Why we started Mavericks Unlimited; our inspiration to help create a world that works
I wanted to write something to help you understand our inspiration to start Mavericks Unlimited. Our aim is to get more people unstuck and supercharged in whatever they are doing in the world. Beyond that, we hope to grow a global tribe of Mavericks working together to make life better for all and create a world that works.
Why Mavericks you might ask?
The idea for Mavericks Unlimited started just after David Cameron had defeated Ed Miliband at the General Election in May 2015. Miliband’s swift resignation was followed by a run of the mill nomination process with the usual suspects putting their hands up for the big job. My first thought was hit the snooze button…this is boring, but my second was a much sadder one, I felt a great sense of flatness at the lack of strong opposition leadership for this country.
Now let me be clear in case you want to run for the hills, this isn’t a political post. I am not sharing my voter leaning one way or the other, my despair came from the fact that I believe a strong opposition makes the government of the day more accountable, more transparent and less complacent around the electorate’s views and needs. Unfortunately, we have seen the opposite of those things happen too often on both sides of the political spectrum over the last 20 years.
So, there we were trudging along with an uninspiring roll call of former cabinet leaders and current shadow wannabes until, unbeknownst to many outside of the inner party workings, a little revolution had taken place.
Jeremy Corbyn had stealthily become a serious contender. Here was a man who spoke his mind, championed peoples’ needs, didn’t conform to status quo standards and who had the audacity to believe he could win the party leadership contest. It was electrifying to see the effects, both good and bad, at the prospect of Corbyn winning. He had galvanised a potential sea change by being himself and having the conviction to do something different.
It was this period before he won that got us sparked up with excitement. We got to thinking, what if a Maverick like him actually won? And what if there were more Mavericks in politics? What would that do to conformity in the political system? And then we thought about the possibility of more Mavericks…in science, business, teaching, law enforcement, the arts and social enterprise. How much better could the world look if we all use our superpowers together? We decided to find out, and so began the wonderful journey of bringing Mavericks Unlimited to life.
My partners, Krish and John, and I are absolutely fascinated by Mavericks. We are of course inspired by famous entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington, which I guess are obvious choices. They have all taken on the might of existing industries and platforms and completely disrupted them with their Maverick behaviour. We have to also pay respect to people like Muhammad Ali, less for his boxing superpowers (which were super Maverick by the way…Rope-A-Dope anyone?), and more for his stoic stance against conscription by the US Military for the Vietnam War. He was a single man speaking for himself in his own inimitable way but perhaps unintentionally, he courageously carried a growing national conscience about the war and racial tension on his shoulders.
Perhaps equally, if not more interesting to us, are everyday Mavericks. They are people who are just going about their business & their every day lives, but who see the world differently and have something inside that activates them to ‘do something’. Take Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her seat on the bus on that fateful day in Montgomery, Alabama in December 1955 led her to become known as the “mother of the civil rights movement”.
Whilst many might think that Parks was just a tired seamstress going home after a long day, the truth is that she was a much-respected civil rights activist within the African-American community in Montgomery. On that day, she chose to follow her heart and mind, knowing the risk and taking whatever consequence came from it. She was arrested and given a suspended sentence, but her actions arguably sparked a momentum of activities that helped the process of ending legalised segregation and propelling of the civil rights movement in the US.
Rosa Parks was not famous when she carried out her infamous act, but consider what a different world we might live in if she hadn’t? If she had conformed and followed the order to give up her seat, what might the consequences have been? There would certainly have been no Montgomery Bus Boycott, and quite possibly no Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation on city buses.
The bus boycott also led to the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) who elected a 26 year old Reverend that was new to the area as their first President. His name was Martin Luther King Jr., and it was his under his leadership that non-violent protest became such an effective strategy in the civil rights campaign. If Rosa Parks hadn’t done what she did, it’s quite conceivable that the world might not have seen Dr. King rise to prominence in quite the way he did. Now take a moment to imagine that...
Leave a comment below, and tell us who your Maverick hero is and why!