Using leverage to get what you want. Thread

The most practical way to realise the utility of leverage is to use the SWOT framework out of its conventional use. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. Each can be used singularly, synergistically & sometimes, one giving rise to another.

You want to apply this model on yourself & on your target seperately. The idea is to create asymmetry between you & your target just as you would in a game of chess. Each element of SWOT emerges during asymmetry.

Understand that your strength is your competence. The more sublime your competence in your line of work, the higher your strength, the more it generates asymmetry in your opponent, by creating weaknesses, which are opportunities for you to threaten.

You cannot get what you want unless you create sufficient asymmetry between you & your boss. And you cant be delusional either. Your competence must directly contribute in significant value creation before it can be leveraged. Meaning it has to affect the bottom line.

If you ask too early, without lever, you'll get shut down. You'll show all your cards, & hand over prophylactic advantage which your boss will use to crush you next time you undermine him. You have to become best at what you do, in a domain of high value before you act.

So leverage can only be used when there's asymmetry. Your competence shifts this asymmetry in your favour by creating a weakness in which if you become absent, there's significant disruption in the value you provide. This in fact, is an opportunity for you to threaten.

A threat in this regard means to merely 'influence matters in your favour by force'. It does not mean to elicit hostile warnings of probable harm. It has to be subtle, creative & credible. For a threat to hold worth & be effective, it needs two elements:

1. The threat needs to directly disrupt your opponents wants & needs, & elicit fear at the prospect of it. This is why competence is the best form of leverage. Its yours, no one can take it away from you, and you can dial it up or down anytime you want.

2. You have to develop an alternative to what you want before delivering that threat. The stronger your alternative, the stronger your leverage. The more powerful your threat. Eg. Have an offer from a firm looking to hire you with better pay as an alternative if plan A fails.

So the ingredients for leverage is: Your competence to create asymmetry, & thus a weakness in your opponent. It presents an opportunity for you to exploit in exchange for what you want. You also have a powerful alternative to threaten them with, if they choose not to fold.

Competence is only one form of leverage, but a very powerful one. There are many other forms: networks, resource control, knowledge, etc, or the nefarious alternative of "not interrupting your opponent while he makes a mistake" - then leveraging it at the right time & place.

Always be subtle & goal orientated. Never be arrogant or show your power. Downplay your leverage. Display behaviours that seeks to maintain your relationship & reputation. Be subtle with your threat. You want to 'hint' at the negative consequences if your demands are not met.

You can use this technique on anyone to get what you want. 1. Create any form of value in need (strength). 2. To generate asymmetry in your favour relative to your opponent (weakness). 3.Find what you want (opportunity). 4.Develop a viable alternative to leverage it (threat).