They say a 'cavalier attitude' is one where a person is confident that the actions he or she takes are made with conviction. Likewise, they say that a 'maverick' is an unorthodox or independent minded person. The two words go well together.
The corporate world's leaders have had many wonderful opportunities to be a 'maverick cavaliers'. Essentially, they think their strategies through to the very end and do not act until they're convinced their plans, intentions and even dreams, will work.
Their attitudes are usually inherited from mature and recognised people who have taken their companies into new realms of business and corporate thought. In Dany Bahar's case, his discipline was crafted at the feet of some of this world's finest leaders of corporate business, namely Dietrich Mateschitz who is the boss of Red Bull and Luca di Montezemolo the iconic President of Ferrari.
These two gentlemen, Bahar has been known to say, were his teachers and even 'mentors': they were a source of great inspiration - inspiration which he drew upon and surely will continue to do so as he employs his 'Maverick Cavalier' journey with Group Lotus.
Forget his humble beginnings which have been well chronicled in the media and through the internet - he's not dwelling on the past but moving beyond with Group Lotus as he has that 'maverick cavalier' attitude to see beyond the adversities.
His attitude is that you have one stab at this life and if you want to move forward and succeed, then you have to take the proverbial bull by the horns, take the lessons from the past and work on them. Sadly, if it means ostracising yourself from some of those around you then that's the luck of the draw.
Were Mateschitz and di Montezemolo 'maverick cavaliers'? Yes. They operated with the philosophy that being different makes all the difference - they were great leaders and insatiable learners. When you are young and setting out on your career path, it's imperative to have a game plan - an outline of aspirations, but along the way to keep filling in the blanks, for experience is our guide to greatness.
Bahar's mentors (and those of global CEOs in his position) also taught him one very important thing - they were not afraid to try new things, applying a lateral way of thinking which stretched from the shop floor to the board room. And they were not afraid to give their prodigies breaks in their careers.
Mateschitz recognised that Bahar had a 'maverick' approach to his work - that he always wanted to challenge the status quo. In return, Bahar was prepared to take risks, knowing that conformist employees might back away from. Yet he was prepared to think outside his box, push harder and seek challenges which others would feel uncomfortable with.
At Red Bull his 'maverick' attitude saw beyond the norm and he began a diverse programme of sports sponsorship such as F1, soccer in the United States and a host of other extreme sports. He aimed high, thought bigger and encouraged unconventional ideas and groundbreaking strategies amongst his team. Together they put Red Bull on the global motorsports map and it has continued to achieve greatness ever since.
He wouldn't have been able to do all that if Mateschitz hadn't had confidence in him. In turn he believed that to keep ahead of competition one has to have a challenged and a challenging workforce whose aim is to improve on their individual and team performances and above all, enjoy doing it.
To survive in today's corporate world one has to be talented and edgily different. People can't approach a job with only theoretical knowledge: one must be able to put that knowledge and passion into practice. Eventually, the 'maverick' employee might decide to opt out¬ to seek wider challenges. This may not be because his 'best' is not being recognised but more realistically because his 'best' needs to expand beyond that of his peers.
Bahar's next 'mentor' di Montezemolo, made him challenge himself again and it has been known that he learnt more from that man who has long been recognised in corporate circles as 'cavalierish' in his attitude. Bahar was able to unleash new ideas - and even break the mould.
Business today - no matter what the discipline - is having to dig deeper and struggle harder to keep ahead of the game. The old guard is cutting back and losing ground but, organisations which were once dismissed as upstarts - or 'mavericks' - are making waves and growing while others are stagnant. It's the business climate everyone lives in at the moment and it's going to be like this for some time to come.
At Group Lotus there is a need to apply 'maverick cavalier' attitudes: they can't continue doing business as usual or even put up the 'gone for lunch' sign. They've got to progress and try unconventional ideas - strategies which step outside the norm - in order to roar ahead again. Bahar's agenda is already set out for him but there is inbuilt flexibility which he will relish.
The 'maverick cavaliers' of today may often exasperate the people around them and some people may get hurt. But to succeed, prosper and reach greater goals, it's important to learn from others and impart your own enthusiasm in every facet of the business. Yes, like Bahar and others like him - to be a 'maverick cavalier'.