There Is No Rule Book

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Are You a Maven?

Posted by thereisnorulebook on September 15, 2011

“In a world of give and take- there are few who are willing to give what it takes.”

Think back to the last class, workshop or seminar you went to.  In the room during a break, you may have noticed a group of people who had gathered around in a circle and in that circle one of the individuals seemed to be capturing the attention of the rest of the group. You may have asked yourself “Who is that person and what is he saying that is so interesting to everybody around him?”

Chances are he was a Maven. Mavens create a “halo of trustworthiness” for those around them: a circle of influence and information.

Have you ever had an idea strike you about a new product or service that you knew the world HAD to have? You had the idea but took no action. Several months go by and you find that someone else developed and sold YOUR idea! You said to yourself, “I thought of that first.”  (and that maven made millions from your idea. Darn.)

Mavens know that extra-ordinary achievement is less about their talents or abilities and more about identifying the opportunity when it arises and then following through with action. A maven is ultra-clear that focus is more important than intelligence and ultimately, that not only do ‘smarts’ not matter as much, but persistence and determination will almost always win the day as well the hearts and minds of others.

The Mavens of our time travel light: psychologically, sociologically and neurologically. They don’t carry a lot of extra baggage that prevents them from taking immediate action on creative ideas that they believe will benefit themselves and others. What makes a maven so unique is that he or she sees opportunities as a way to make the world a better place while others may see opportunities as a burdensome task to add to my already full “to-do” list. Check.

“Anyone who lives within his or her means suffers from a lack of imagination”- Oliver Wilde

The mantra that Mavens seem to live by is ‘knowledge increases power when it is shared’. When a Maven learns something new she will share her new knowledge with 10 people. Each one of those fortunate people gets to hear and learn it once. The Maven knows she will hear and learn it 10 times thus reinforcing her learning and internalizing the knowledge that much more.

You instantly know it when you meet a Maven. The Maven is the one in the family, the business, in your community or on your team that lives the “ready- fire- aim” way of life. He understands that it is in the doing that allows him to change, modify and adapt the course over time knowing full well that eventually he will arrive at the destination he set out for. The exciting part of changing, modifying and adapting for the Maven is the chance to meet more people she can share with along the way. It’s the “journey not the destination” attitude!

Through years of experimentation, the Maven knows that doing something unimportant well does not make it important. What you do with your life, your family your team at work and your energy is infinitely more important than how you do it.

Navigating through life’s lessons, the Maven has learned that what he fears the most is what he needs to do the most. On closer observation, the Maven is the inspiration for many other people and a catalyst for helping others become unstuck from their own obstacles, both known and unknown, that have brought them to a standstill.

So, who are the Mavens in your life?

More often than not, you have someone or many someones, that you consider a trusted expert, either professionally or personally or both. Someone who has particular knowledge or capabilities in an area that you are determined to be more competent in. These mavens in your life are the ones that are open and eager to pass on what they’ve learned and communicate the challenges they’ve overcome- to help you. Your maven has a distinct understanding, which is based on his accumulation of specific information or strategic learning and he’s taken the time to assimilate it and convey it in such a way that benefits those around him. If you are willing to ask questions and listen, the Maven is willing to help.

In each of these cases, mavens can have a substantial influence on other members of an industry or network. Further examination reveals that mavens are consummate gatherers of information and impressions (which is part of what makes them so valuable) and, therefore, are often the first to pick up on new or recent trends and run with them.

Surrounding yourself with mavens in different areas of life is a benefit because they are passionate about what they know and they are willing to share what they know and if you are paying attention, you become better:  better in business, a better husband/wife, a better athlete, student, and possibly even a better person.

Think about yourself for a minute. The things in your life that are you both passionate and knowledgeable about are usually the things you are inspired and excited to share with others. So… are you a Maven?

by Blair Kolkoski


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