The Cambridge dictionary defines it as “a person who thinks and acts in an independent way, often behaving differently from the expected or usual way”
Are people born mavericks or do circumstances and opportunities turn them into mavericks? This is a question that for long has always intrigued me. Of late I have begun to the conclusion that deep inside most of us lies the desire to be a maverick. Circumstance and the right opportunities gives expressions to these desires and help us become mavericks
This article is not about how to bring that desire to the forefront but rather to publicly recognize a few of my professional colleagues who have broken free and begun to lay the foundation of truly becoming mavericks in their own right.
As a coach, mentor and leader I have always tried to do my best in spotting exceptional individuals and helping them discover their own potential of becoming fantastic agents of change. These are the people who will in time make a difference not only in their own professional and personal lives but in the lives of others who have had the fortune to intersect their lives with them.
Top on the list is Reetu Bobel who joined my company some 4 years ago as a Graphic Designer. I vividly remember interviewing her for something like 15 minutes. I was desperately looking to hire another graphic designer and this young lady walks in. A quick interview later, she is on my rolls.
Nothing happens for many years until a few months ago in one of my outbursts with my fellow colleagues I challenge them with a monetary bet on a project that defies a deadline. With my aggressive nature, nobody is willing to stand up to take my challenge. Nobody that is except this young lady who quietly says ‘we will do it. Put your money where your mouth is”
Cutting a long story short. She takes the lead on a project she knows little about, not involved in, takes charge of the team like it’s something she is always used to and delivers me the project on time with zero errors.
Needless to say it was one bet I loved losing! I had found a maverick!
Reetu is by far one of the most challenging mavericks I have had the pleasure of working with. An independent, strong willed woman with a mind of her own and passion strong enough to counter my own, she is the quintessential No 2 that anyone in operations could ever hope for.
Her professional and personal growth has therefore been phenomenal. Winning not just the ‘employee of the year ‘award, she has quickly grown to become the de-facto No 2 in the organization all on her own steam
Mavericks often shake up the system. They question the status quo and often break down established norms and set new trends themselves. Mavericks love challenges that help them showcase their true value.
Reetu is one such maverick
The 2nd on my list is another Maverick- Badri Acharya who joined my team about a year back as a content writer and almost got fired within 2 months of joining for not being ‘serious enough’ in his work J
I vividly remember the day when me and my fellow partner called in Badri to our room to give him our serious feedback on his performance and how close he was to getting sacked. So there was this young man all of 22 sitting nervously in front of me nodding his head at my feedback and saying a hundred other people had said to me in previous avatars “Yes Sir, I will improve myself”
Sometimes all it takes is a nice knock on the head or perhaps in the butt to bring out the maverick in a person. Cut to 9 months later, Badri along with Reetu wins the “Employee of the Year’ Award. J For anyone to come from the depths of a hair’s breadth from being sacked to being given the ‘employee of the year’ award is a difficult task.
But not for Badri. Mavericks continuously re-invent themselves. And that is often the reason for their unmitigated success in jobs.
Over the 9 months, from being a content writer, Badri trained himself to become a copy writer. His love for wordsmithing and the knowledge that his copy, his lines would find expression creatively from his senior colleague Reetu who was his art director and from there to a public forum spurned him to re-create a new professional identity for himself.
His skills in communicating came to forefront when I exposed him directly in front of the client to pitch his copy concept. And he rose to the task
As a maverick, I have no doubts in my mind that given his young age and his attitude Badri can change the world if he wants to.
The last maverick I want to publicly recognize is Kapil Dubey. Kapil joined my company as an Intern a year ago at a lofty internship of Rs. 8000/-. Fresh out of a personal family tragedy that forced him to give up his love and passion for singing and playing the guitar, Kapil with his maverick passion to learn is fast becoming one of the most promising rising star in the company. The last winner of the ‘employee of the year’ award, Kapil showcases what every person who wants to make a career in account management has to imbibe.
Strong willed, eager to learn with a sponge like brain that absorbed and internalized everything that he heard, saw or observed from his seniors and colleagues. Within a span of one year, Kapil had through his maverick style sky rocketed his earning 3 times.
Like all mavericks, Kapil is exceptionally bright with a strong passion to learn but yet follow his own min. Like all mavericks, he works to change the world by changing himself.
Being a maverick is to be different from the crowd. Being a maverick is being a change agent. Being a maverick is changing oneself, reinventing oneself to make space for the new person in the new changed world. Those of us, who are able to reinvent ourselves, grab opportunities with passion and work to make a difference will often be vilified. But mavericks like Reetu, Badri and Kapil stand apart.
They are the torch bearers who are going to change things, who are going to shake up the old ways and bring in new ways of doing things.
It is just a matter of time. They are mavericks after all.