Monday, May 10

trust is a 2-way street

Although it'll be a few more weeks before I seriously begin The Big Hunt, I'm a big believer in infrastructure. When you architect things right, from the start, it's just a lot easier later. It is with such thoughts in mind (plus the independent recommendations of two people I trust) that I started developing my network using one of the latest tools: LinkedIn. I like their approach for a variety of reasons. When I meticulously perused my contact list, I chose (one by one) people with whom I've worked over the years, and thought "do I trust this person enough to give a recommendation?". They also make it easy to see how many degrees of separation is involved between you and someone else. This is akin to the proverbial cocktail party introduction: "Biff, I'd like you to meet Moondoggie ..."

One scary thing about this process is realizing (literally) how many thousand people I have worked with personally over the years. Some have been quick tasks, while others involved months (and even years) working together. After a few hundred (ha! I must be a slow learner) you begin to size up people quickly. Can they deliver? Are they reliable? Do they give everything their best shot? All of those things factor into the equation, and most don't make the cut.

One of my managers offered an inspiration once: trust is a 2-way street. If you don't trust someone, odds are very strong that the reverse is also true. It didn't dawn on me that I might not be always trustworthy; fascinating!

LinkedIn doesn't pretend to be all things to all people; other of these Social Network tools try to be a place where you arrange dates, golf partners and spelunking adventures, all at once. That tends to spread things too thin, IMHO. Heck, I don't even like a cellphone that also combines a camera and a PDA. I tend to want the best of each discrete component. Camera-PDA-phones make for the worst of all three.

No comments: