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Excellent insights on paradox and trust, John.

I think there is tension between growth which requires trust and vulnerability and the forces of survival which tell us to 'trust no one' and 'depend on your own instincts'. Both forces are strong. But in demanding (e.g. current economic) times, most revert to survival mode. The circle of wagons draws closer, and our availability to build new, innovation-producing relationships is constrained.

When we need trust and help the most, our behavior blocks our access to it.

Hence, the paradox.

I think it is fundamentally a question of leadership to sustain a strong vision and messaging around growth, trust and, yes, vulnerability, when all the indicators are pointing to retrench and survive.

How am I vulnerable? I'm not good at spending quality time listening, which is a powerful way to build rapport with others who have value to share. I'm working on that. Part of it is going to blogs of others who tend to have profound things to say.

And look where that's brought me :)

Regarding your own story, you're right, childhood shyness can have profound effects on our adult selves. I have some personal passages in that chapter as well. But fortunately, it was a just chapter, and life has continued to inspire and inform. More recently, social technologies may at long last provide some powerful ways to message beyond those traditional hurdles.

Seems the ideas are flowing now .. !!

Thanks as always for the insights, John. Never a dull moment on the edge, especially since you seemed to have found the center of it!


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