How to make 2021 work for you

How to make 2021 work for you. It has been quite a year!

That being said, all effective Maverick Leaders realise the need to recognise the past for the learning that it gives you and the need to live in the present to enjoy the moment and the look to the future with hope and optimism.

Today is the first day of a new year and we should take a minute to be grateful for the things that we do have, before we prepare for the year ahead.

Here’s my thoughts on 2020. For this year I have a lot of things that I would like to achieve. However, today sees the UK leaving Europe and in April the start of IR35 – both will have far reaching effects on those that work within the UK. It is unclear what the long term opportunities and consequences are – what we do know is that conducting business will be harder.

I can only make best guesses and take a pragmatic approach. This year sees a shift for The Maverick Paradox.

  • The new website for aspiring Maverick Leaders and organisations will continue to be developed
  • There are a number of new ventures that I’m starting this year – more about these when I can!
  • I will attempt to write book 2 this year – starting in Q3.
  • I will start doing more ‘talking head’ videos

Is that all? Nope! However it’s better to do rather than say – so let’s see what can be achieved this year.

Sneak Peek

The Maverick Leaders
Mark Bremner, Judith Germain, Nick Day

Mark Bremner and Nick Day are clients of mine and in November 2020, I recognised three things:

  • We are all Maverick Leaders – Socialised Mavericks working for the greater good
  • We like each other, have similar values and abilities. Different and complimentary.
  • We have unique skills, which, when brought together are powerful.

So after a short conversation we decided to launch The Maverick Leaders, with the speed and determination of Socialised Mavericks. The Maverick Leaders work with organisations to:

solve challenging problems with Maverick creativity, capability and conviction.

We are hosting our first event on 28 January 21 at 12pm UK Time. It is an unusual event, the title of which is:

The Diversity Impact: Is Diversity and Inclusion in danger of becoming a fad?

You can register for it here.

Over time you will learn about The Maverick Leaders and what makes us different when we work with our clients and why our events are not what you would expect …


This year brings much change and globally we have learnt a few things, in part thanks to the pandemic that began last year and which shows no signs of stopping despite the occurrence of new vaccines hitting the market.

What has 2020 taught us?

That the thought process and behavioural mannerisms of the Socialised Maverick is needed, as the old way was bad and we mustn’t go back to the world’s selfish ways. Here are a few of things we, the world, have slowly begun to recognise …

We cannot manage alone

In the West particularly, we have become restricted to our family ties (to just the nuclear family). Being just to busy to see our parents or share our children with them. So stuck on the daily grind and the acquisition of stuff, to wake up and look around at the world we have created for ourselves.

The belief that ‘we did it all ourselves’, and ‘if I help you, it diminishes what I have achieved’, are belief systems that are alien to the Socialised Maverick!

Thankfully this fallacy has been exposed for what it is, even in the most capitalist societies in the world.

We cannot manage alone and neither can you. If we are to survive then we must help you to survive. If we do not, we will destroy our mental health.

Wellbeing is important in your workplace

This is perhaps the most surprising change in the workplace. For literally decades leadership teams have dismissed the need to actively do something that nurtures and builds workforce wellbeing.

Then Covid hit. And forced change.

Now there is a recognition that the mental health of employees and leaders are important. We need breaks, nurturing contact, meaningful work. There is more to do though.

For those with poor mental health, they also deserve loving attention. Perhaps 2021 will see companies and leadership teams become the Maverick Leaders they could be … and actually care about their employees and the lives that they lead.

Not pretend, but care. We will all be the better for it, and their companies will thrive.

Connection is everything

Last year we were unable to meet up with loved ones. We couldn’t hug them, kiss them, be with them. We couldn’t attend care homes or hospitals when they were ill. Some of our family died and we couldn’t be with them in their last moments. They died alone and not witnessed by anyone.

Some of our family and friends got married and we couldn’t be there. Some watched on Zoom and others imagined what it was like. It wasn’t the same.

All of that hurt, still hurts.

And we miss our work colleagues … who would have thought that? We miss seeing them face to face, giggling over coffee and sharing our weekend stories. Yep, even seeing the ones we don’t like – it was part of the rhythm of work.

That rhythm is different now, and seeing them remotely, to just discuss work – doesn’t cut it. Not by a long chalk.

Work can be different

Paradoxically, we love working remotely! How’s that? We love the convenience of working from home, the ability to have more control and autonomy. The ability (for some) to work around the family.

We hate not interacting in the way we want, when we want. On top of everything else, we just miss people – yep, even the ones we work with!

Most managers have understood the complexities of working from home and are being kinder and more realistic with their expectations. Others have gone the other way, with micro managing and key logging software. These companies will not last very long.

We are all looking at the world of work. Wanting to capture the best of the ‘new ways of working’, and leaving the rest. We are seeing our managers and our organisations for what they are … and not always liking what we see.

Diversity is important

And not just in ethnicity! Following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in quick succession sparked a new wave of Black Life Matters protests in the United States. What was different this time was that people began protesting the world over.

This ‘social’ movement then entered the business world. Organisations the world over began looking into Diversity, Inclusion and whether everyone had a voice and was being listened to.

Business leaders dusted off the studies around diversity and relearned that their companies benefited from being more diverse. Maverick Leaders go a step further, believing in cognitive diversity – diversity of thought.

Yes, a diverse workforce is desired, essential even and cognitive diversity is often the key to Maverick Leadership. I help individuals, business owners and organisations to Strategise, Innovate and Execute – and cognitive diversity is key. You cannot craft great solutions, when everyone around you thinks the same and has the same life experiences.

Diversity, cognitive diversity is key to a successful 2021.

What we need is Leaders – and Maverick Leaders at that!

If 2020 taught us anything, it has been the need to have good leaders that work for the greater good and not their own self interest. We need leaders at the individual level (yes that’s you!), in our workplaces (that might be you! or others), running our businesses (that could be you), and running our countries (yep that still could be you!).

We desperately need people (that includes you!), that take a collective interest in the world around us. We as individuals impact hundreds of people, those that lead thousands and in the case of world leaders millions/billions.

We have learnt that change starts with us. Not just how we interact with the world around us but what we vote for and what we accept. We need to become Maverick Leaders, prepared to impact and influence for the greater good with integrity, empathy and passion.

Come on, be different, act different and change the world we live and work in.

We desperately need you to.



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