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The Power of Leverage

Author: Ken Keis

"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I will move the entire earth." Archimedes (287 - 212 BC)

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.

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 franchisor 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 franchisor 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 his 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
  • Teaching your child music
    • Do it yourself, even though you have no training: No Leverage
    • Hire a music instructor with years of experience: Time & Expertise Leverage
  • Bookkeeper for your business
    • Do it yourself: No Leverage
    • Bring in a bookkeeper: Work & Time Leverage
  • Creating a business plan
    • Do it yourself: No Leverage
    • Bring in an expert: Idea & Experience 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.

Start getting intentional and strategic in the use of leverage and implement the following action steps.

  1. Review your life and business. Determine where you are using leverage and where you are not.
  2. Apply this summary of leverage points to all of your activities. Identify where you can intentionally implement more leverage.
    a. Money
    b. Experience
    c. Ideas
    d. Work
    e. Time
    f. Contacts
    g. Other
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. Be intentional about creating Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures, but only JV with individuals or organizations with like-values.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 ezines/articles (thousands) and a Website (millions).
  8. Finally, stop doing alone what can be done together - or by ? or with others.

Until next time, keep "Living on Purpose." Ken Keis

About the Author:

Ken Keis is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He is President and CEO of CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., Many professionals herald CRG as the Number One global resource center for Personal and Professional Development. For information on CRG Resources, please visit http://crgleader.com. For information on Ken's Training and Speaking Programs, please visit http://kenkeis.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - The Power of Leverage

Have a nice day!

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