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Small Levers Lead to Big Change
2 min read

Small Levers Lead to Big Change

Small Levers Lead to Big Change

A few years ago, I had a chance to host Milind Soman as part of The Goa Project. We as a team were catching up beforehand and I remember asking him, what is the question that he gets asked often.

His Answer : how to lose weight, followed by how to become fit.

It's one of those, everyone aspires to be healthy and fit, but doesn't want to hear the answer that follows.

Every year, it is the resolution that gets made and broken even before january is over.

He had a slightly different view about it. He said forget about eating healthy or less or working out a lot and burning calories - unless you can sustain that lifestyle forever. If you do it for a short while, lose weight and feel great about it -  and then go back to your old routine, you are simply going to put on more weight than before.

His point : the more sustainable way is to think of the simple levers in life and change that.

I asked him what does he suggest instead. He said. Well simple "Go to bed early".

If you commit to this habit of going to bed early, you'll feel a bit bloated if you eat and go to bed, so you'll start the habit of eating a bit early. If you are going to bed early, you'll eventually stop hanging out with people who are staying up late, partying or eating junk food cause of alcohol cravings. If you go to bed early, chances are you'll end up waking up early and suddenly you'll find that you'll have a lot of time on your hands, you'll open the windows and find the air is so fresh and start going for walks, and eventually start running and soon you have a whole new habit going. You'll meet others who like you like running and then the habit sticks. It's as simple as picking a habit like - going to bed early.

You can also be radical and go the other way and say you want to wake up early - and you'll end up with a whole lot of similar habits. Where you might end up exercising or going for runs in the evening to tire your body to go to sleep early so that you can wake up early.

Perhaps that adage, early to bed, early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise, was profound.

That is what I call simple levers - simple goals that are sustainable and tends to have a domino effect on everything else. You even end up being happier, rather than considering it a chore or feeling reined in.

Things like these apply when it comes to the health of a startup too - the two simple metrics when it comes to a startup is, are we making more money and are we spending less money - which usually leads to profitability. But those austere measures can tire everyone within the org. Just like it happens with trying to lose weight or be fit.

Instead think about what it will take to build a healthy and happy organization - and most of all, happy customers. Figure out the simple levers that make far more nuanced and leveraged impact for you and your organization. Those things last - and the last man standing is usually what wins you the war.

Also Read: Archimedes vs Sisyphus

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