The competence of those in your professional (and personal) network can oftentimes be validated by very simple tests. Consider the following.
I need to get a 2LB package sent from a small town in Peru to the capital, Lima.
I am not in Lima and need someone there that can receive the package and send it to me in a different country.
1. Provide me a mailing address in Lima.
2. Receive the package.
3. Mail it to an international address that I have sent them.
4. Tell me the shipping cost so I can reimburse them..
These tasks come up frequently and when I have to think "Who can I count on to pull this off", I discount a lot of people. Some may get the task done, but it would be delayed and require a lot of phone calls/emails.
Don't underestimate the % that can't. Plenty of smart/ideas people are just not organized enough to pull this off.
A while back, we had to hire someone in Miami to pass out flyers. To qualify, they had to call me at a given number at 4PM next day. It took us quite a few failed attempts to get the team in place.
Make sure you can pass these tests yourself. And maintain strong relationships with those who pass these tests in your network.