I’m not a tall man. I’ll never be a pro basketball player or be chosen first for the next pickup game at the gym. I’m at peace with my height now, but back in middle school when I was playing basketball, I viewed it as a major liability. My perspective changed during the last game of my seventh-grade year. We were playing our archrivals from across town, a team with players three and four years older than us. As they entered the gym, they looked like giants to me—tall, huge, and muscular. We were toast!
By the fourth quarter, we were losing badly. Since it was a lost cause, our coach decided he could safely insert me—all 4’6” of me—into the game. He had nothing to lose. Finally, it was my moment to shine. Darting all over the court, I managed to steal the ball and began dribbling toward our basket. People started cheering. I was headed toward an easy layup when the other team’s tallest player stepped directly in my path. He stood solidly staring me down from the foul line, only a few yards away. He had to be at least a foot and a half taller than me—a virtual Mount Everest.
I had only seconds to assess the situation. Though I was faster, I knew I couldn’t get around my opponent. Suddenly, a crazy idea came to me. I crouched down as low as I could and drove straight for my opponent’s crotch. Yep, I was going to run right between his legs. The boy was so shocked watching my maneuver—and the crowd started laughing so hard when they realized what I was aiming to do—I was able to make a quick pivot at the last second and take my shot. It went in, but unfortunately didn’t change the outcome. We still lost by a wide margin, but I had my moment. In that moment, my biggest liability, my height, had become my leverage by allowing me the agility, speed and size to overcome the challenge that lay directly in my path.
To this day, I use this memory from my short-lived basketball career as a reminder that, if you’re willing to think outside the box and be proactive, there’s almost always a way around any obstacle. To gain an advantage in life or business, we must actively train ourselves to jump the next hurdle. What can we leverage? Most of the time, we have more options at our disposal than we think we do. Leverage enables people to amplify influence in a system or environment. When you understand the leverage you have at your fingertips, you can invest the right amount of effort through the proper channels to yield the greatest return for your business.
Today, as a business strategist and executive management consultant, I experience the power of leverage every day. Leverage is like air—vital to our existence and, even though we can’t see it, we know it’s there. We’ve learned to leverage and do all sorts of important things with air. We’ve built windmills to capture its energy, pressurized it in chambers to treat patients’ wounds, and channeled it to help those struggling for breath. Despite its invisibility, we’ve learned to recognize air’s power, figured out how to harness it, and reaped impactful benefits as a result. That’s exactly how leverage works in business. It can turn the resources around us into revenue and profit generators.
Companies, teams, and professionals learn how to leverage their assets. Whether those assets are time, money, knowledge, expertise, relationships, people, talents, influence, or power, companies can use leverage to achieve exceptional results.
As you will learn through the many examples in this book, the story of business is the story of leverage. Without leverage, there would be inefficient or non-existent accumulation, replenishment, and utilization of assets. There would be less return on investments. The application of leverage is essential to the growth, maintenance, and longevity of any business entity. The importance of maximizing and actively searching for leverage, the central theme of this book, is often overlooked within companies.
Too often, organizations fail to recognize, explore, or appreciate the potential opportunities they have at their disposal. They become conservative, bogged down in bureaucracy, and accepting of mediocrity. Complacency sets in and leverage, if it happens at all, is mostly by happenstance and not by design.
Leverage: The ability to influence a business system or environment in a way that multiplies your efforts or magnifies your potential.
The thing about leverage is that, without action, it is ephemeral. Its potential goes untapped and is wasted. Over time, companies that fail to master leverage are destined to lose their edge, to struggle, and to work harder than they need to for a minimal return. Over time, they will stagnate. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, that’s a death knell. Leverage is a business necessity, and to be at the top of your game, you need something more: you need HyperLeverage, the intentional exploitation of leverage opportunities, to yield exceptional results.
This book will show you how to identify and benefit from HyperLeverage and create a culture and approach that will give you and your business ongoing competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. The strategies presented in this book will help you identify the resources you can leverage to grow your business and fatten your bottom line. Let’s dive right in and find out more about HyperLeverage.
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