Building a trusted reputation among decision-makers takes concerted effort over a long period of time. Damaging a trusted reputation, on the other hand, takes little effort and can be accomplished in less than a New York minute.
For 10 hilarious cautionary tales, check out Jim Diamond’s Stupidest Statements Awards of 2008.
I like the entries on Sarah Palin, Vijay Prakash and even Barack Obama. My favorite is the stupid statement by the editors of Wine Spectator. Apparently, they bestowed an “award of excellence” on Osteria L’Intrepido, a fake restaurant with a high-priced “reserve wine list” compiled from their own magazine. (Somebody was drinking the Kool-Aid.)
The moral here is simple. You are the company you keep, so monitor your chosen influencers. After all, even super-influencers can play the fool.