The Loss of Leverage

We give-away leverage far too often.   Leverage is the victim of  instant gratification and the here and now.  When we make decisions based on what we need now, it is often at the cost of leverage.  Leverage is the asset of the strong and successful.

From business, to sales, to life, leverage quietly sits at the foundation of success or failure.   Leverage let’s us say no.  Leverage let’s us wait.  Leverage gives us more choices.  Leverage puts us in control.

The problem is leverage is like other assets, it needs time to grow and far too often we make decisions undermining our ability to get leverage.

Have you ever cut a deal to make quota because you needed that one last contract to make your numbers?   That’s what happens without leverage.   Where was leverage?  It was absent because months before decisions were made NOT to make more cold calls, NOT to make more appointments, NOT to do more research, not to do more demo’s.   The deal had to be cut because there was no choice. The pipeline wasn’t big enough.  There were no alternatives.  There was only one decision, cut a deal and make quota, or don’t and miss quota.  This is exactly what happens when we don’t have leverage. There are fewer choices, and less control.

We are stuck in jobs we don’t like because we spend so much on STUFF that doesn’t matter that we can’t quit.  We spend our leverage every day, trickle by trickle. We have no leverage to do what we want, to start a new company, or to try something new.  Our leverage was spent on the partying instead of going to college.  Our leverage is being spent in that 65k car instead of a used 10k car.  Our leverage is being spent in a house bigger than we need.  We need leverage to grow, yet we spend it everyday.

It’s no different in business.  Companies can’t expand or grow because they short change their products and customers to save a buck.   Focused on expenses, revenue, and profit in the short term, they provide poor customer service, poor working environments or cultures and don’t create new innovative products.  To meet the demands of “the street” leverage is forfeited quarter after quarter.  After years of focusing on the short-term a threat arises and there is no leverage to combat it.  The company is unable to respond.  Employees are worn to the bone and have little loyalty, customers are looking for an alternative and the products are stale, unable to generate the revenue needed to respond. There is no leverage.

Leverage is critical, yet people, organizations, businesses, and governments squander it little be little everyday.  Focusing on the here and now costs. It costs leverage and not having leverage has an even bigger cost.  Before you make a decision ask yourself, will this create leverage or cost leverage.   The answer matters.