The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

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Senteo Rating 2.5
04/27/23
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Author:Stephen M. R. Covey
04/27/23
views 12921
comments0
Author:Stephen M. R. Covey
DIAMOND
RATING
Senteo Rating 2.5

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
Stephen M. R. Covey, Free Press, 2006
Senteo’s Review information

“The Speed of Trust” is authored by Stephen M.R. Covey – a prolific advisor, keynote speaker and a son of another famous speaker and business educator Stephen R. Covey.

The book’s premise is that trust is increasingly becoming more and more important for our society in general, and for business in particular. Thus, focusing of improving trust can and will be beneficial for any business in almost any situation — from process improvement to customer relations and B2B transactions.

The book describes a simple formula — “When trust goes up, speed is also up, and costs are down”, pinpointing the importance of trust for any business development. The author then declines the opinion that trust cannot be improved, and proposes his own approach — “5 Waves of Trust”, which follow and improve on one another in a sort of “ripple effect”. This approach divides the book into corresponding chapters.

The 1st Wave consists of Self-Trust, and can be improved by focusing on “4 Cores of Credibility” — Integrity, Intent, Capabilities and Results. The 2nd Wave is Relationship Trust, and can be enhanced by adopting 13 particular behaviors common to high-trust leaders across the world. The 3rd Wave is “Organizational Trust”, which needs a key component — “Alignment” — to create and maintain structures of trust within an organization. High organizational trust can bring 7 particular dividends — increased value, accelerated growth, enhanced innovation, improved collaboration, stronger partnering, better execution, and heightened loyalty, while low organizational trust comes with 7 “trust taxes” — redundancy, bureaucracy, politics, disengagement, turnover, churn and fraud. The 4th Wave is “Market Trust”, which consists of business’ reputation on the market, and can be worked on by investing in your brand and focusing on the same “4 Cores of Credibility”. The 5th and final Wave is the “Societal Trust”, which is defined by one’s contribution to the wider society.

To complement this approach, the author integrates his father’s — Stephen R. Covey’s — notion of the “Emotional Bank Accounts”, depicted in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. As such, building one’s trustworthiness also improves one’s relations with other people by putting positive emotions in their “Emotional Bank Accounts”.

Finally, Covey introduces a concept of “Smart Trust” to underline the most effective “sweet spot” between distrust and blind trust, built on reliable judgement that consists of deep analysis and high propensity.

The book is certainly easy and entertaining to read, with many quotes and anecdotes from a variety of topics — from author’s personal experience, business cases, world history, and many more.

Developing one’s trustworthiness using Covey’s described approach is seemingly straightforward, and is applicable to many parts of one’s life — to personal relationships, status in society, and, indeed, to the business world. Reflecting on author’s advice, in addition to being entertaining, can be important and quite useful for common people, CEOs, managers, HR personnel, and many others.

Indeed, his advice is most useful for people who are just starting to work on themselves, their relationships with others, their status in society and their businesses. In that regard, “The Speed of Trust” can serve as a great introduction to the wider world of personal development and leadership. Stephen M. R. Covey’s other books can serve as a continuation of that path — his “Smart Trust” further elaborates on this namesake concept, while “Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash the Greatness in Others” deals with the combination of trust and leadership capabilities and practices.

The author uses an extraordinary number of personal anecdotes and stories from his professional career to support his claims and his theory, but does not provide any concrete and useful case studies. Moreover, there is almost no connection between Covey’s approach to trust and the real business world, with its multitude of business models, management theories, HR approaches, risk management strategies, and many more nuances. Most of the advice offered in this book, especially regarding “Market Trust” and “Organization Trust” can be considered mundane, lacking in complexity, or somewhat obvious.

Some claims made in the book are also questionable, and the author does little to address potential questions and worries. Many complex issues are described as the results of trust problems, without really delving deeper or looking at a broader picture. For example, Covey claims that trade unions and unionization in general are the problems that stem from the lack of trust and can be solved by promoting trust — without really supporting his claims or providing a bigger picture of such phenomena.

Finally, some of the author’s positions that are implied in the book are bound to raise a few eyebrows — such as his dislike of due diligence processes and government regulations (which are described as also issues of trust) — or seemingly implied support for nepotism as a tool to build better trust relations.

Stephen M. R. Covey shows how trust — and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees, and all stakeholders — is the single most critical component of a successful leader and organization.

Stephen M. R. Covey, widely known as one of the world’s leading authorities on trust, asserts that it is “the most overlooked, misunderstood, underutilized asset to enable performance. Its impact, for good or bad, is dramatic and pervasive. It’s something you can’t escape.” Thankfully, it’s is also the thing that can dramatically improve your personal and professional success.

Why trust? The simple, often overlooked fact is this: work gets done with and through people. The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in every transaction and every relationship—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction. It specifically demonstrates how to establish trust intentionally so that you and your organization can forego the time-killing, bureaucratic check-and-balance processes that is so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.

This book can be useful for a wide range of audiences, from people looking for the ways to improve their personal relations, to CEOs, managers and HR personnel of various and diverse businesses reflecting on protentional rooms for process improvement. It can also be recommended to anyone interested in human psychology, society and interpersonal relationships.

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    The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
    Stephen M. R. Covey, Free Press, 2006
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