If you’ve done networking in the MS world you know about the trust options between domains, and one of the nice features of Windows Server are transitive trusts. If A trusts B and B trusts C, then A trusts C. Technical stuff, but I want to talk about the other kind of network, the people kind.
It’s one of the things that might be obvious, but for most people I don’t think they get the value of trust and how it transfers. For example, last year I had someone that I knew call me asking for some help with a project. He had a good idea of my skills, interests, and personality, and thought it would be a good fit. That he thought I would be a good fit in turn interested me, and so I took at a look at some work that I would have not have otherwise.
He set up the meeting – call it an interview, but not the average interview,because there were no technical questions. The questions were about interacting with teams and dealing with constraints,clearly things that mattered to them as much as the technical skills. My friend had vouched for my skills and that good enough for them. The worst that could happen (and which indeed would be bad all around) was that my friend was wrong.
It wasn’t patronage, my friend wasn’t the hiring manager or even on that team, though he did interact with the team. What he had, accrued over several years, was trust he had heard within the company. That makes him the “”B” in the A trusts B trusts C equation.
The results were more interesting. I was coming in to fix some serious problems, and I was replacing a person that had been brought in on a true temporary basis to fill the tap while they looked for someone that could be there for a longer period. We overlapped by two weeks, and on his last day he asked if I had worked with the company before. Why? Because from the first day I had a line at my cube, people explaining problems and asking questions. Why the line? My friend told them that I would help them. Because of that I was instantly connected in a way that the temp (no doubt with equal skills) never was. All because of trust, or a connection if you prefer.
My catch phrase for this is that “good people know good people”. Be trustworthy and it can open some amazing doors.