The 3 C’s of modern currency – The 3rd ‘C’

Common: Underestimating the impact of communication, community, and creativity in the digital age.

Uncommon: From part 1: “Many changes today are creating completely new social and interpersonal consequences and some are merely amplifying age-old tenets of success.  What is most often overlooked, however, is where the new and the old collide. Amidst the change, I see three timeless principles increasing in importance and impacting our personal and professional lives in new ways. I call these factors the 3 C’s of modern currency.”

Here is the third factor in the 3-part series…

#3 – Collaboration

We live in a global village—a place whereby people can connect, share, and influence each other in ways never thought possible. And it’s those who most effectively engage with one another who will enjoy the personal and professional benefits.

Since we’re part of this large “village,” there is little point in venturing through life—and its many challenges, opportunities, and projects—alone. In fact, it’s counter productive to do so. There is an old African proverb that states: “If you want to go fast, travel alone. If you want to go far, travel together.”

If you’re reading this, I assume you’d like to go far. But bear in mind, this proverb was stated long before modern developments. We now have technology that not only allows us to travel far, but faster. This has leveled many playing fields in unforeseen ways while speeding up the implications of social Darwinism. And the effects only add credence to Darwin’s assertion: “It is the long history of humankind, that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

It’s time to not only acknowledge but embrace the idea that no one is smarter than everyone. It’s nearly impossible to compete with a community of passionate and empowered individuals feeding from each other’s energy, insights, and connections. We need to start thinking about how these global and local communities can inspire us, offer uncommon feedback/insight, and perhaps even lessen our workload.

There are countless opportunities for collaboration available, but they won’t find you. The greatest benefits are reserved for those who actively think about how they can add and extract value from their surrounding communities.


Among the many great tools out there, here are a few with broad appeal and application that may get your collaborative wheels turning:

Information & project collaboration:

  • GoogleDocs: Create documents, spreadsheets and presentations in the cloud with the ability to share with many users, while communicating live with team members and editing documents in real time.
  • DropBox: A file synchronization/backup service. No need to remember to upload or download the latest copy. No forgetting your thumbdrive, or forgetting to burn that file to CD/DVD. The latest version of your file will be on any computer attached to your account, automatically. Personally, I have come to rely heavily on DropBox, running each of my businesses using its software.
  • Wunderlist: An application that allows you to organize your to-do lists on the go and synchronize them with your free Wunderlist account. View and modify your tasks on Windows, Mac, iPad, Android and the Web. This app also allows users to share selected to-do lists with others.
  • Basecamp: web-based application that lets you set milestones, send and receive messages, set tasks and to-dos for members of your team, track time on each to-do list and person, upload and download files, set up writeboards, and chat between team memebers.
  • Project2Manage: Messaging, To-do Lists, Reminders, Spot2Jot, File Management and Time Tracking. create documents with your team members. It will automatically save old versions of a document so you won’t lose data due to accidental changes.
  • Dabbleboard: web-based application for collaborative brainstorming, create wire frames of your user interface, draw flow charts, and create network diagrams, among other thing

Labor outsourcing & management:

  • Fivrr: The place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5. Buy. Sell. Have fun.
  • Task Rabbit: TaskRabbits are your own nearby and accessible personal assistants cleaning your home, delivering groceries, running errands, building IKEA furniture, etc.
  • Odesk: global job marketplace and a series of tools targeted at businesses that intend to hire and manage remote workers.
  • Elance: provides an Internet virtual marketplace for freelancers and freelance agencies to negotiate work contracts with businesses that hire independent professionals and agencies.


  • Skype: software that allows users to make voice calls, text message, and screenshare over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system.
  • Shareflow: Lets you share ideas, files and more with a specific group without the hassles and confusion of long group email threads. A simple way to discuss complex project-related ideas.
  • Meetingburner: Fast and quality online screensharing. Text messaging and voice chat are also available.
  • Writeboard: Create shareable, web-based text documents that let you save every edit, roll back to any version and easily compare changes.

We’re not alone in today’s global village so we shouldn’t act like we are. Many of our projects and challenges can be more effectively handled through the three C’s: communication, community, and collaboration.

Leaders are not hermits—they frequently engage with others to inspire new thoughts, perspectives, techniques, and also summon the support and interest to help see ideas through. Are you a leader?

Whether it’s a school assignment, a business project, an entrepreneurial pursuit, an inquisitive question, a pet project, a hobby, or a personal goal, there are infinite ways to capitalize on the countless tools available to engage others and improve your results while having fun in the process.

Reflection questions:

  • How many times do I ask myself, “How can I use the leverage of my surrounding communities to increase my efficiency and improve my end result?”
  • Am I the best person to do this task or am I better off collaborating and/or outsourcing this?
  • What am I doing to learn about new collaborative tools that become available that could improve my productivity and creativity?
  • Am I spending the majority of my time working on and benefiting from my core strengths? If not, how can I use collaborative tools to help me focus more on my personal strengths?
  • How are leaders in my industry and/or my competitors streamlining their communication and boosting collaboration?
  • How often do I engage with people on “the edge”—those who challenge me to question my habitual thought, take risks, and innovate?
  • What value am I offering to those in my communities? Am I reciprocating?

I hope you enjoyed this 3 part series. Be sure to read the 1st “C” and 2nd “C.”

Your thoughts?

What are your thoughts on the topic? Post your comments below.

Stay uncommon,

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