1le·ver·age
noun \ˈle-və-rij, ˈlē-; ˈlev-rij, ˈlēv-\
Influence or power used to achieve a desired result

Leveraging a certification or contract means you are using influence or power to achieve a desired result. A key part of this formula is defining the influence or power elements and using those elements effectively as a catalyst to achieve something.  Every contract and certification has elements of influence and power that can be used to your advantage.  Below is a table to help you frame your thinking around certifications and contracts.

Contract or CertificationInfluence or PowerDesired Result
GSA SchedulePower of pre-negotiated and pre-approved ratesQuicker Government buying
8(a) CertificationPower of set-asidesSmaller, more homogenous pool of competition
Incumbent ContractInfluence of personal relationshipContinued incumbency

Back in January, I challenged you to assess and improve your corporate discriminators.  This can be seen as the second part of that exercise.  Please consider the above table as an example.  Your desired results, contracts and certifications, and influence and power elements are unique to your business.  I suggest that it would be a good use of your resources to complete a table for your company and acquaint everyone with it so that you can begin leveraging certifications and contracts.