7 Traits of the Maverick: do you recognise any?


The Collins Dictionary defines the word Maverick as: a person of independent or unorthodox views. The origin of the word is said to actually derive from Sam Maverick (1803-1870), a prominent Texan landowner who despite intense pressure from other cattle farmers, steadfastly refused to brand his cattle and allowed them to freely roam, instead of being penned within fields. The term Maverick became synonymous with unbranded cattle, but also became the lexicon to describe a stubborn streak of independence.

Over the subsequent course of time, the word has been used to describe people in both a positive and negative context. Sadly, I’ve heard Donald Trump described as one, and even more sadly, it’s true.

Maverick with a capital "M"

Throughout our work, you’ll notice two distinct things about us here at Mavericks Unlimited. We always talk about Mavericks as a positive force and we always spell Mavericks with a capital M.

In our view, they are totally connected. We actively choose to only celebrate, harness, champion and get inspired by the Mavericks who seek to use their superpowers for positive actions in this world. In whichever walk of life, from business to politics, social good or the arts, we are looking for true-hearted, authentic people doing what they do and making their impact in the world, however big or small.

We fundamentally believe that we are stronger together than apart, so for this reason, our plan is to connect as many of us as possible and start working together to get stuff done. We have decided to positively claim the word for all of the above reasons, and so you’ll always see from us that Maverick is spelt with a capital M!

Whilst Mavericks by nature and definition are free roaming and independent, we have observed some consistent themes that we are fond of:

7 traits of the Maverick

  • They are true hearted & authentic: Anita Roddick opened the first Bodyshop in 1976 as a means to support herself and her young family. She grew the business into an empire of 700 stores globally with an ethical product range that was one of the first to ban animal testing and promote fair trade with economically less developed countries.  She was a tireless campaigner for environmental and social issues, and proved you can be both commercially successful and socially good at the same time.
  • They believe in their own vision and ideas for the world: If Apple boss Steve Jobs didn’t believe he could merge a computer with a phone, what chance would he have of convincing you and I? The power of his belief simply transformed what people thought possible, from his own teams to the consumers who ultimately fell in love with Apple’s iconic iPhone.
  • They challenge the status quo: One of the world’s most recognised creative advertising agencies, BBH, has a motto “when the world zigs, zag.” Mavericks are not afraid of going against the grain and speaking up when something isn’t right or not working as it currently stands. BBH spent its formative years challenging the stuffy old world of advertising, making award winning iconic ads for brands like Levi Stauss and Audi along the way.
  • They have strong convictions: When Richard Branson recently spoke to a conference about launching Virgin Galactic, he explained that some of his Board were less than enthusiastic about the proposed venture. When asked how he overcame this, he said “own 51 percent!”… clearly not everyone yields the same power as Branson, but this example shows that he would push through the idea regardless of conventional wisdom!
  • They choose to see the world through their own eyes: Singer Bob Geldof was so shocked at seeing the famine devastating Ethiopia in 1984 that he galvanised the world around the cause, first with the charity single Do they know it’s Christmas, and followed the next year by the Live Aid concert. One man’s truehearted vision led to a global world-changing event that has influenced the psyche over the last 30 years. (Wikipedia)
  • They have great intuition: Mavericks have the edge on intuition. They feel when something is not right, and know when to do something about it. The defy convention because their instincts tell them its right to. Rosa Parks knew it was the right moment to take action, and look at the amazing effect of that choice on our lives today.
  • They have Superpowers – Imagine having the self-belief to do what no man or woman has done before, the desire to create a global historical event, the courage to take the biggest risk imaginable in pursuit of trailblazing and setting new standards.  Well that's exactly what Felix Baumgartner did in 2012 when he jumped from a helium ballon in the stratosphere to the Earth and set numerous records as he hurtled back to the ground.

Mavericks come in all shapes and sizes - the power of their spirit and endeavour is what makes them special. But guess what...we all have those superpowers in us.  We just need to know where to look, and when we do find them, we need to make sure we unleash them on the world!

Leave a comment below and tell us which traits you recognise most in yourself!

Image credit - jaywatson