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Thrive on Your Core Driven Path

March 25, 2014 | Issue 03.2014

In This Issue

Note from the Trail
Where’s the Leverage Point? [Feature Article]
Recommended Resources

Note from the Trail

Hello, Trailblazer!

On a recent Saturday my wife and I took a road trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 4 hours away, to pick up a whippet puppy. Her name is Molly and she was brought to Whippet Rescue and Placement (WRAP) by a woman who found her wandering around in a park.

She is very sweet and very smart. The foster volunteer adored her so much we thought she might decide to keep her. But she wound up driving a long way herself to meet us in Tulsa so we could complete our dog pack-family.

Now we have Charlie the whippet, Bella the whippet/Italian greyhound mix, Jasmine the greyhound, and Molly the whippet puppy.

Bella, Molly, Jasmine, and Charlie (left to right) with my wife and me

If you have a pet dog (or dogs), you know they keep us humble. They’re unpredictable in their behavior sometimes. They shock and surprise us, fortunately often in funny ways. And although we can train them so that they are more likely to do what we want, we really can’t control them.

Our pets can teach us important lessons about responsibility, authority, power, and influence. If you have a pet, I invite you to think about those lessons as you read this month’s feature article.

See you on the traill!

(Where I’ll be walking my greyhound, Jasmine)

Stephen Coxsey, MA, CMC
Leadership Development Coach

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Where’s the Leverage Point? :::::::::::: Feature Article ::::::::::::

Where’s the Leverage Point?

A key to being effective at being in charge is to know what’s under your control, what you can influence, and what’s out of your hands. Whether you’re directing your own affairs or leading others, part of your success will depend on what you’re able to do. But part will depend on circumstances beyond your control.

It’s important that as a leader you be able to assess a situation and see quickly where you have control or authority or influence. If you can use your own effort or apply pressure on someone else, from persuasive to coercive, you have power in that situation. I refer to a situation where you have some form of power as a leverage point.

Sort of like physics
Remember learning about levers? A seesaw was the example in elementary science. If both ends of the seesaw are the same length from the middle point (the fulcrum) and both people weigh about the same amount and sit on each end of the seesaw, they can balance. If one is heavier, that end will go down and the lighter person will go up.

With levers, the further away from the fulcrum you are the greater the effect. If my lever is twice as long, I only have to push down half as strong to lift the same amount of weight. Ever dig up a large rock or chunk of broken cement? When you try to lift it with your hands, it’s heavy and it stays stuck. But when you put a shovel or a hoe under the edge of it and push on the other end of the handle, you can pry it loose. That’s because the force you’re using by pushing down on the handle is multiplied by the length of the handle. It’s harder to do with a shorter handle and easier with a longer handle.

But easier to understand
When I ask a client where his or her leverage point is, I don’t just mean the metaphorical underside of the rock. That’s where force needs to be applied. But fingertips dug underneath the rock aren’t very effective for making something happen. The best leverage point is at the end of the shovel handle.

Easy to apply
When you’re facing a challenge, you may have different leverage points to consider, and you may also need to realize where you have no leverage. Maybe one point of leverage with a struggling team member is to call a team meeting and lay everything on the line. But you have to consider if that will be an effective response based on the team’s culture and the team member’s personality, or if it’s likely to cause more problems.

Maybe another leverage point is to recognize the team member’s strengths and successes and encourage him or her by calling out strengths. For some people, that will be motivational, but for others it could be an invitation to dwell on past successes instead of focusing on the present challenge.

And effective in different ways
Sometimes your leverage point may be adjusting your schedule to make something a priority. Sometimes it may be saying “no” to something so you have resources to say “yes” to something else.

And sometimes, when very little is in your control in a situation, your only leverage point may be choosing how to respond to a difficult situation by choosing your mindset.

Application: Think of a challenging situation you’re facing. What part of it is yours to do and what part is up to other people? Where is your authority? Where is your ability to influence? What are you able to do?

Consider what your leverage points are. Evaluate the potential outcomes if you apply leverage at different points. Choose an effective response and act.

Questions: Are there situations that you’re trying to control which are really out of your hands? Where in your life do you need to let go?

Are there situations where you’re tolerating what you don’t have to tolerate because you have authority or power, but you’re not acting? What’s the cost of that to you?

Consider this: if you’re responsible for something, you need to have power or authority to manage your responsibility. If you don’t have power or authority, how can it be your responsibility?

Recommended Resources

Are you excited by custom-designed businesses or careers?

Do you like to think outside the box?

Would you like to get paid to brainstorm?

You can have a business helping other people design their own careers and businesses!

Become a Profiting From Your Passions (R)
Creative Career and Small Business Consultant

Click here to see a video of Dr. Valerie Young explaining her creative model of customized career and small business consultation.

About Steve

Steve Coxsey develops leaders who thrive on a core driven path. He partners with people who want to bring the best of who they are to their leadership roles in their personal lives, professional lives, or businesses. He helps people cultivate their strengths and natural talents so they can take ownership of their productivity and creativity.

Then they become powerful, breaking free of other people’s boxes and cubicles and living and working in alignment with who they really are. They design their lives around their values, their purpose, and their natural way of being. They tailor careers that use their unique strengths and talents and complement their life design.

Would you like that to be you? Get started with a no-risk 30-40 minute consultation. It’s complimentary, so all it will cost you is a little bit of time. You can schedule the complimentary call using this online tool. You can also call 817-416-8971 or e-mail Steve@SteveCoxsey.com to set up the call.

Click here for more information than you could possibly ever want to know about Steve.

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