I Must (Re)Learn to TRUST

In my recent reading about networks and the future of work, I have seen the word ‘trust’ flash like a lighthouse. Here are just a few quotes I have recently squirreled away.

Seth Godin says: “The connection economy isn’t based on steel or rails or buildings. It’s built on trust and hope and passion.

Stowe Boyd talks of the need for ‘swift trust’ in the future of work.

Harold Jarche, meanwhile, believes “Connected leadership starts by organizing to embrace networks, manage complexity, and build trust.

Nilofer Merchant, in a great Wired article, has this to add: “Relationships are to the social era, what efficiency was to the industrial era. And we all remember what relationships are built on, don’t we? Trust.”

I could include a thousand more references. Another comes from the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge, who, in setting up a skeleton political party that stormed the European Parliament elections recently, talks a lot about trust – trust in colleagues translating the vision out through the network, rather than relying on the central systematized approach.

So, I have been thinking about how trust exists in a network of people who are often unrelated, have never met, where there is no commercial prearrangement for participation. [Indeed, I belong to a couple of such networks, in the Yammer Customer Network; and in Change Agents Worldwide.]

Like the Prisoner’s Dilemma I wrote about recently, it seems that the best results arrive when people – everyone – approaches the network with an open mind and an open heart, participating with the expectation that others will do likewise.

We need to (re)learn to trust others. This idea makes many people skeptical. These people will not survive net work.

More poignantly, I realize, this trust starts with ourselves. We must (re)learn to trust that our own participation adds value within the network. This idea makes many people scared. This fear is something we need to get over, to deal with.

Godin makes the same point in the blog post linked above.

The fourth lie is that we’re not afraid.

We’re afraid.

Afraid to lead, to make a ruckus, to convene. Afraid to be vulnerable, to be called out, to be seen as a fraud.

We need our own approach, in moving toward others, arms out wide, asking “How can I help?” If we do this, there WILL be people on the other side of the embrace; people who WILL reciprocate.

←This Much We Know.→

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