Holy cow, I wrote a book!
At Microsoft, leverage is not a term of physics whereby a force
can be magnified by the application of mechanical advantage.
It is also not a term of finance whereby the power of a small amount
of money can be magnified by the assumption of debt.
In fact, at Microsoft, the word leverage
isn't even a noun. It is a verb:
to leverage, leverages, leveraging, leveraged,
Oh, and it has nothing to do with magnification.
Here are some citations:
How do I leverage a SiteMap?
Allow advertising partners to leverage
this resource for providing targeted advertising links.
Leverage existing design to power other designs
Do we have documents on how Windows 95 can leverage
Windows 2000 Active Directory?
At Microsoft, to leverage means to take advantage of,
or in many cases, simply to use.
Verbal use of the word leverage
appears to be popular outside of Microsoft as well,
such as this headline from eWeek:
How to Leverage IT to Speed RandD Innovation.
But can you do this:
At Microsoft you can leverage people.
Alice, does Bob perform any component-Foo testing?
Charles can be leveraged to actually execute tests if Donald
can drive him with these asks. Let me know.
That snippet was a whirlwind of Microspeak,
with the passive form of the verb to leverage,
plus to drive and the plural