What levers are you pulling?
Are you conscious of what levers you are pulling? The levers around you? What lever have you put pressure on today?
This week, we discuss why to use leverage.
I have been doing some volunteer work for many months to help me make further sense of the theoretical. Doing this always helps me when I am trying to get my head around something new. I hope it will help you too.
Leveraging – how it really works.
Nearly a year ago a smart, connected person in my local community asked me to meet her for a coffee in my town, Rutherglen. This was such a pleasure on so many levels:
- to pause
- to re-appreciate the main street
- to get to have a chat with someone I had admired from a distance for a while
Starting the conversation
We started the standard how are you and what are you up to conversation.
We knew each other, but it is always important to know a little more.
This was all very pleasant. The beverages were good, the ambience was comfortable – tick, tick.
We soon moved onto "what have you been thinking about for your next stretch"?
Those of you who know me know that I can never resist this topic. I love being asked it and figure it is a safe enough question to ask everyone (never assume Jill).
By asking that question the conversation moved to the next level.
My friend shared with me that she was thinking of putting her hand up for the State Election. Now that was greeted with much enthusiasm. I had watched her, with admiration, engage thoughtfully and wisely at a “p” (that is a small p) level for a few years now. What a gift she would be to my electorate.
The conversation quickly moved from “woohoo” to let’s think about this seriously. We teased out the concept of disruption and/or systemic change – it was both. Change this up and change them for the better. Another tick.
I was in! Disruption with a purpose, please!
Taking the conversation to the next level
The conversation then moved to leverage.
What did she have, on which she could put downward pressure, to ensure the disruption resulted in systemic change for the better? What were the available levers?
What were the levers within easy grasp? Well, she had:
- An inner network of family and close friends. They would be able to become her inner team to run the campaign.
- Extensive local networks and connections: sport, education, career. She would need them to assist her. How could she put pressure on this lever to create a buzz about her candidacy?
- A reputation – smart and a doer. She would use this lever to create information and communication to share with her extensive network to increase her “electoral presence”
- Political nous. She would educate her inner network so they could press on the lever to start community conversations about electoral issues.
Did the leveraging work?
My friend had sorted all of the above out before we sat down that morning in Rutherglen. (I told you she was smart.) But, what was exciting was to see that just by having the conversation with me one lever had been pressed and I was moving things for her (in my mind and as I left the café). I had been levered and as a direct result by the end of the day, I had moved three other people.
By the time we said cheerio we had worked our way through the first four steps of Affectus Leadership Leverage and were well on the way to working on the next three steps.
Are you conscious of the levers around you? What lever have you put pressure on today? Which of the seven steps have you worked through?