The world is in chaos. How can you tell fact from fiction?
I'm old enough to remember a time before the internet, a time when so-called professional journalists, editors and fact checkers decided what "truth" got told on the news and in magazines and journals. The truth back then was like the truth right now–subject to the perspective and intentions of the people telling it. Back then there was just a lot less of it.
Strong belief has become an acceptable proxy.
Today there are no gate keepers. Anyone can post anything, say anything and write anything, sincerely believing it's the truth, and supporting their positions with "facts". Often these facts reference other facts from other posts without a review of the original source material. Some of these are legitimate physical facts like gravity and chemistry. They are true whether or not we believe them. Some are what Norman Mailer called "true facts". They are true because we all have agreed that they are true, even if they are not. Some are manipulations of statistical reason making something appear true and some are just fanciful delusions. We want them to be true so we ignore the little voice in the back of our heads. Opinion, evidence and hypothesis are hard to distinguish. Within this overwhelming messy pile of information, the audience has to decided for itself.
Credibility and trust are relational currencies.
If you are leading a team, your job is to interpret what's going on in the world and in your business as best you can, knowing full well that you operate from unconscious biases that greatly affect your judgement. While it's tempting to fight to be in the right, your leadership must provide a workable context for your team who is struggling to make sense of the situation in order to make good strategical and tactical decisions.
Company and personal brand matter.
As a leader you often give direction to team members looking for guidance on how to accomplish some task. You are also selling your ideas and brand: the vision and purpose of which that task is an integral part. It's hard to separate the selling and the guidance.
Most people are drinking from a fire hose right now and are saturated with information. There are two aspects of your communication worth paying attention to whether you are marketing or managing. The first is your cadence (how fast or slow you present) and the second is your density (how deep or shallow you go).
Effective leaders communicate at the speed and depth of the follower.
The function of your operating system is to complete tasks that generate results. The people you lead all have different learning styles, aspirations and emotional needs. Some do very granular and detailed work, others more abstract and conceptual. Some make decisions quickly with hardly any information, others are careful to get a full understanding before they act.
Effective leadership is to leave your audience motivated to act. This is only possible if you connect them with purpose, give them a clear direction and avoid an overwhelming dump of information. You and your message can become infectious by optimizing your cadence and your density.
Vision and purpose provide the context for constructive action.