Over on the Church of the Customer Blog I read the following:

According to a survey of nearly 2,000 opinion leaders in 11 countries, it's "a person like me," meaning a friend or colleague. "A person like me" has dramatically surpassed previous answers of "doctors" and "academic experts" for the first time, according to the seventh-annual Edelman Trust Barometer.
In the U.S., trust in "a person like me" increased from 20% in 2003 to the current figure of 68%. Wow! And in what's sure to be a blow to some egos, the 2,000 respondents in the survey consider rank-and-file employees more credible than corporate CEOs.

When I first read this, I couldn't help but to think "Duh! Is anyone actually surprised by this?" And I still think that.

The situation has only been made worse by recent corporate scandals (Enron, WorldCom, etc). In every case, those high up in the company speak as if nothing is wrong, but their well hidden actions spoke far more loudly.

Of course, it's hard to argue that trust is an important part of friendship. So you're more apt to trust your friends (or people like them) than someone who probably wouldn't give you the time of day.

The lesson is that credibility must be earned. It doesn't come free with a fancy title and a big salary.

Posted by jzawodn at February 24, 2006 07:51 AM

Reader Comments
# Jeremy Cole said:

What's a "chuch" ? :)

on February 24, 2006 08:42 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

An unfortunate consequence of writing too early in the morning.

on February 24, 2006 08:44 AM
# Alex said:

This has interesting (and obvious) political ramifiations as well...

on February 24, 2006 08:45 AM
# George Luft said:

I think that's on reason (consequence?) for the blogging phenomenon. People want to hear what other people "just like them" think. Everyone has an area of expertise or passion that they can share and those contributions can enlighten us all.

on February 24, 2006 10:44 AM
# George Luft said:

of course, I meant to say "one reason..."

on February 24, 2006 10:45 AM
# Patrick Mullen said:

Trust is integal to friendship as well as leadership. It must be earned and maintained. People can get sidetracked with immediate gratifications like making a salary or obtaining a title and can forget things that really matter.

Many corporate CEOs were at one time rank-and-file employees or dirt poor entrepreneurs. Sometimes when they obtain their goals, they get prideful and don't give lesser mortals the time of day.

This is not a perfect world, nevertheless you can enjoy the friends and leaders who have earned your trust.

on February 25, 2006 11:32 AM
# Patrick Mullen said:

"integral" I mean (#!&$#!?) ....

on February 25, 2006 04:12 PM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.