Executives always look for leverage, the ability to get more done with less effort because it makes all the other activities more effective, more profitable, and more valuable.
What are examples of leverage?
Relationship leverage: using the wisdom of people you know to get more done, faster.
Financial leverage: using other people’s money, including the bank, to invest in higher return activities.
Mental leverage: reserving high cognitive capacity times (usually 2 hours after waking) for the most complex work instead of wasting this time on low-value tasks.
Activity leverage: only performing activities that contribute to the highest and greatest good toward the mission.
Systems leverage: using designed systems to bring control to business processes, decreasing the amount of effort and attention required to consistently get desired results.
Cultural leverage: using a defined culture to guide attitudes and behaviors, what your team will stand for and what they won’t stand for.
Planning leverage: working a plan takes way fewer resources when compared with trying to figure out what to do next. Under planning (winging it) and over planning (micromanaging) are both rookie moves.
Customer leverage: using customer experience insights, customer identity, and customer propensities to make better business decisions that produce unique competitive differentiation.
Team leverage: identifying skills, motivation, and career path and aligning these to high-value tasks. New thinking: create the best job for the person, instead of hiring the best person for the job.
Wisdom leverage: identifying one whose history is your future and tapping into their insights, often subtle, yet with high leverage, to clear your path and speed your success.
Learning leverage: the highest leverage of all, learning brings new abilities to all who are willing to learn new skills and thought patterns. Yet, this is the one leverage point that tends to be underused and undervalued.
Learning can create the greatest competitive advantage because so few others are willing to invest the resources (time, money, cognitive capacity) required. You get smarter, they don’t, which means learning organizations tend to dominate their market.
Take inventory of your leverage and rank them on a scale of one to five (one = unused, five = fully used). Now you can pay attention to where you can increase your leverage and therefore, your competitive advantage.
Need help with your leverage? Let’s talk about how I can help with Executive Strategy Coaching.