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Leading in an Age of Information Overload

The importance of an information fast.

Pity your poor mail carriers. Their shoulders must burn under the mailbag strap as they haul each day's mail to your desk. On a recent day, chosen at random, my mail drop included:

• A brochure promising (for only $1,495) an "intensive, hands-on workshop" from which you "go back to your office with a complete solution-oriented plan."

• A four-page flyer (see the metallic inks shine!) pointing me to a Web site that will give me "innovation, perspective, and impact."

• A packet of six book reviews, which left me feeling vaguely guilty about all the great books I should be reading but haven't read and probably won't. (About this time, a whiny little voice whispered in my ear, "And you call yourself a leader?")

I dropped the mail and booted up my laptop — and found seventeen e-mails in my inbox.

Even to live in our Age of Information is hard; to lead in our Age of Information is even harder. How can you keep up? Learn what's important? Filter out what's not? Grow as a person? ...

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