What is an accurate maverick definition?
In Judith Germain's book, The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders, she provides an interesting maverick definition. She defines a maverick as: Being wilfully independent. This is the definition that she has been using since 2005!
In the early 2000s Judith wrote (on her developing-leadership.com site and other places) the following:
Mavericks are easily bored and need to be given constant challenges to ensure that they are as productive and engaged as they could be. They tend to come up with innovative solutions and their way of working didn't fit the established corporate norms. The Maverick is unafraid to question authority, buck trends or do what is 'expected' and understands that they are a square peg in a round hole. They have realised that they are under utilised, bored in their roles and that they often act inappropriately in the circumstances that they find themselves in.
After much thought, research and insight I decided that more work on mavericks, defining what they are, how they work etc, needed to take place. Following that realisation I have come up with more expanded definitions and explanations. Come back here regularly, and follow me on the social networks, to find out more.
It is surprising, for most people, to learn that there are two types of maverick. The Socialised and Extreme Maverick, which share some characteristics with each other, but respond differently to stimuli. These mavericks are wilfully independent at all times. Extreme Mavericks sometimes have situational narcissism as a co-morbid condition.
Mavericks have a wilful sense of independence and have a hard time working for others especially companies that are overly rule focused. They are highly focused on getting what they want. Extreme Mavericks will manipulate others, and Socialised Mavericks will use influence, seeking a genuine win/win solution.
Successful leaders are able to utilise the three power bases to generate successful challenges to the status quo.
A maverick personality is one where they are wilfully independent all the time and in all circumstances. They are keen to make their mark and do things their way and often blaze innovation and lateral thinking to the projects and problems that they are working on. They often exasperate the people around them and peers can feel that they can’t keep up or become hurt if an objective comment from a maverick is delivered in their usual blunt and brutally honest way.
A maverick trait or tendency is when an individual behaves in a maverick way. Maverick Behaviourists are when a Conformist behaves like a maverick in one sphere of their lives. This is usually at work.
The maverick may challenge the status quo and insist that the company works from a strong sense of integrity. They take risks that Conformist employees shirk at, and push harder and seek challenges that others feel are ‘insane’.
There are very few mavericks within the workplace (just as well!) although it is possible and even advisable to have whole teams working in a maverick way! (Maverick Behaviourist). This may seem like a dichotomy, however, when you have teams of individuals refusing to work in a substandard way for example real innovation can be forthcoming. It is advantageous to have a workforce refuse to accept a bad status quo in exchange for a quiet life.
Maverick personalities can be difficult to handle and often needs skilled maverick leaders to influence them in the right way. Few organisations are able to handle more than a handful of mavericks at any one time.
If you want to see more explanations of what a maverick is please click here. If you have wondered whether you have seen some of the maverick definition explanations elsewhere, you probably have. Most people credit me with coming up with this awesome content on mavericks. Unfortunately some people like to 'think like a maverick' or 'explain what mavericks are' without crediting my content and claiming it as their own. This is what I think about that.
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