Get the passion right and the rest will follow - Churchill
No-one has ever followed a leader that didn't have passion. Passion for who they are, what they believe in and the direction that they want to go. Even quiet leaders have passion, they may not have the oratory skills of JFK or Martin Luther King, but they have, nevertheless, the ability to stir their followers to a cause - a vision to strive for.
So passion is a good thing ... it helps us keep going when times are hard, rallies others to a cause, it builds global brands and companies ... without passion a leader has no followers.
When passion is applied without good intent it can rapidly become destructive. Mavericks are generally very passionate people and can become very focused on singular activities. They have vision, strength of purpose, drive and direction - to the goals that they want to achieve. If their goals are not aligned to the organisation, then real sparks can ensue. Troublesome talent, the mavericks, will do what they want to do, when they want to do it ...
So how does the organisation stop their passion from becoming destructive - after all, often the maverick cannot see the destructive nature of their activities.
Give them a compelling reason to change their behaviour. Mavericks only change when there is an overriding imperative to do so. In fact this is perhaps the most important thing that an organisation can do if ...
... they are socially intelligent when they do so. In particular they understand the needs of their maverick. Questions to ask themselves are: what situation is the maverick in, what's their perception of reality? How are they coming across - is the organisation using flexible leadership styles with their troublesome talent or does one size fit all? With inspired leadership it will be easier to reach the maverick and harness their talent.
Troublesome talent also need to see the cost of their behaviour both financial and human. Give the problem that they cause a human face. Let them reach their own conclusion of the consequences of their actions and then ask them, how does the result that they see, achieve their end goal.
Passion is a good thing, except when it becomes destructive. Leadership is finding a way to harness the ability of others to achieve their aims and your own.
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