Interview with Maverick Leadership pioneer Judith Germain

Since 2005, Judith Germain has been pioneering Maverick Leadership and its power to catalyse global transformation; enabling business owners, leaders, and organisations to thrive in complex, shifting environments.

Through The Maverick Paradox, Judith delivers bespoke and immersive consultancy, training, coaching and mentoring to help leaders unlock their ability to strategise, innovate and execute effectively.

In both 2023 and 2024, The Maverick Paradox was named Management Training Specialists of the Year at the Innovation and Excellence Awards. Judith is also the host of The Maverick Paradox podcast, in the top 1.5% most popular global podcasts, and edits The Maverick Paradox Magazine, #31 of the best leadership blogs online, and is the author of ‘The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders’.

What’s your career background?

At 15 I had a ‘Saturday job’ at a national retailer that quickly led to me becoming a supervisor responsible for adults. At 17, I worked at an Insurance company and within a few months became the youngest Commercial Underwriter with over £5m reassurance limit. This level of responsibility and experience at a young age at that time was unheard of. 

After a few years working at the insurance company, when I was seconded to the head office, I was given authority to assess customer complaints in heads of insurance that I did not have direct experience in like Life Assurance. I learnt how to influence without direct authority, problem solve and negotiate to ensure the best outcomes for all. 

When I left the insurance company I joined a national retailer as head of HR of two sites with 500 employees. At that time it was my first ever HR role and I wasn’t yet qualified in HR. However, I had proven experience in informally managing people, business acumen, and the ability to understand people and business. 

By 2005 I decided to leave the corporate world and work for myself. To date, I am a speaker, consultant, trainer, and author and my expert opinion is sought by international press. I catalyse transformation and create clear-thinking and decisive leaders and supercharge this through my consultancy The Maverick Paradox and magazine and podcast outputs through the Maverick Paradox Media.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Throughout my professional career, I came to realise that Mavericks (who I define as wilfully independent people) have the power to influence vast audiences, for good or for bad. This deeply interested me and I wanted to ensure that this influence never became manipulative. I was also distressed to see such poor leadership in organisations and how the consequences of this plays out. I wanted to play an active role in enabling better leadership.

To further this, goal alongside my consultancy and speaking work, I wrote my book – The Maverick Paradox: The Secret Power Behind Successful Leaders. This drives proactive organisational change by outlining how leaders can embody Maverick Leadership to get the most out of themselves and their team. 

How do you spread the word about what you do?

At the foremost, I invest time in content marketing. I am HRZone’s Leadership Columnist, and I write, speak or contribute to leading publications such as BBC Radio, Forbes, The FT, and the HR Director. I also spread my message through virtual and in-person speaking events. 

In addition to this, I am also a published author and writer for my own publication, The Maverick Paradox Magazine (6 Featured Columnists, over 160 guest writers, ranked #31 best leadership blog on the internet), via Maverick Paradox Media, I have a global top 1.5% most popular podcast, The Maverick Paradox Podcast where I share my philosophy and demonstrate what I do. I’m also a LinkedIn Top Leadership Voice.

I use Social Media to share my thoughts, and my work is often referred to by past clients.

What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?

Having a clear proposition of what I do, (and knowing my Core Identity™) as well as having a way to narrate and demonstrate it to others, enables my marketing strategy to become more successful. 

I am clear on positioning the business as a leadership consultancy that catalyses transformation and creates clear thinking and decisive leaders. 

My best marketing strategy to date has been positioning myself as a leadership expert and Leading Authority in Maverick Leadership. This has resulted in winning several awards, including the Most Engaging Leadership Consultancy 2023 at the Corporate Coaching and Recruitment Awards and Management Training Specialists of the Year at the Innovation and Excellence Awards 2023 and 2024. 

In addition to this, I have also become a finalist for multiple awards including the National Facilitator Awards and Leadership Excellence Awards. highlighting our abilities to successfully deliver expert, tailored, engaging and values-led sessions.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Myself and others perspectives! Recognising that I have something valuable to offer that should be amply paid for. 

And your proudest moments so far?

I’m pleased with several things, including seeing my clients’ successes, the award successes, how Maverick Paradox Media is growing and lastly, making a difference in so many lives and businesses.

Who inspires you?

People who stand up and make a difference. The ordinary person in the street who takes a courageous step outside their comfort zone. The person who can change their mind in light of new evidence. In terms of famous people, President Obama, Maya Angelo, Simon Sinek and President JFK all inspire me. 

Why is International Women’s Day important to you and how can we empower more female entrepreneurs? 

International Women’s Day is important because women are often overlooked or their staggering achievements are perceived differently than if men had achieved them. We can empower more female entrepreneurs by showcasing more role models, inviting more women to speak at conferences and events and increasing the accessibility and funds available for female founders. 

What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

  1. Believe in yourself, with good reason. Develop yourself so that you can see and take more opportunities.
  2. Be clear on your value and what you have to offer
  3. Share your expert opinion and passion widely

Find out more about Judith Germain.