The term comes from physics. A “fulcrum” is a rigid object that is used in conjunction with a lever to multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object. This gives you leverage. Common examples of a fulcrum + lever are:
- Curved end of a crowbar when you extract a nail
The fulcrum may be at the center point of the lever, as with a seesaw, or at any point between where you are pushing and the object you are moving.
The term leverage is also used in the world of finance. If you borrow some money and invest it in your own business or in a stock and you reap a financial return that is greater than the loan plus interest, you have gained leverage on that borrowed money.
We apply this same image to gaining leverage on your investment in your employees. You invest in an employee’s salary, benefits and other costs related to having that individual in your employ. If the value of this employee’s output (performance) is greater than the amount you invested in him or her, you have gained leverage on your investment in the individual. And, of course, the more productive he/she is, the greater the leverage on your investment in him or her.
The key to gaining maximum leverage on your investment in people is to invest in building the capacity of:
- Your managers and
- Your teams
Research clearly shows that the more skilled and effective your managers are as leaders, the more productive their staff will be. Likewise, the more effectively and smoothly your teams function, the greater the quality and quantity of their output. In both cases, the leverage on your investment increases.
Your managers and teams are your fulcrums! Just as in physics you shift the fulcrum along the lever to move an object, investing in the skills and effectiveness of your managers and your teams will result in your people performing at a higher level.
Contact us to find out how a customized leadership development program or a team building facilitation can boost your bottom line.