The insanely simple key to boost your leverage is to consistently collect the right “rain checks” from smart people.
Warning: Insanely simple only refers to the understanding of this concept and not the implementation of the concept. In life, to get real results, you have to pay real price. No shortcuts there.
Let us go through the concept in detail.
I have said it many times on my blog that the most powerful force on earth is the power of reciprocation. Capitalizing on it the right way would open a ton of possibilities for you and your business. I said the “right” way because the wrong way would be for you to wait for someone to help you and then you activate the power of reciprocation to help them back. That would not hurt but it rarely is as helpful as the other way around.
The Core Concept
First part of the concept is to trigger a feeling of reciprocation
Your goal has to be proactive in doing something first that would trigger a feeling of reciprocation from the world. That “doing something” has to be meaningful enough for that feeling to be meaningful enough.
As in any such thing in life, there is a range of possibilities for you to trigger the power of reciprocation. Let us go through the stack on the power scale.
1. Tiny Random or Designed Acts of Kindness:
You can start small by doing either random acts of kindness or you could adopt a routine where you are doing designed acts of kindness. At the lowest level, these will look like common sense or common courtesy or as you move up on the value chain, they will start looking like “uncommon caring.” Uncommon not in the value but because most other people are super busy and absorbed in their own world to care enough about others.
2. Measurable Impact:
At the next level, there is a measurable impact for the other person either for their business or their life. Measurable is the keyword. It is not a feel good thing. It has to pass the “third party test” meaning when they share how you helped them to a third party, they should be able to explain the “real value” you added. If they stop at explaining how good you made them feel, it is only a good start and at best you might get some motivational speaking gigs later in life but the needle would not have moved to matter much.
3. Positive Change in the Trajectory of Their Life:
What’s better than the two before is that you change the trajectory of where they are going in a positive fashion. Changing the trajectory has immediate AND long-term benefits. They see immediate value with the positive shift in something that’s close to them and in the long-term, they will see that they ended up in a much better place than they would have been without you.
The epitome of this is to enrich someone’s life. We are all on a search – a search for meaning in our lives. Through choosing to enrich other people’s lives, you add meaning to both their life and your own. How do you know you are truly enriching someone’s life? There is a litmus test for that. You can download this one pager (for FREE) on enrichment here and I have outlined the litmus test there.
Note: There is a reason why I have not included the litmus test here. I have only touched enrichment at a superficial level and before you go on to see what the litmus test is, I want you to read the missing discussion on this topic and only then the test makes sense.
That’s the first part – triggering reciprocation.
The second part is easier than the first part. When they do offer to reciprocate, you can simply say, I will take a rain check. This means you might go back to them some day for some help or you will allow them to help you someday but today, you just will be happy to collect a rain check.
Just so that we set the expectations right, most of these rain checks you will never cash EVER. You can read more about the reasons here – How to get your network working.
That point is not just about capitalizing on the overwhelming collective force of reciprocation being available to you as a reservoir. That will DEFINITELY help. It is hard to fail if you have an over-supply of good help on our side.
During this entire journey, just the act of collecting rain checks would boost your capacity so much that you will notice a boost in your leverage without a single person doing anything back to you.
Check out an entire course (by invitation only for now) on the topic at The Art of Leverage.