View profile

Weekly 3: Add leverage to your work


Idea Journal Weekly 3

October 25 · Issue #162 · View online
We combine 3 ideas to help you think differently and be more creative.

Summary: The promise of leverage is to get more output for the same or even less input. Leverage usually comes up in the contexts of finance or physics.
You can also apply the concept of leverage to your career and everyday work. This Weekly 3 issue explores a few ways to do that.
(~3 min read)

#1. Get more bang for your buck
Researchers Lauren McCann and Gabriel Weinberg write in Super Thinking that a smart strategy is to spend your time and money on “high-leverage activities” that will produce the greatest effects.
For example, if you want to improve the effectiveness of a web page, you should focus on the headline and leading image. This is called the “hero section.”
The hero section is the first thing people will see, and the only thing that many of them will read. So, small changes to the hero section can be simple but have a large effect.
You can apply this concept of high-leverage activities to all aspects of your work. 
Which job / role will give you the best opportunity to advance your career?
What task will have the biggest impact on a given project’s success?
Who’s the person on your team who can produce the most output with the same or less effort?
McCann and Weinberg acknowledge that the highest-leverage choice may not be the best fit every time. But you should always at least consider the option that will give you the most impact at the lowest cost.
Another advantage of thinking about leverage is that it helps you factor opportunity costs into your decision making. 
In general, the highest-leverage activities have the lowest opportunity costs.
#2. Make yourself scalable
Entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant writes on Twitter that one way to get rich without depending on luck is to “productize yourself.” 
For Ravikant, the first step to productizing yourself is to figure out what you’re uniquely good at: “Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.”
Once you know the type of work that suits you, Ravikant recommends applying as much leverage as possible to scale your efforts. 
There are many types of leverage, but to productize yourself as an individual, you want to use software and media
That’s because they have “no marginal cost of replication,” and can work for you while you sleep. 
As Ravikant puts it, an army of robots packed in data centers is freely available — use it. If you can’t code, write blogs and books, or record podcasts and videos.
#3. Influence the influencers, not only the decision makers
Entrepreneur Rajesh Shetty writes on his blog that when we’re making a point or selling our ideas, we tend to focus on the decision makers. This may work, but you also want to look for the influencers in a given group. 
As Shetty points out, each group will always have one or two key influencers.
The members of the group will often consider the opinion of these key influencers before they make up their own opinion.
Here’s how you can identify these influencers. 
When you make a statement to a group about which the group has to form an opinion, pay attention to what the members of the group typically do.
They’ll often look for the non-verbal cues of the influencer. 
For example, if the influencer is nodding, many members of the group will tend to agree with what you said. 
And if the influencer is shaking their head “No,” other members will often disagree with you.
Quote of the week
“Well, the interesting thing about leverage, and it has been studied since ancient Rome, is you don’t have to do everybody. You just have to do a few opinion makers – they do the rest.”
Educator and historian John Taylor Gatto in an interview
Idea Journal
Idea Journal
Did you enjoy this issue?
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
New York, NY