Leveraging Our Impact

As I work with individuals and organizations to get them moving I find the notion of “leveraging” somewhat foreign and difficult to grasp.

Because we have a tendency to view activities or responsibilities as discreet sets of actions, we often move on to the next project before realizing our potential impact. This speaks to our natural tendency to cross items off of our proverbial lists, and look ahead rather than dwelling on what is already done. While these tendencies are understandable, they can greatly restrict the potential movement that could be realized if we took the time to reflect on our efforts and parlay them into bigger and higher-level actions and ideas. And since so much energy goes into our tasks both in our personal and professional lives, failing to leverage represents a loss in efficiency and output.

Interestingly, I find that leveraging is most powerful when we are working toward some higher goal or ideal that has a humanitarian or civic focus. If we try to push our individual actions and accomplishments higher, we will eventually hit a ceiling if we are only focusing on ourselves or our material gains. But if we set a mission that includes larger community impacts, it allows us to always look ahead at what we can accomplish toward the greater good. It’s amazing how this broader vision can transform us, giving us courage and strength to put ourselves out there, to take risks, and to push ourselves beyond our natural tendencies and limitations. This broader vision also allows us to become more effective as leaders, helping us to “stand for something” which is sorely needed in the world. Putting this into motion does not necessitate taking on the world’s problems or committing to a life of charity, but by simply widening our lens beyond our immediate selves or families, we can boost our power to be more impactful and courageous.

Has anyone experienced this first hand?……..

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About mbhuber2013

convener and co-founder of BTEP, instructor for Tanzania Study Abroad course; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at University at Buffalo

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