From our archives. Happy New Year!
Have you ever just run with an idea? Had a hunch … set up a test or experiment to prove it out … and done all this without permission or an approved budget?
Then you'd qualify as a “maverick” according to Polly LaBarre (a former senior editor at Fast Company), co-author with Bill Taylor (founding editor of Fast Company) of a new book titled Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win.
We're waiting for Amazon to deliver our copy, but meantime, thanks to blogger Guy Kawasaki (ace marketer of the original Mac), here's an interview with Polly previewing the main message.
“Mavericks are defined by the power and originality of their ideas. They stand out from the crowd because they stand for something truly unique. What's more, they take stands — against the status quo, in defiance of the industry elite — and offer compelling alternatives to business as usual.”
More maverick characteristics:
- They unleash tough critiques of their organization without losing their loyalty to it;
- They don't just ask questions, they act;
- They look for peers and fellow travelers outside the bounds of their organizations.
In response to Guy's question, “Are mavericks born or made?”, she replies:
“What red-blooded working person wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says, I think I'll stand for business as usual today? We all want to make a mark, forge our own path, and express ourselves in the world. It's just that some of us need more of a nudge down that path than others. Hopefully the maverick individuals and ideas we present are inspiring and instructive enough to move people.”
We hope so too, Polly!!
Are you going to make your mark today? Or do you ask permission first? Are you a maverick? Do you know any in the nonprofit arena? We'd sure like to hear about them.
Agitator's nonprofit heros are ancient, dead actually … like John Gardner, who with Common Cause created not just an organization, but invented a cause. The same is true of Pete Shields, who launched from zero the gun control movement. Or David McTaggart, who catapulted Greenpeace to international impact and was an inspiration for Ted Turner's early commitment to the environment.
Are there living mavericks in the nonprofit world? Nominate some … help us tell their stories.