Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Didn’t He Die In That Movie?

Maverick was the call name of Cruise’s character in “Top Gun” [he didn’t die in the movie]. It was also the title of a Gibson movie.

Maverick seems like such a cool word, yet I’m beginning to believe that I am one. Weird, right?

Where would I get such an idea?

First from Finzel’s “The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make,” chapter four: No Room for Mavericks?: They Bring Us the Future.” I’ve read it a second time the other day, sort of to make sure that I wasn’t imagining any relating I may have with the ideas. It is interesting to note how it has foreseen what has happened within a group and how I process what happened.

Second, the Merriam-webster online dictionary is not in conflict with what a maverick is:

1mav•er•ick noun \ˈmav-rik, ˈma-və-\Definition of MAVERICK
1: an unbranded range animal; especially : a motherless calf
2: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

An unbranded… I mean… an independent individual… that sounds possible…. I tend to go off on my own, have difficulty explaining my ideas, have difficulty identifying with groups [this is not the same as not wanting to belong with a group]. I have thought before that there seems to be a shelf life on my relationships, with individuals and groups. I’ve thought of myself as a wanderer, a nomad, a roamer, a traveler; I have a strong sense of always being the outsider, the visitor, the observer.

I don’t know. Being a maverick sounds pretty cool. I mean, any role serves its purpose, but the role of the maverick is pretty cool. According to Finzel, mavericks:
-can save [organizations] from the slide toward institutionalism
-make messes by their very nature, the good messes institutions need [65]

Mavericks infuse organizations with fresh ideas, motivation to make bold moves that staves off paralysis.

Come on, that sounds pretty cool! That would be an exciting role to have. And it reflects a sense that I have of myself, that I tend to keep a lookout for things to do, that I sometimes feel a paralysis coming on and I start something [usually for myself]. On one side, I don’t like the… side effects of feeling misunderstood and on my own. On the other side, I like the sense of being a different thinker and on my own.

The chapter also explains things like recognizing legitimate mavericks, how to encourage them to help you, and how to stifle the mavericks around you, much of which I can relate to. I would like very much to be legitimate, and on that note, while I tend to resist identification and love my independent nature, I find it would be of more comfort to be free to work within an organization, sort of, to be grounded to something and fly like a kite, in a way. Or, firmly planted but encouraged to blow in the breeze as I may.

Among mavericks who’ve made a difference, Finzel lists the Apostle Paul, Lee Iacocca, and Chuck Colson. That’s some good company. I suppose I remain skeptical about my ability to be a known and revered person as these men have become, but if that is what God made me for and what he has for me, it is possible. I don’t know that I would like to be that well known, but I wouldn’t mind being a lesser known maverick.

Finzel noted “Eleven Commandments of Organizational Paralysis: or… How to Put Mavericks in Their Place.” Many of them are things I’ve heard or perceived within the last few years that have grated me, like “When you’ve been around a little longer, you’ll understand.” [71]. The passage about committees and mavericks I found to be most interesting for the moment.

And along with other things said, it sounds like mavericks need to be leaders. They don’t always have to be The Leader, but they need to be leading something.

Which brings me to something else that I believe I’m learning about myself, that of being a leader.

Well, I have to say that among Finzel’s “Top Ten Mistakes…,” I have made some of them, though I had tried not to make them [the maverick chapter is most how I feel others have mishandled me]. Most of my mistakes came from uncertainty in myself, self-doubt. I suppose, I am generally adaptable and so I am able to blend in at times. I am also able to recognize and submit to authority- I don’t mind someone else being in charge and I can follow if I know what I am to do.

So adaptability and an understanding of submission have led me to think that I am a follower. I believe I’ve been wrong. And first understanding how to follow can make for better leaders, so being submissive doesn’t mean that I am not a leader.

At first I thought that God was telling me to lead now simply because he has worked in me so much that I must let his work overflow unto others. But I’ve been thinking about what happened and things I’ve come to understand recently and what I thought previously was only half of the equation. The half that I hadn’t realized until now is that I am able to follow, but I am truly a leader by nature. I have always been a leader; God always meant me to be a leader.

It was also difficult to recognize before because I have been a leader before and done the job well, yet I hadn’t sought those leadership positions, I was elected. They were already established positions within an established organization, and where innovation wasn’t very necessary. And so I knew what was expected of me and “my” workers knew what was expected of them. I could discipline because The Head and my position gave me the authority to do so.

Also, I get agitated and will take the lead if there is no one leading, though these situations weren’t in any official capacity. It was more things like a bunch of people standing around, going, “What should we do?” and I, not wanting to hang around the parking lot all night, will start walking to the car, kind of a signal to move out. Even if I don’t have an idea where to go or what to do, we’re going to go somewhere and do something. If there are things to be done and people sitting around, I’ll point out the things to be done and get the people to do them. It’s mainly been among friends, and before I was hardly ever the only leader-type in the group, so I didn’t recognize my leader personality.

Well, so now I am to channel that maverick leadership in a Christian format, encouraging spiritual growth and right relationships.

I’m working on it. I think I’m getting better at it. God’s building it up in me.

In the past, people have said of me that I’m independent, ambitious, bold, etc. I think this shall be an exciting and interesting time for me as I come into my maverick and leader natures. I believe it goes with other things that strive to identify pieces of me, like discernment constantly coming up as my strongest spiritual gift, like always registering as an INTP on the m-b test, etc.

Well, we shall see what is to come. Hopefully I’ll earn some cool points along the way in order to be a great maverick.

[Image source: imdb.com]