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> I could never quite tell if they understood what I was saying.

Still it seems this is just coming down to communication. Is it possible that the less successful ones were doing things in areas where you personally had less expertise? Perhaps your advice was impractical or irrelevant, but they felt intimidated into silence rather than feeling they could discuss the problems honestly and see how the advice could be adapted.

You are (unconsciously) giving me far too much credit.

I don't think anyone I've ever considered competent or successful would be "intimidated into silence."

Silent resignation to authority? Sure.

Intimidated because PG's advice was impractical or irrelevant?

I can't even imagine such a thing. If anything I'd be emboldened by impractical or irrelevant advice!

It's sort of like in boxing when you take the first punch and realize, that wasn't so hard. I can do this. I belong here.

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