If the world you live in has anything to do with content or expertise, it’s likely you’re in for a shock. You might be there already.

Let me explain.

About four decades ago a media theorist named Alvin Toffler predicted that the coming digital revolution would come with a price:

The rate and scale of change would produce culture shock.

His prediction was that this shock would be akin to the kind you’d experience if you got on an airplane and visited a strange place with radically different customs, social norms, and weird food.

That shock is happening here and now. It’s a whole pile of distraction and noise that pummels us. And it’s pummeling those we’re trying to reach, teach, and lead.

The consequence? It’s befuddling and disconcerting, and many of us are downright exhaustipated (too tired to give a crap).

Here’s the good news:

There is a universal constant in humanity that transcends technology and change and uncertainty and noise: We all want and need to be wanted and needed.

In other words, the charge to reach, teach, and lead includes a weapon that is no secret but oft forgotten: The highest form of influence, education, and leadership you can wield is a real, authentic connection. Your voice. Your insight. Your meaning-making.

Be wary, however.

Talking about meaning and purpose and authenticity isn’t what gets you with people who move numbers instead of moving hearts and minds.

Despite mountains of evidence that people that experience a sense of purpose, autonomy, and self-directed mastery equate to the real productivity that will turn the head of any profit-driven executive.

That’s just a tad ironic, don’t you think?

When the consumers of your content appreciate you, your voice, your insight, and the fact that you genuinely give a rip about them, they’re more likely to pay attention, more likely to trust you, and more likely to take action on what they learn from you.