Book excerpt: Maverick-driven leadership

Jude Germain talks facets of maverick-driven leadership in our final excerpt.

Maverick leaders, regardless of whether they have formal or informal authority all utilise, what I am calling, the Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ methodology at the heart of what they do.

This leadership methodology provides a foundation for success, and thus the credibility of the leader. Successful mavericks and Maverick Behaviourists use this methodology naturally and it’s this authenticity that enables people to follow them.

Aspiring leaders can also use the Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ Methodology to improve their leadership ability. My intention for this book is not to provide a fully detailed description and explanation of my Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ Methodology just a brief overview to whet the appetite:

  • Determination
  • Reputation
  • Influence
  • Versatility
  • Execution
  • Narration

D is for determination

All good leaders have a healthy dose of determination, the will to succeed. Determination allows us to prioritise what is important; it can enable us to use failure to inform success, and meet our commitment to others.

Mavericks are output and execution driven and have a rock-solid wilful intention which help fuel their dogged determination. They will keep going until they achieve the objective that they have set themselves.

Once mavericks have settled onto an objective they can be narrowly focused on its achievement and this can cause disruption, and where other people are concerned disharmony. This is because mavericks will take shortcuts to achieve their objectives and will ride roughshod over others and their feelings.

The determination of the maverick can be harnessed by discovering what their objective is and to ensure that is aligned to the company’s objectives. Spending time with your maverick to find out what rules will likely to hinder him will enable you to decide what steps need to be taken.


R is for reputation

Socialised Mavericks pride themselves on their ability to garner trust and their excellent reputation for integrity and competence. They will lend the project (or person) their reputation to give it a better chance for success.

Socialised Mavericks see their associates or employees as a projection of themselves, so will insist that these individuals have a good reputation. How they do is a reflection on the Socialised Maverick’s ability to lead them well.

This is one of the reasons why this type of maverick ensures that there is trust between them and their associates and that their associates can fulfil their tasks in a manner that is acceptable to the maverick.

Maverick leaders are known for their competence, their ability to get things done efficiently and well. Their reputation for success enables others to trust their leadership, even when the pathway does not seem clear to them. They believe that the maverick knows what they are doing and where they are going.

I is for influence

All leaders use their influence to persuade their followers to cooperate with them and enable their followers to execute the leader’s wishes. Maverick leaders take for granted their capability to lead due to their ability to understand people and the dynamics of influence and persuasion.

Mavericks rely on their personal influence rather than their positional influence. They are highly influential people although when they are not lead properly this influence tends to become manipulation.

V is for versatility

Good leaders are versatile in their approach, thinking and in their implementation. Mavericks can take this to the extreme and are often versatile when it comes to bending rules, cutting corners, and understanding boundaries. When linked with their high determination in achieving their goals they can cause havoc in an organisation that has poor leadership.

Mavericks are nothing but flexible and despise others who persist in becoming fixed to a certain dogma without review or adjustment to changing circumstances. They often use resources unexpectedly and in different contexts than what they were designed or envisioned to be used for.

Mavericks are creative when it comes to designing and implementing new solutions which is one of the reasons they enjoy a high level of success.

E is for execution

A key capability of mavericks is their output and execution driver, which means they do not believe that anything can be classified as a success if it has not been executed well.

This is one of the reasons why they tend to have a strong reputation and track record of competence. All mavericks guarantee that their tasks are executed in a manner that they anticipated and defined before the start of the project.

They ensure that their followers have a similar execution mindset and never get so wrapped up in the idea that they forget the necessity of completion.

N is for narration

A key component to the maverick’s ability to influence is their talent for storytelling. They can weave compelling stories that draw their followers to their vision or encourage them to take risks that they hadn’t expected to take.

Good maverick leaders also provide a narrative as to what is happening, as it’s happening. This allows them to translate and pace actual events, enabling them to influence the actions of their followers.

This influence increases participation through encouragement and explanation and referencing to the vision and the need for change. This narration facilitates a highly-engaged leadership style where the employee or follower feels inspired and protected by the leader. The leader creates a ‘circle of safety’ (Simon Sinek), for his followers that is returned by their loyalty and trust.

John Maxwell stated that leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less. I agree that without influence you cannot lead. Influence is formed from many sub-concepts and that the secret behind maverick leaders is that they understand that leadership is a relationship of trust.

This includes its key components of integrity and competence. The Maverick KEYSTONE Capabilities™, maverick attributes and effective use of power are all ingredients to the secret recipe of maverick success.

You can buy The Maverick Paradox here

About the author

Judith Germain is the leading authority on mavericks and is considered a hopeful pragmatist. She is also an author, leadership and business consultant, mentor, and strategist.


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