Archives For reinvention

As my husband, Steve, and I traveled through the Carribean last week on the Re:create cruise, I realized that not only were we on board to hear wise men speak on our ability to be creative (and to enjoy the Carribean in April), but also to meet new people and establish new friendships.

As Steve and I spent time on the cruise with Rob and Kim Bruce and Scott and Idelette McVicker, I was reminded of our dear friends at home and how friendships, both new and old,  enrich and add texture to our lives. Today, I am in Denver speaking at a conference, and guess what? I was able to meet Kim  for lunch and catch up on what has been going on since we returned! The Re:create cruise really brought the importance and value of friendship to the forefront for me.

Often as leaders, we believe we are too busy for friends. We forget how important it is for us to surround ourselves with people we can trust and that care about us unconditionally.  Things have been tough across most industries over the past couple of years, job security for the global executive is often precarious at best, and we are often stretched to our limits at work. When things get really tough, do you have a group of friends you can rely on to commisurate and help pick up the pieces? When times are good, do you have a select group of people you can celebrate and relax with? Pete Wilson  said something very important on the cruise. I am paraphrasing, but he made the point that leaders need “cliques” and that it is a good thing when we are surrounded by people with like interests who genuinely care about our well being. It is one thing to be friendly at work, but it entirely something else to invest yourself in friendships.  If you have them, treasure them.  If you don’t have them, you need to get out there and actively search them out. In both good times and bad, friendships are an essential part of life, and we all need to regard them as such. Leaders, you need true friends in your life.

Leaders, what are you doing to invest in meaningful friendships?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how maintain balance in your life through friendships. Feel free to contact me at or by visiting our website at Check back soon for the next post on Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Mentors represent knowledge, reflection, insight, and wisdom. They offer understanding, compassion, strategy, and good advice. They engender trust, issue challenges, provide encouragement, and offer positive reinforcement. It is the Extreme Global Leaders responsibility to mentor those brilliant mavericks that global business attracts – those individuals defined as willfully independent and dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and innovation. They challenge the common practices of global business – business they see as ready for change and renewal. Mavericks continually raise uncomfortable questions that challenge the status quo, inspiring us to go wider and deeper – not to hide from the reality of the ever-evolving global marketplace.  Mavericks consistently inquire into how they can do something radically different. They want to think about the next big idea and make it happen. Mavericks want to make a difference, discover how to re-create and re-energize their team, division, organization, and their world.  They are Extreme Leaders in the making – you want Mavericks, indeed, you NEED them.

In his book, Leading The Revolution, Gary Hamel warns, “Most people in an industry are blind in the same way. They’re all paying attention to the same things, and not paying attention to the same things”. Mavericks are just the opposite, they understand that strategy and product/service development can no longer be about replication, competing from virtually identical playbooks – they get that innovation and reinvention are an “X” factor to organizational (and individual) success. Extreme Global Leaders know that mavericks are their best opportunity to continually and successfully reinvent the organization.

A transformational approach to leading mavericks is required. A single maverick can be challenging, a team of global mavericks can be downright intimidating – yet exhilarating at the same time. Mavericks are extremely confident by nature and if managed appropriately, are likely to unleash their creativity and insight to the benefit of the entire global organization. Appreciating and recognizing the possibilities mavericks bring to an organization is extremely important. When processes or projects become entangled, turn to skilled mavericks for unorthodox solutions and infectious enthusiasm, and leverage their willingness to involve and commit themselves 110% to ideas and projects. If change is causing chaos and confusion in the organization, a maverick’s visionary foresight will encourage creativity and inspire the whole group to passionately pursue their game-changing future.  Always keep in mind what Earl Bakken says about these unique individuals: “You want to have some mavericks who are out ahead 5 or 6 years. If you don’t have them, you better grow them …”.

It is critically important for a Global Leader to establish and maintain an environment where new ideas— often outside of the corporate norm, sometimes radical—can be heard and evaluated. Extreme Leaders find ways to pay specific attention to what their “idea people” are saying and doing – they listen and understand that from the maverick will come the innovation and reinvention of the future. They listen, even when the listening is not particularly pleasant or easy. They understand, as they listen, that talented mavericks do not always communicate in a direct or linear manner. In some cases, the communication is both brilliant and unintelligible, and it becomes the role of the Extreme Leader to provide for the essential interpretation and operationalization to leverage the information to the company’s benefit. It is the Extreme Global Leader’s function to hear the ideas, but more importantly, to encourage and guide them toward successful ends.

Extreme Global Leaders neither bury brilliant mavericks, nor let them venture too far off on their own – they mentor them in a purposeful and meaningful context. With an enormous amount of imagination and patience, Extreme Global Leaders accommodate their thinkers on a global basis and give them the support their brilliance deserves. The challenge in leading mavericks is great, but so, too, are the potential rewards. Who are your mavericks and how are you going to mentor them?

You can contact me at or by visiting our website at Check back next Thursday for the next installation  of Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders.