The Maverick Paradox – an evolution

You’ve been asking, so now I’m telling! (A whistle stop tour)

Ever since I began working, I have been drawn towards solving impossible challenges and working with impossible people. The act of having to solve a problem that no one else could accurately define, or fix adequately, was always an immense driver. I was inexplicitly drawn to the novel, the difficult, the ‘not been done before’.

By the time I was 24, I was in Senior Management in roles that required resilience, strong people skills (especially influence and persuasion) and the ability to solve complex problems, in an innovative way. I was often the youngest Senior Manager and the only female. I was having a whole lot of fun and kept pushing myself towards new challenges and adventures.

Eventually, I decided that my need to work with challenging people and shift the existing leadership paradigm, meant that working in a job (regardless of how senior it was) was no longer an option for me. Even though I was now in positions where I was able to define my role into what I wanted it to be, I decided that corporate life was too constraining.

So, I left the familiar and decided to strike out on my own. I spent the first few months trying to decide what it was that I wanted to do and who I wanted to work with. It was then that I realised that my past experiences and history had led me to work with a particular type of person. That my ability to achieve in difficult environments and situations was because I was a certain type of person.

Further thought led me to understand that I was describing mavericks. I began defining mavericks as ‘wilfully independent’ people in 2005, and specialising in Troublesome Talent®, the mavericks in your business. I really enjoyed the challenge of defining a type of people and establishing what mavericks are, their ‘back story’ and delivering my message on a global basis.

It was fun having my opinion sought by newspapers and magazines globally, and speaking to audiences on my views of mavericks and leadership. This was in addition to designing innovative leadership programmes for large companies and helping business owners build a reputation so that they can sell more, more often. The truth to be told – I still enjoy these things!

It wasn’t long before I set up The Maverick Community™, which was primarily an online club of 120 entrepreneurs who met virtually as well as in person. I started to hold ‘Maverick Lunches’ where mavericks could meet and network with like minded people. They were well attended, and the lunches often lasted for 5 hours! Well, it was for the wilfully independent!

The success of these lunches led me in March 2008 to hold an exclusive Black-Tie Maverick Dinner, in the private dining room of the elegant La Pont de La Tour Restaurant in London. Only 12 entrepreneurs were invited, some travelling from as far away as Devon to attend.

By 2007 I was saying on The Maverick Community™ Club page (amongst other places):

I define mavericks as wilfully independent people. That’s right wilfully independent! Mavericks are talented, truthful to the point of bluntness, visionary with an uncanny ability to exactly see the hole in the argument that is being presented to them, and how to fix it.

Mavericks break rules, not out of spite but because the rules don’t work. They are highly goal orientated, charismatic (if they choose to be), and will question anything and everything.

The common question posed by a maverick is ‘Why?’ Mavericks do not compromise their standards to fit in, and therefore cannot be managed conventionally.

Despite the fact that they often do not utilise their talents effectively, mavericks tend to be the top performers in companies and within business. Common traits of low boredom and impatience means that mavericks often have trouble articulating effectively what they want or what they mean.

Eventually, my extensive literature on the subject  of mavericks, caught the eye of at least two people who felt moved to either write academic papers inspired by my work or/and cite my work in their research.

The first is Curtis Tappenden (a renowned artist, performer, poet, writer and educator) whose PhD thesis is called ‘Explorations of 'maverick' educators within the institutional Arts and Art and Design Higher Education context. I have enjoyed discussing his thesis with him, over the years. He has some great ideas and an interesting research topic. I can't wait to read it!

Billie Carn (The Crazy Ones) has cited my work in her research project for her Masters degree. 

I’m so pleased that my initial work on mavericks, has captured the imagination, of many. Leading to many people being challenged and inspired to live a more maverick, wilfully independent life.

I still stand by my above assessment of mavericks (in quotes) but readily assert that ‘mavericks’ are much more nuanced than I originally thought, way back in 2005! For example, I have now identified two personality types of Maverick – The Extreme Maverick and Socialised Maverick. They have different motivations and internal drivers. I decided that after further study, reflection and research I would succumb to the multiple requests that I have had other the years, to ‘write a book on mavericks’.

In 2017 my book The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders was published. This book looks at maverick attributes, mindset, Maverick KEYSTONE™ Capabilities, strategies, and the utilisation of power. It is the blueprint for leadership success. The style is conversational, and for illustration, the book uses mini case studies.

It has some great reviews, try it, you can get it from Amazon.

So, what am I doing today to take the Maverick Paradox forward? The website, (maverickparadox.com) highlights some of the business applications of my maverick work. I can also be found on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (MaverickMastery) for an up to the minute contemporary look and feel).

I’m continuing the development of mavericks and working with organisations to improve their leadership.

Book 2 will be out in 2018, I’m currently embroiled in research.

Following the realisation that mavericks can only be mentored by mavericks, this year saw the launch of an exclusive innovative, personalised Socialised Maverick (121) mentoring programme. It was designed by a maverick for mavericks and therefore is bespoke enough to completely suit the individual’s unique needs. It is fun, and the mavericks are seeing some amazing results.  

If you are not happy with what you have got then please contact me if you too would like to be considered to join your very own individualised maverick programme.

I’ve just started The Maverick Paradox Podcast; the second episode will be out next week on iTunes. 2018 will see the emergence of a new maverick community, continued speaking events and more published content.

Well, I hope this whistle stop tour of the evolution of the Maverick Paradox and how I long I’ve been working with and defining mavericks, has answered your questions. If not, please ask below and I will do my best to satisfy your curiosity.

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