Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to a leadership book recommended to me called Mavericks At Work by William C. Taylor and Polly Labarre. Listening to this book in the car while i’m driving really maximizes what would otherwise be dead-time for me. Audio books aren’t for everyone, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them to college students who need to be able to highlight passages and offer quotes word-for-word, but for me, this works. I just have to keep a notepad handy for thoughts and quotes that I’d like to remember.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer you my take-aways from Mavericks At Work

  • If you want innovation, hire outside your industry.
  • When you have distinct values, you more easily reject the status quo.
  • When you agitate people and they complain about you, it can actually be a good thing because it creates discussions about you.
  • Never focus on the “competition.” Instead, refocus on the customer.
  • What you think affects how you talk (Use Strategic Vocabulary).
  • if your business went out of business, who would really miss you and why?
  • None of us is as smart as all of us.
  • The smartest guy is not in the room.
  • The best ideas come from the most people.
  • To maximize your effectiveness, promote an atmosphere of participation and collaboration, especially from outside your organization.
  • The open source movement proves that the more smart people you can persuade to work on a problem the more likely it is to be solved.
  • You cannot motivate the best people with money. The best people are motivated by passion.
  • innovation is all about networking.
  • There is always demand for something distinctive.
  • You must be willing to ignore (even offend) those who aren’t integral to your mission.
  • Brand is culture. Culture is brand.
  • Great people want to be surrounded by and challenged by other great people.
  • Great people want to be part of something greater than themselves.
  • Culture is about head, heart, and guts. Head – You have to think it. Heart – You have to believe it. Guts – You have to act it… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The book is filled with compelling case studies and sound research. This makes it a little more dry than the¬†leadership book by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, the parable entitled Who Moved My Cheese?, but it still has stories and glimpses of interactions between the researchers and business leaders. It is a book in the style of Jim Collins, author of Good To Great. Mavericks At Work is definitely worth the read…or in my case, it’s worth a listen. Check it out for yourself.

Buy Mavericks At Work Now

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