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Maven Leadership 101

Updated on May 11, 2015

Maven: A person who has special knowledge or experience; an expert.

As the landscape of our teams, tribes and communities change, so does the way leaders need to present themselves. While the traditional leadership values remain the same, -- selflessness, empathy, calm under pressure -- an ever-changing connected environment calls for a more dynamic approach to engagement. Thus, the leadership mavens who master the art of dissecting conventional wisdom and extrapolate ideas that challenge how we approach activities - set themselves apart from the status quo. Here is a look at 10 traits of maven leaders, and why they are valuable to cultivate:

Provide Thoughtful and Constructive Input

You don’t learn to be a successful leader from people who haven’t succeeded as a leader. You will run across several people who have attempted to accomplish goals, but mavens have a proven track record of resilience and success against the odds. Drawing from experience allows mavens to offer proven methods, while genuine concern will insure that the contribution is timely.

Increase Creativity

For maven leaders personal development is a lifelong process. It’s a way for them to stay competitive, cutting-edge and at the forefront of technological change. This desire to remain an early adopter demands a high level of engagement from associates and promotes aspirational creativity amongst teams.

Provide Meaningful Engagement across Multiple Platforms

Meaningful engagement has a significant impact on our ability to create lasting relationships and to connect with others successfully. Mavens are willing to go anywhere to learn about a topic, because they realize that our best thoughts come from ignorance. This desire to learn daily leads to diverse community engagement, coupled with high levels of contact across a variety of mediums.

They have 540-Degree Awareness

A leader has to clearly see where the community is going and help formulate the steps required to progress efficiently. Maven leaders are circumspect, but also aware of what is happening above them. This ability to be situationally aware in the moment, while keeping an eye on potential upcoming shifts or obstacles – primes a team for action within the framework of an existing system.

They have a High Level of Emotional Intelligence

Accomplished by pairing up soft skills under two primary competencies:

  • Personal intelligence – the ability to stay aware and manage ones emotions at all times.
  • Social intelligence—the ability to gauge the emotional temperature in a room and respond accordingly.

Maven leaders invest time to get to know their internal and external customers. Over time they can tell when customers really like something, opposed to superficial responses. In addition, maven leaders can often detect customer motivation and learn emotional expressions from other cultures quickly.

 
What I See
What I Do
Personal Intelligence
Self-Awareness
Self-Management
Social Intelligence
Social-Awareness
Relationship-Management
E. Q. Table Inspired by Talent Smart

They Don't Relax

By implementing new behaviors into their daily life maven leaders are always training uncomfortably – never resting on past achievements and dated skill-sets. This high level of self-regulation translates into higher expectations for teams under their command and in time behavior based performance changes, which benefit all parties involved.

They don’t Compromise Core Values

We all have a set of principles which govern our day to day interactions – maven leaders don’t compromise their beliefs for profit. This high level of integrity allows members of their team to fill confident that their commitment will be rewarded, and allows customers to identify with a consistent and unwavering brand.

Test for Success

Mavens understand the difference between reinventing the wheel and crafting a set of new tires: By testing hypothesis and challenging teams maven leaders acquire the data needed to support tough decisions without compromising effective systems. Highlighting the benefit that quantitative data affords to good instinctual leadership.

They Don't Die in the Fight

Mavens know how to choose their battles, without losing site of the big picture. By committing to a healthy lifestyle, which encompasses physical, mental and emotional health -- mavens have the ability to check themselves under duress: taking a tactical stand, quieting down, or redirect the situation in a productive direction.

Foster a Forgiving Culture

Group cooperation comes from a place of understanding, which is why it's important whenever possible to keep our teams in the decision making loop. Mavens seek and promote transparency. By leading with an open-book mentality they create a circle of safety that frees employees to work audaciously -- without fear of over stepping boundaries.

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