The Power Of Leverage*
By Ken Keiss who can be contacted at www.crgleader.com
Almost all successful individuals understand the power of leverage. And that success in any endeavor is accelerated by using leverage. You may become successful without using leverage but, you if you aren’t using it, that means you are willing to compromise the level of success, speed, and time necessary to get to each level.
2. Leverage is an action or mechanical effect to help achieve a purpose.
Leverage has been used since time immemorial. In fact, each of us has experienced, used, or witnessed leverage, but we are not all aware of the importance and the incredible power of leverage in everything that we do. The cost of not utilizing leverage in your personal life and business strategy is huge. We need to get intentional and strategic in the use of leverage in every part of our lives.
But first, let’s discover where we did not use leverage and thus experienced limited results.
Here is my example. In the late ‘80s, I became involved in the training and speaking industry by buying into a sales-training franchise. It seemed to make sense. I was a top sales performer and this transition was one where I could bring immediate credibility to my programs.
One major item was missing, however. Yes, leverage . . . in the area of marketing. I look back at this now and shudder at what I did. As franchisees, we were instructed to have four appointments a day and hold public programs for our sales training. The method taught by the franchiser was one without leverage: simply pick up the phone and start calling people — anyone, one-on-one. Don’t bother to profile the potential clients — just call.
Well, I followed their strategy ¯ I was young and naive once ¯ and quickly found out that even with enormous and continuous effort, there simply was not enough time in the day to talk to enough people whom I didn’t know, who didn’t want to talk to me, and who were not interested in my product or service. (Those were the days before email.)
Even though I was in the Top 5 of all the franchisees, I was still losing money. There simply was no leverage. Within a couple of years, the franchiser lost all its seed capital and went bankrupt, no leverage was just one reason.
So let’s go the other way and describe where leverage is being used by successful individuals every day.
In the TV show The Apprentice, Donald Trump was expounding about his large real estate and development projects, including the almost $1 billion new Trump Tower in Chicago.
Do you think for a moment that he’s using is own money? Not a chance; his projects are being built with other people’s money. What about the design? Would he be using other people’s experience, expertise, and ideas to design and fulfill his project objectives? Of course. Who is going to build this tower? It will be the work of other people. In fact, Donald’s projects are impossible without leverage. Yes, some will argue he is leveraged (has borrowed) too much, but that is not the point. Without leverage, none of this would have been possible. The greater the amount of leverage (if done correctly and soundly), the greater the speed to achievement.
The key to leverage is to be aware, strategic, and intentional in its use everywhere, both personally and in our businesses. To best illustrate leverage, here are examples of the contrast between using it and not using it.
>> Buying a home
Purchase home with cash: No Leverage
Mortgage: Money Leverage
>> Learning a new computer program
Teach yourself with help books: No Leverage
Hire an expert to teach you in half the time: Expertise Leverage
>> Determining your personal purpose and career
Do it on your own without help: No Leverage
Complete an assessment to accelerate the process: Time & Expertise Leverage
>> Building a successful business
Do it on your own: No Leverage
Create strategic alliances and JV partnerships: Contact & Credibility Leverage
Of course the list can go on forever in every aspect of our lives. In some cases, using leverage is not appropriate, but it should be considered in most situations.
By going it alone, you are without leverage. You will have to rely on your own time, contacts, experience, expertise, money, and other resources. This is a painfully slow way to proceed and it will limit, hinder, and reduce your success.
Interestingly enough, we tend to react in the opposite direction when we are under stress or pressure; we contract (to save money or resources) using fewer contacts and less leverage at the exact time when we need to expand our reach and impact via leverage.
If you embrace leverage as a foundational strategy, you will feel release and freedom because you no longer have to be everything to everybody all the time by yourself.
3. Action Steps
Apply this summary of leverage points to all of your activities. Identify where you can intentionally implement more leverage:
>> Connect with someone who is already a master at leverage and get his or her feedback/coaching on how to expand this concept in your life. (By the way, this strategy is leverage in itself)
>> To maximize the strategy of leverage, you will have to give up your ego. If you want to be the center of attention, designer, and creator of all that you have, this process will not be as successful.
>> Be intentional about creating Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures, but only JV with individuals or organizations with like-values. (Use the CRG Online Values Preference Indicator as a starting point.)
>> I want to challenge you to double your expectations around your objectives in life — by the end of this week. The only way you can achieve that is by outside resources (leverage). Force yourself to think of all the ways, relationships, and processes that would help you achieve that goal.
>> Continuously be on the lookout for enhancements and new opportunities to increase your leverage. What started out for me as a one-on-one coaching business has lead to seminars (50 people per session) to tele-seminars (hundreds of people) to training company and e-zine (thousands) and a Website (millions).
>> Finally, stop doing alone what can be done together — or by ¯ or with others.
*Reprinetd by permission