Oh sweet leverage. Is there a more insidious word in business today? Leverage is the crack cocaine of corporate speak. Once you've done it once, it's devilish difficult to stop. Everyone's a user, but nobody talks about it.
Leveraging used to be almost clandestine. Consultants huddled round the dim glow of a laptop in a windowless room would leverage themselves into a frenzy over their Powerpoint slides. In the cold light of day, they'd wander sunken-eyed into other corporations making do with 'use' until they could get their hands on some more leverage.
Then, it went mainstream. It's unclear whether consultants deliberately began supplying, or whether others stumbled on it. Either way it spread rapidly, a rampant addiction tearing through the business world.
Now it's so widely used, offices barely raise an eyebrow when a colleague leverages. People regularly, almost casually leverage. There are some who leverage without even knowing what they're doing. Young, first-jobbers will be leveraging within a week, sometimes before going forward, or synergising.
Despite the now common prevalence of leverage, some analysts believe it hasn't yet reached its full potential, that leverage can be further leveraged.
Slighted lovers may feel leveraged rather than used. Frequent users of leverage could become known as leveragers or leveragists and new employees could be made to go through a leveragising process.
It could become a collective noun for consultants or businessmen. A leverage of businessmen descended on the conference and leveraged their political leverage to impact the operational efficiencies of the catering department. Or perhaps, just ordered some more cake.
Leverage should be used, over-used, repeated and abused until all addicts become desensitized to its heady effects, until their tolerance is such that leverage has no power over them.
Only then will it disappear, back into the dismal hole where it belongs.