Below is an article taken from “The Practice of Leadership” blog. Hope you enjoy!
“’Have we made it impossible for bright rising stars and maverick go-getters to live within our organization?’ When we become too preoccupied with policy, procedure, and the fine-tuning of conformity to organizational standards, in effect, we have squeezed out some of our most gifted people.” – Hans Finzel, “The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make”
The word maverick is defined by Wikipedia as “an unbranded range animal”, “One who does not abide by rules” or “one who creates or uses unconventional and/or controversial ideas or practices”. The word originates from Samuel Maverick (July 23, 1803–September 2, 1870) who was a Texas lawyer, politician, land baron and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, “maverick” was first cited in 1867, after Samuel Maverick came to be considered independent minded by his fellow ranchers because he refused to brand his cattle.
Hans Finzel in his book “The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make” provides the following ideas to assist organisations in working with Mavericks:
Legitimate mavericks who can bring you into the future:
care not just for their own ideas but for the goals of the organization;
are making a difference in their position;
are willing to earn the right to be heard;
are influencing others and producing good results.
How to encourage the true mavericks who can help you:
Give them a long tether – they need space to soar.
Put them in charge of something they can really own.
Listen to their ideas and give them time to grow.
Let them work on their own if they wish.
Leave them alone and give them time to blossom.
How to stifle the mavericks in your midst:
Create as many layers of management as possible for decision making.
Keep looking over their shoulders.
Make your policy manual as thick as possible.
Send everything to committees for deliberation make them wait.
Mavericks are essential in every organisation. Giving them the encouragement and space to contribute makes all the difference. Mavericks matter… because they bring us the future.
“Organizations change of necessity and for a variety of reasons. But the single biggest impetus for change in an organization tends to be a new leader in a key job … someone with a fresh perspective who sees that the status quo is unacceptable.” – John Kotter, “What Leaders Really Do”