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Communication in the Information Age The pace of our world is accelerating like never before. John P. Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) and a respected authority on leadership has stated that "In all of human history, there have only been two other socioeconomic revolutions of this magnitude: the move from hunting and gathering to agriculture and from agriculture to industry." As we transition from the industrial age to the information age, Leaders will play a significant role in how changes are perceived and implemented. Great leaders are able to instill a sense of stability during periods of rapid change through effective communication. Conveying clear guidance geared toward mission accomplishment and the establishment of a desired end-state is the hallmark of such leaders. Unfortunately, in many cases, technological advances appear to have replaced human interaction. David Thomas, another professor at (HBS) often discusses the "multimodality" of communication. Basically, what you say should mimic your behavior, actions and decisions. This is commonly referred to as, leadership by example. Technology has created a generation of minimalist leaders whom communicate solely through email. If leading from the front means being in front of your computer screen then I would say we have nothing to worry about. What happens when the power goes off? Knowing your Marines requires that you communicate directly with them. Try getting out from behind your desk and shaking hands with your Marines today. Take the time to ask them what they are doing this weekend, how's their family doing, or If you're one of those individuals that is more comfortable talking purely business ask them if they are PME complete and what they intend to achieve in the Corps. A recent study (as seen on WWLTV in New Orleans) indicates that by simply asking a person what they would like to achieve with the rest of their life, you may be able to help mitigate negative thoughts (which tend to lead to suicidal ideations) and encourage self-direction. A few years ago Spencer Johnson, M.D. wrote a bestseller entitled "Who Moved My Cheese?" Although the entire book can be read in about an hour, its impact


and popularity amongst successful managers has stood the test of time. The book emphasizes one's ability to deal with change. As leaders, how we perceive change; as either a setback or an opportunity, can set the tone for our organization. Remember, your peers and subordinates pay attention to your actions, especially when they differ from your words. Saying you care is worthless if your actions convey a totally different picture. Semper Fi, Sgt. Maj. Michael E. Sprague Force Headquarters Group Marine Forces Reserve


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