Leverage is the ability to take a small amount of energy and convert it into a significantly higher value output. In finance, leverage is the ability to borrow money against a small amount in possession and use that borrowed money to grow the financial position. In a personal situation, its possible for one individual to have leverage over another by using a piece of information like a secret and threatening to publicize it in order to convince them to perform an action.
The internet also provides multiple forms of leverage over bottlenecks and gatekeepers that form in society. Throughout history, information in the form of human knowledge was locked away in books that few could gain access to for lack of reading abilities. After the invention of the printing press and when reading was a more common skill, books were expensive and hard to come by. In more recent times, universities were the gatekeepers of higher education or the depth of knowledge available to society.
But the internet has changed that. The internet provides anyone with a computer access the ability to learn from the entirety of human knowledge. It is the Library of Alexandria online.
Knowledge is one of the greatest forms of leverage a person can gain in life. So much information can be packed into our tiny little heads that provides exponential value to our lives.
As society transitions deeper into the digital age, information and our ability to leverage it will be the key form of value. Our ability to use information and social networks to bypass gatekeepers will create a new class of digital citizens. These digital citizens will be the creators of a new power structure for society. They are the influencers on social media evolved into a new form. Not just movie stars, but individuals with depth and breadth of knowledge of a multitude of fields. Intellectual polymaths of the internet.
The near future is the development of information filtration systems not simply created by algorithms but by people. Where influencers of the digital age are the filters of information. The primary and most active network nodes for a particular industry and field.
Becoming an active network node in a particular field is a core attribute for of a successful and influential digital citizen. Being an active network node is a new form of leadership. Digital leadership.