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The Power of Leverage: The Principle of Maximum Achievement

What things are you doing right now that really aren’t that important? Or, even if they are important, perhaps someone else could do them for you? If money is a factor, get creative. What service could you offer on trade? Could you find a delivery service that saves you the time of picking things up—like your lunch, groceries or dry cleaning? Can you look for an intern who can support your business outcomes?

Do what you do best. Get others to do the rest.

Look for the patterns of things that tend to show up consistently for you. Are there systems you could put in place rather than repeating the same actions over and over again? For example, do you travel a lot? Could you arrange or inventory your clothes so that you don’t have to think about them when it’s time to pack? Could you get a separate toiletries bag that’s always stocked? What about sending cards to your colleagues, associates, friends or family? Are there services that will send cards every month to all your key people, already addressed and stamped?

The secret is to think creatively—if you’re doing things consistently that are taking up your time and are not fulfilling, then it’s time to break that pattern and come up with alternatives! Remember, there’s always a way if you’re committed.

Leverage vs. Delegation

There’s a big difference between leverage and delegation. Your goal is to leverage as much as possible to other people, but to maintain the overall responsibility for achieving the result.

Delegation is taking a result or action you’re responsible for and giving it to someone else without any additional follow-up. You’re delegating the entire responsibility on a hope and a prayer it will actually get done, and get done right. Leverage is working with another individual to produce a result or action. The other individual may do most, or even all of the work, but you’re actively involved by clarifying the outcome needed, checking in and helping solve challenges that may come up along the way. You’re leveraging the work, but you’re maintaining responsibility and ownership of the result you’re after.

Leverage, used properly, is one of the most powerful ways to get more done in a shorter period of time. The key is to take the time up front to clarify the outcome, put the necessary systems and resources in place and make sure that you monitor the progress so you get the results you desire.

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