyst change is a skill that a lot of Conformists lack.
Maverick Leaders work at an intense pace
“Mavericks expect everyone to work at the same pace as they do and find it very difficult to work with anyone that they believe is slacking or not pulling their weight. Because they are execution and output driven they have no problem with working long hours to ensure that the work is completed satisfactorily. They cannot understand why others would not want to do the same. They believe that if an employee is not happy in their job they should leave, after all that is something that they would do. Maverick managers need to be very careful that they do not overwork their employees because they assume that they will have a similar work pace to them. Mavericks tend to think quickly and due to their planning abilities, are often considering possibilities and outcomes several steps ahead, and wrongly assume others are doing the same”.
What organisation wouldn’t want their workforce to be ‘considering possibilities several steps ahead?’. Consider not only the competitive advantage but the engagement levels of the employees. It is easy to imagine the power and ability of the entire organisation working together to succeed, personally and organisationally. If everyone is working ‘at an intense pace’, this should facilitate a change in the workplace. Perhaps the working day need only be 4 hrs long?
Maverick Leaders whether running their own business or working within can change the world we work in.
The need for Maverick Leaders is clear. To find out more about The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power behind Successful Leaders click below.