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3 core communication concepts for the 21st century

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Leadership in the 21stC is different in kind than leadership in the 20thC.

Presently, we live in the time of ‘organized chaos’ – not the ‘static linearity’ of the past. No lollapalooza; yet, when it comes right down to it – what does a 21stC leader focus on day-to-day?

A leader of the 21stC – much like a leader of the 20thC – focuses on three core communication concepts, which are the crux of decision-making; namely, choice, change and control (CCC).*

There is, however, a noticeable difference between the two leaders’ foci.

Focusing on CCC in the 21stC is like keeping your eye on a husk of jackrabbits scampering dizzily across the woodland. The 20thC’s focus on CCC was like eyeing a bulls-eye on a standing target.

In other words, the choices we have, the changes we make and the controls we use are conditional in the 21stC. It depends on…WIGO (what is going on).

To master decision-making in an ‘it depends’ organizational ecosystem – where CCC is chaotic, yet nevertheless, moving toward an organized whole, you’ll need to:

1. Develop agility. Agility is the key to discovering the way to open doors that appear closed. Look for more than one way to accomplish your goal. Agility can be developed. Practice before the stakes are high.

2. Respond to CCC – clearly. Clarity flows from understanding the choices, changes and controls in the particular. Clarity makes all things simple. Respond clearly and decision-making will become simple -- to you and others.

3. Make decisions that are yours to make. ‘Know thyself’ as Socrates said means ‘know thy boundaries’ in the 21stC. Decide, reflect and learn.

The 21stC needs you – every one of you to be leaders. Take the challenge.

*CCC can be applied to Daniel Goleman’s three kinds of focus as described in his recent book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, 2013. Goleman's three kinds of focus are 1) Inner Focus; 2) Other Focus; and 3) Outer Focus. The structure of focus is built on CCC – no matter its direction. Leaders are continually grappling with CCC. Mastery of CCC and therefore, decision-making, is a chaotic learning process; artisan, in nature.

Organizational communication maven by day. Food, wine and beer buff by night. World traveler. Entrepreneurial spirit. Contact Eroca Gabriel, a former Fortune 100 ‘people and culture’ consultant, at



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