There was a time, sixty years ago, when elk covered Northern Ontario.
On the little Island where I grew up, my grandfather would hunt elk regularly, in the fields and swamps on his own land, and usually be successful. They’re gone now – my grandfather was a great hunter – and my father is part of a movement to reintroduce them to their native area.
Yesterday’s technology – hunger and bullets – wiped them out. Today’s technology – RFID collars and helicopters – is slowly bringing them back. And we’re learning some interesting things about pack behavour; mavens; and fear of entrapment.
As it turns out, the elk – renowned for covering great distances and spreading the herd far and wide – are mostly homebodies. ONLY the older females – past the age of childrearing – are the explorers. While the males stay at home with the food, it’s the spinsters who roam. Radio identification frequently turned up older females hundreds of kilometres from the original reintroduction point.
Where are they going? What do they seek? How will they know when they find ‘it’? We’re not sure. We’re not sure they know themselves…but it’s their nature. Their role in the community is Discoverer. It could be that they’re the bravest; it could be that they’re considered expendable. Either way, they’re the Seekers: the mavens.
How does a shivering elk help you grow your box? Well, if you’re going to make a living at this, friend, you’re going to need some good Mavens.
- Ladies Who Lunch
- They’re Water-Cooler Evangelists
- They’re the Early Adopters
- They’re the lead sled dogs.
They want to experience new things, but their MISSION in life is to SHARE those new things with others. Their identity is “the one who’s always doing something new/crazy!” – and to reinforce that identity, they have to show others what they’re doing. Fair dinkum. CrossFit is “something new/crazy!” to most people.
There are different types of mavens, of course. Some are content to do new things, and not share; for these, your job is to create unexpected glee (first pullup? Here’s a free hat!) Some are more than happy to talk, loudly, for better or for worse – for these, your job is consistency. And some, perhaps the best, are happy to confide in a few friends who trust them. For these, your job is to create pride. Make Bright Spots. Give them a reason to stick around; they’re magnetic.
A maven may not yet know what they seek. Let them lead; follow and give them Mangoes.
*I’ve used the term ‘maven’ in the feminine, because it’s a female Elk who does the exploring. But there are plenty of male Early Adopters, too.
This article was written by Chris Cooper, of Catalyst Fitness/CrossFit Catalyst. He has his own blog, Don’t buy Ads, where he shares relevant info for CrossFit boxes. Chris has also partnered with 321Go Project to offer affiliate business mentoring/coaching to affiliates who are either stuck or are ready to take it to the next level. Find out more about our affiliate business mentoring/coaching strategies >>