Traits of a maverick? Honest belief is the second attribute we will look at. There are 6 traits or attributes of a maverick, which is best remembered by the acronym WHINES™. (If you want to browse some information on Mavericks – take a look at our sister site: maverickparadox.com).
Here is a short video that briefly highlights the attributes of a maverick:
Last month we looked at the first Wilful Intention. If you want a reminder of last month’s article, click below.
Traits of a Maverick? Honest belief … Here’s an excerpt from The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders …
“H is for honest belief
All mavericks are motivated by their own honest belief, which is not necessarily an objective assessment of whether the belief is a good one or not. Maverick’s internal drivers consume them; and they are compelled in the first instance, to follow those drivers.
Mavericks are not argumentative for the hell of it (although for the uninitiated it may appear so), they are usually argumentative or challenging for a specific identifiable reason. They have a strong sense of ‘the truth’ and will pursue ‘the truth’ regardless of the consequences of doing so.
Here lies the nub of the challenge between understanding the honest belief of Socialised and Extreme Mavericks. Socialised Mavericks will take great care to ensure that ‘the truth’, is an objective truth, that will stand the test of time. They will seek out as much data as possible to be sure that they are making a good decision. Socialised Mavericks can always answer the question ‘Why do you think that?’ sensibly and with reasoned argument. Because of this, they are often persuasive and influential, and people are genuinely happy to follow where they lead.
Extreme Mavericks have more trouble answering the question ‘Why?’ This is because this type of maverick can hold an honest belief based on just their own opinion garnered from sources which may not be credible to most of the objective populace. If the ‘facts’ that they discover, fits with what the maverick wants to do or believe, then it will be used as evidence to support their view. If they don’t they will ignore this inconvenient truth.
The above is an example of where the internal motivation of the maverick can and does work against him. He is likely to take his (distorted) honest belief and link it to his wilful intention and can become an almost unstoppable machine of self-interest. This as you can imagine is rarely for the greater good and can be quite destructive of people, processes, or companies.
Unless you are a trusted, credible resource to the maverick you will be unable to shake him from his opinion or course of action. The presentation of facts from someone who he does not respect will not move him unless it is linked with things he needs and is in a format where he can loudly and publicly save face and pronounce that ‘he was right all along but he has chosen to follow a different way (yours)’. It must appear to everyone that he made the decision to change without outside influences. It must look like he has been magnanimous in changing his mind.
Dependent on the issue this may be an ok process to follow (allowing the maverick to appear to be in control). There is, however, an inherent danger in following this approach. The Extreme Maverick may see you as someone he can dominate and you will find that managing him or even leading him will be difficult in the future.
The key then, to understanding why a maverick is doing what they are doing, is to discover what honest belief is driving them. If you are in the midst of their challenging behaviour or in an argument with them; it is imperative to ignore the smoke screen of the discourse and get to the nub of the issue.
For example, the maverick’s fear could cloud the honest belief, and therefore the challenging behaviour is a fear response and not an anger one. In this case, tread carefully, and consider the analogy of a trapped animal and do not allow the maverick to feel cornered. If you do you will get an impassioned fight that will be most certainly damaging in its wake, and not only to the people involved.
Perhaps the honest belief is driven by the ‘certainty’ that existing processes are fundamentally bad or ineffective. Here the desire to improve things drives the behaviour. There is an inherent danger here also. Socialised Mavericks will push for change; they will attempt to influence others to make it happen. They will break the rules to force the process to bend to their will and you will see some impressive results. In an inflexible workplace, this approach will be problematic especially if the organisation is more concerned with the rules being followed than the results”.
Traits of a Maverick? Honest belief
I wrote the above in 2016 for publication in 2017. It strikes me at just how much of the attributes that I highlight in my book, have been played out on the world stage. For example, there have been two Maverick Presidents of the United States, demonstrating maverick behaviour for us all to see. America is not the only country with Maverick leaders, New Zealand and the UK can also join the ranks of having leaders on the Maverick Continuum.
Here is a representation of that journey …
For more information on the key attributes or traits of a maverick then take a look at my book; The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders.