One of my patients has a saying, that he sometimes has “days against humanity”. Days where he just looks at the world with a resigned feeling of ‘meh’ is this it?! It’s not depression, it’s not fatalism, it’s just a day where there is a recognition of where society is falling short, in particular falling short in looking after one another (and the planet), and a recognition that we all could be doing just a little more ‘good’.
‘Days against humanity’. Personally, I think it is a brilliant saying. It perfectly captures those brief moments I think many, if not all of us, have felt from time to time. It also leaves us with a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’ next step…
Option A: Resign yourself from society. Choose to unsee what needs to be addressed and continue on as before. We could probably call this active denial.
Option B: Acknowledge the recognition of the need to do more, but it is too overwhelming (understandably so) so let out a big sigh, and let it pass. Return to focusing only on the positive and press on. Perhaps this would be passive denialism or avoidance?
Option C: Acknowledge the recognition of the need to do more. Notice the shortfall, seek the opportunity to make a change and DO something. This we have come to call this Maverick leadership and we wrote a book about it.
Mavericks: How bold leadership changes the world. This is a book about people who choose Option C. Those who look at the world and think, “we can do better than this.” The people who, like us, are ordinary citizens – business people, accountants, leaders, parents, teachers, community members – but they notice the parts of society that frustrate them.
Perhaps more importantly, they notice the aspects of society that frustrate (and inhibit) others, and they seek to do something about it. Some of them are running campaigns in their workplace, others are community activists, but many are just trying to make small incremental change through their daily behavior informed by a mindset that believes the world can be better.
People who choose Option C endeavor to make a difference and this is a book that explores how and why they do so.
“Mavericks is an optimistic book about how we can do better. When something is wrong and we don’t stand up for improvement, we fail ourselves and everyone. This book shows how Maverick leaders who are “normal” people (like us) use their belief, determination and courage to ameliorate the world; it also discusses creating an environment for such change. Much needed right now; no other book challenges us like this, for the good of all.”
It is a book made up of real-life stories as case studies, of ordinary relatable people who in big and small ways intentionally act to ‘do good for people and planet’. Whilst their actions are applaudable and definitely admirable, we as authors were more interested in the mindset behind their actions than the actions themselves.
What makes people ‘see’ where things can be better? What propels them to actually ‘do’ something? What makes them bold enough to go against the grain? Be different? Challenge the status quo, be that in their work culture or society at large? What makes them persist, voice, act or challenge when they see a better way forward for the collective?
We had a running hypothesis that those who choose Option C, our Maverick leaders, have a mindset that fuels and propels them. It turns out, after hundreds of hours worth of interviewing that there are in fact a few foundational and teachable traits that Maverick leaders operate from:
- A core belief that things can be better
- The ability to remain undeterred (despite countless set backs)
- The capacity for resourcefulness
- An acceptance of their own non-conformity
- An openness to being experimental
Woven together these 5 traits create a mental framework for Maverick leadership.
Through hearing their stories, diving deep into psychological theory and engaging in qualitative and quantitative research we came to understand what the Maverick mindset is. We also learnt how Mavericks operate in a world that constantly tries to stifle their spirit. We caught a glimpse into the challenges of what it means to be a Maverick leader in today’s society, but we were also left convinced of the crucial importance Maverick leaders play in creating a better tomorrow.
The stories and lessons relayed in the pages of this book are inspiring yes, but more-so they are relatable. We have endeavored to capture the Maverick leader spirit and explore practical ways you can rediscover and develop your own inner Maverick. As a result of this book we firmly believe that Maverick leadership is much like the muscles in our body – we all have them, but some have been left dormant (for too long). The essence of what it means to be a Maverick leader is in all of us. We just need to choose to re-engage it.
Mavericks: how bold leadership changes the world is a declaration. A declaration of what it takes at an individual level to build a better society for all. But it is also a dare. It is a dare to all of us to reconnect with our own internal Maverick and to choose Option C. To choose a mindset that provokes a behavioural shift towards the collective good, in our workplace, through our workplace, in our social circles and in our communities.
Go on, read the book…we dare you !
This book is truly liberating! Armed with a Maverick mindset, ordinary people can become inspirational leaders. Packed full of practical examples, this is a ground-breaking toolkit that awakens the characteristics within, so you can become an inspirational and Maverick leader. Mavericks gives you the inspiration to say ‘I can’ and the confidence to say ‘I will’. Bravo! –
Tamryn Batcheller-Adams is a psychologist, leadership presenter, consultant and coach working internationally with TomorrowToday Global. As a practising psychologist with two Masters’ degrees in psychology, Tamryn focuses on leadership, team and individual development. Having worked with leaders across 20 countries, Tamryn utilizes frameworks with a focus on building adaptability, emotional agility, resilience, stress management, self-awareness, social awareness and team cohesion to enhance personal, professional and collective growth. She co-designs, facilitates and coaches in Senior Executive Leadership Programmes and is a registered Enneagram (personality) specialist based in Cape Town, South Africa.