Trust No One.
You hear this one often enough right?
It holds true to a certain degree. The people that whine and complain about how they can't trust anyone in business just haven't realized and accepted the reality that everybody to some degree have their own agenda/motives behind each decision.
Take for example, even an "innocent" introduction for a friend into your own company, these thoughts may flash across your mind:
"Do I think this person does good work and has good work ethics so that I will not get in trouble for introducing him into the company? It's my reputation on the line here and what he does indirectly reflects on my performance as well."
How about an introduction to connect 2 businesses? Jim may ask Bob to connect him to Jane for a business deal. Bob considers his experience dealing with Jim in the past and also what impact this will have on his business relationship with Jane if Jim doesn't deliver on his business promise.
It's not really a "trust" issue we are debating here - it's more of an issue of whether you get how the business world works or not. What you need to do is understand the interests of the other party and evaluate whether they match or are complimentary with yours. If yes, great, you make a business connection; if not, then move on to the next potential. Remember, the key lies in the INTERESTS of both parties, it's up to you to uncover it; you whine about them not telling you outright what their interests are, well I'm here to tell you that 9 times out of 10 business breaks down because of "communication" issues. Have fun with that.
Every day, and I repeat, EVERY DAY, we are making these decisions, and we think through the consequences of making these business introductions, doing somebody a favor, because of their actions will impact our business reputation. YES. This means that the same goes for the person at the other side of the table.
Are you asking them for a favor? You can bet on the fact that they are evaluating what the impact is for their business and for themselves if they say yes or no.
So why be a hypocrite? If you are making business connections based on what these people can do or could potentially do for you in the future, why are you whining and complaining when they are also looking out for themselves?