Trustworthy? It’s all about endorsement

Trust in our leaders these days seems to be dropping faster than the Dow. From lies about WMDs in Iraq to fabricated balance sheets to elaborate Ponzi schemes, the trust we placed in elected and corporate executives to protect us has been shattered. 

Corporate executives have lied to shareholders, and then Congress, only to receive bailout money which they choose to spend on bonuses, parties, and elaborate office remodeling. Public officials are nominated to the highest positions in our country only to find out they lied about their taxes, domestic affairs, and lobbying.

The question everyone seems to be asking today is: who can you trust? 

That very question in mostly indirect ways is cropping up everywhere I look – especially blogs and discussion boards in LinkedIn.  The opinions about values, ethics, integrity and the like are as plentiful as the people writing them. But the discussion of trust and endorsement has a relevance well beyond leadership. Social networking is growing exponentially.  Reid Hoffman, the CEO of
in a CNN interview this past Monday said that his site has a new signup every single second. But joining a network and earning the right to receive genuine recommendations requires that trust be created. 

Bob Littell created a term for this: netweaving. According to Littell, netweaving is 180 degrees different from networking. Networking is seeking to sell to others. With netweaving, the focus is on the other person. Netweaving is seeking to help others.

Netweaving is all about gaining (of giving) endorsement. To understand endorsement I have to turn no further than my mentor and friend Judy Suiter. 

Continue reading this week's newsletter


Ira S Wolfe


  1. Land Job March 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm -

    The thing that makes it worse is that these lies have been happening for so long that the world is literally throwing up right now from it. i love how these politicians tells u that it will be back on the up and up by the end of the year. More lies.