2020 Vision: My Three Words #My3Words
Leadership – Journalism – Community
Spend enough time with social media, newspapers, TV news or politics and you’ll quickly see the dearth of leadership. Sure there are people in titled positions of authority but they are managers at best and demagogues at their worst. Despite all the social media platforms, we lack the politically neutral, individual preference driven curation that existed in the early days of a free and open internet. Today, with fewer editors & more communication channels, we are overwhelmed with text and images and must pause to wonder whether someone is pitching us or truly delivering fair and independent reporting on any subject. We need more editors and writers that take the high road putting the best of a human community first and willing to consider dialogue and compromise. We need collaboration even if we can’t insure consensus.
The media, as almost all means of communication have become, are thought of more like broadcast loudspeakers. One needs to look to the source. There are fewer editors and fact checkers and little incentive to provide a forum for different voices on any one channel. There’s a national election coming up and it’s going to be noisy and nasty because of self-interest and a general mistrust of everyone and everything. If we are equally divided, we will fail as a community.
2020 is anything but perfect vision – in business and in life. If we are going to make this new year work, we’re going to need to grab onto and hold tightly to the civility and collaboration that marked earlier times in our modern world.
With 2020 as an election year, I’ve chosen three words to guide me (a best practice from Chris Brogan). Guidance is better than resolutions that barely make it past the New Year’s Day resolve. Here are mine:
Community– Nobody can really effect significant change all by themselves. We need mentors, advocates and champions to help us be successful. A rising tide lifts all boats but it is important that we make space for the full fleet of the humanity that sits in our harbor. Competitive spirit is great but focusing on “winners vs. losers” isn’t good for what we call community.
Journalism – There is a real need and opportunity for the convergence of community and journalism. We build stronger communities one story at a time. Today, our sense of trust is continually at risk. With social media, as with traditional news media links, what we are exposed to and what we read tend to become our take on reality. Professional journalists doing deep research, validating sources and explaining information and options clearly can re-establish trust within communities. Local, reliable and independent community news & information is democracy’s best protection. Which brings me to…
Leadership – Whether we think of leadership as an organizational Chief Executive Officer or a community news editor, someone has to take responsibility for direction and allowable behavior. A good leader encourages good behaviors including teamwork and individual accountability. Managers on the other hand are often thought of as functionaries following the procedures and driving to the goals they are given. Good goals are set by good leaders and great results come from great leadership.
Put these three words together when you think about the year 2020 and you’ll have the toolkit to deliver better results and happier organizations. Community is all of us. We are all in this together.