When you need to move a big or heavy object, leverage will help. For the human side of your organization, leadership leverage may be the difference between movement or staying stuck.
Do you have leverage? Are you using it appropriately?
People often confuse a formal position or authority with leverage.
Do what I say, when and how I say it, and everything will be fine.
This is sort of like moving an egg across your yard or down the street with a bulldozer. This isn’t the kind of leverage you should use.
Leadership is not really about formal authority. Formal authority helps, yet the best leverage will come from being more artful and less commanding.
Decades ago, perhaps a half-century or more, formal authority made the biggest impact. Today, the formal authority should be the backup plan, not the primary method of operating.
Society has shaped and shifted to a different understanding of what it means to work. The psychology of work has changed. Understanding it matters now more than ever.
Leadership leverage means that you can utilize the strengths of the individual or team to get more accomplished. Ideally, it means doing it more efficiently with fewer required resources.
Consider that strategy may be the biggest friend of leverage. Tactical approaches always matter and mission objectives are completed by the appropriate use of tactics. Yet, you shouldn’t confuse tactics with strategy.
Fighting metaphorical fires in the workplace is tactical, not strategic.
Leadership leverage develops through strategy, purpose, and persistence. It also happens through teamwork, relationships, and inspiration.
You probably wouldn’t bring a bulldozer to the Easter Egg hunt.
Much of the workforce won’t respond well to commands. They want to be part of something, respected and inspired.
Leverage is a gentle giant.
It gives more, and takes less.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.