Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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The Thriving Essentials Series: Episode 9


Influence. Enhance. Hold. Raise. Grasp. Use of power to achieve a desired result.
These terms describe leverage. So, is leverage good or bad?
Well, it depends!

When most of us hear or read the word leverage, we probably think of it from a mechanical or financial perspective. Specifically, a lever raising a heavy load, such as a car. Or the use of credit to enhance the speculative capacity of a person, as defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
In business, a leader may encourage a sales team to keep their eyes on the ball because, after months of hard work, they have established a strategic connection that gives them a distinct advantage in the marketplace. Or a manager may coach an employee to use her business acumen to differentiate herself in the workplace and gain a promotion. Essentially, we think of leverage as an asset or something that benefits us, and it often does. However, this is not always the case. How so, you may ask! Let us explore!


When leverage works against us

Leverage is beneficial to those who have it. However, there are times when we do not have leverage. Instead, others or other things have leverage on us, and it puts us at risk.
Reading this, you may recall the obnoxious manager who constantly takes credit for your work or the neighbor who secretly takes advantage of the fruit trees in your yard to make assorted pies for himself. Such situations wherein one attempts to diminish or rob another are undoubtedly challenging and may leave one feeling victimized. But the worst kind of leverage is when we hold onto something to protect ourselves and holding on leads to our detriment. Now, you may be wondering, what could such a thing be? – Grasping a vine of poison ivy when uncontrollably tumbling down a slope? That would certainly be a misfortune, but I am referring to something different here: Something that may not initially cause physical discomfort but will surely damage our hearts if we do not let go. Unfortunately, it is also familiar to most. – It is bitterness or persistent anger and resentment at being unfairly treated.

We all know the word bitterness and are probably familiar with what it feels like. You know The emotion that creeps up when someone offends you and henceforth consumes your thoughts as you take great delight in dreaming of their downfall. Yep! That is bitterness. As we are all familiar with the sentiment, we know that the only way to rid ourselves of the vine of bitterness is to let go of the vine by forgiving. 
Therefore, today, I will not go down the path of forgiveness, but to explore further, you may read A Vital Release! Meanwhile, we will touch on the potent benefit of letting go of bitterness.

Letting go of the bitter vine

First, suffice it to say when we let go of pain and hurt, we do not lose control. Instead, we regain our power. – This is the paradoxical value of letting go of bitterness. Although we know this is true, we may still struggle to do so. Furthermore, we may justify harboring bitterness in our hearts by telling ourselves that we are not deliberately doing anything to hurt those who offended us. This tendency shows up from an early age when a pupil rejoices as they watch the chocolate ice cream cone of the classmate who teased them splatter on the playground. Thrilled at the misfortune that has befallen their nemesis, they may mutter under their breath, “Serves them right!”
Many parents tell their kids not to find joy in the downfall of others. Yet, as adults, we do the same. – This may happen when we smirk because an annoying colleague botched their presentation or did not receive a promotion.

The folly of rejoicing at the downfall of others

Ironically, if a classmate loses their sweet treat on a playground and a coworker delivers a suboptimal presentation, though it hurts them, it does not benefit us. Worse yet, hanging onto bitterness and longing for their demise is like slowly sipping venom and crawling to an inevitable end. Indeed, as was wisely said by many like St. Augustine and Nelson Mandela, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
While hanging onto a bitter vine might satisfy our most shallow selves, it is a pathway of thorns on the path to thriving. And when we harbor bitterness, we cannot thrive.
Friend, the worthwhile question is: What has leverage on you and is holding you back? And what could happen if you released the latch?

Over the next few weeks, as we enjoy all that the spring season has to offer, I hope you let go of past hurts and embrace opportunities to grow and thrive.

Until next time!

For you and to you,



Image credit: Pexels | DS Stories



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