The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

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In the readable and riveting style of The Tipping Point, Stephen M. R. Covey uncovers the overlooked and underestimated power of trust in a page-turning look into what he calls "the one thing that changes everything." A groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting book, The Speed of Trust challenges our age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue and instead demonstrates that trust is a hard-edged, economic driver -- a learnable and measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more ...
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Overview

In the readable and riveting style of The Tipping Point, Stephen M. R. Covey uncovers the overlooked and underestimated power of trust in a page-turning look into what he calls "the one thing that changes everything." A groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting book, The Speed of Trust challenges our age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue and instead demonstrates that trust is a hard-edged, economic driver -- a learnable and measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing. Written from his informed perspective as the former CEO of a $100 million enterprise, Covey draws on his pragmatic experience growing Covey Leadership Center (founded by his father, Dr. Stephen R. Covey) from a shareholder value of less than $3 million to a value of more than $160 million.

In this powerful new book, Stephen M. R. Covey articulates why trust has become the key leadership competency of the new global economy. He eloquently informs readers how to inspire lasting trust in their personal and professional relationships, and in so doing to create unparalleled success and sustainable prosperity in every dimension of life. He shows business, government, and education leaders how to quickly and permanently gain the trust of their clients, coworkers, partners, and constituents. Covey convincingly makes the case that trust is a measurable accelerator to performance and that when trust goes up, speed also goes up while cost comes down, producing what Covey calls a "trust dividend."

Covey reveals the 13 Behaviors common to high-trust leaders throughout the world and persuasively demonstrates actionable insights that will enable you to shift your behavior to increase -- and inspire -- trust in the important relationships in your life.

Like a ripple in the pond, The Speed of Trust begins within each of us personally, continues into our relationships, expands into our organizations, extends into our marketplace relationships, and ultimately encompasses our global society at large. Covey presents a road map to establish trust on every level, build character and competence, enhance credibility, and create leadership that inspires confidence.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Trust is so integral to our relationships that we often take it for granted, yet in an era marked by business scandals and a desire for accountability this book by leadership expert Covey is a welcome guide to nurturing trust in our professional and personal lives. Drawing on anecdotes and business cases from his years as CEO of the Covey Leadership Center (which was worth $160 million when he orchestrated its 1997 merger with Franklin Quest to form Franklin Covey), the author effectively reminds us that there's plenty of room for improvement on this virtue. Following a touching foreword by father Stephen R. Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and related books), the junior Covey outlines 13 behaviors of trust-inspiring leaders, such as demonstrating respect, creating transparency, righting wrongs, delivering results and practicing accountability. Covey's down-to-earth approach and disarming personal stories go a long way to establish rapport with his reader, though the book's length and occasional lack of focus sometimes obscure its good advice. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In his first book, Covey (CEO, CoveyLink Worldwide), son of Stephen R. Covey of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame, explores the concept of trust and its positive impact on personal and professional success. He introduces the image of ever-widening concentric ripples of water, which he defines as the "Five Waves of Trust": Self-Trust, Relationship Trust, Organizational Trust, Market Trust, and Societal Trust. The degree and magnitude of trust one develops at each wave impacts the effectiveness of interactions at the next highest level, and the stronger the trust involved at each level, the more efficiently and quickly the desired outputs of that level can be achieved. Covey has an engaging style and uses many anecdotes and quotes from famous people to illustrate his points. The book's organization into waves, behaviors of High Trust Leaders, and Cores of Credibility makes the prose easy to digest and reminiscent of the format of the leadership seminars from which Covey got his start. This book would be of interest to public libraries and universities with self-help, psychology, or popular business collections. Crystal Renfro, Lib. and Information Ctr., Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy and civilization throughout the world - one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love.

On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. That one thing is trust.

The Five Waves of Trust model serves as a metaphor for how trust operates in our lives. This summary will cover these forms as the structure for understanding and making trust actionable, including a look at the Four Cores of credibility and the 13 Behaviors of high trust leaders.

Nothing Is as Fast as the Speed of Trust
Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust - distrust - is suspicion. The difference between a high and low trust relationship is palpable. Take communication. In a high trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing, and people will still get your meaning. In a low trust relationship, you can be very measured, even precise, and they'll still misinterpret you.

You don't need to look far to realize that, as a global society, we have a crisis of trust on our hands. Low trust is everywhere. On the organizational level, trust within companies has sharply declined. But relationships of all kinds are built on and sustained by trust. They can also be broken down and destroyed by a lack of trust.

Society, organizations and relationships aside, there's an even more fundamental and powerful dimension to self trust. If we can't trust ourselves, we'll have a hard time trusting others. Personal incongruence is often the source of our suspicions of others.

Economics of Trust
Trust always affects two outcomes: speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed goes down and cost goes up. Consider the time and cost of airport security after 9/11, or costs for Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance, passed in the U.S. in response to Enron, WorldCom and other corporate scandals. When trust goes up, speed goes up and cost goes down. Warren Buffet completed the acquisition of McLane Distribution from Wal-Mart on the basis of a two-hour meeting. Because of high trust between the parties, the merger took less than a month and avoided the usual months and millions for due diligence and attorneys.

The serious practical impact of the economics of trust is that we are paying a hidden low-trust tax right off the top - and we don't even know it!

A company can have an excellent strategy and a strong ability to execute; but the net result can be torpedoed by a low-trust tax or multiplied by a high-trust dividend. This makes a powerful business case for trust, assuring that it is not a soft, "nice to have" quality.

One of the reasons this hidden variable is so significant in today's world is that we have entered a global, knowledge worker economy that revolves around partnering and relationships. The ability to establish, grow, extend and restore trust with all stakeholders - customers, suppliers and co-workers - is the key leadership competency of the new, global economy.

Inspiring Trust
Trust is a whole life choice, and until you are actually in a front line situation, you will not even see the full power of the Cores and Behaviors on speed, cost and trust. Look immediately for ways to apply them and find opportunities to teach them to others. You will see how the of speed of trust; the profits of the economics of trust; the relevance of the pervasive impact of trust; and the dividends of trust can significantly enhance the quality of every relationship on every level of your life.

You may still be hesitant or fearful when it comes to actually extending trust, but leaders who extend trust become mentors, models and heroes. Inspiring trust is the prime differentiator between a manager and a leader and the prime motivator of successful enterprises and relationships. Companies that choose to extend trust to their employees become great places to work. Children develop character and competence in the care of parents who love them, believe in them and trust them.

Most people respond well to trust and do not abuse it. We are all born with a propensity to trust and choosing to retain or restore that propensity is key to our ability to forgive. We have countless opportunities to extend and inspire trust to others, but it also makes a difference in our own lives. Trust is reciprocal. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
—Soundview Summary

From the Publisher
Covey convincingly validates our experience at Dell — that trust has a bottom-line impact on results and that when trust goes up, speed goes up while costs come down. This principle applies not only in our professional relationships with customers, business partners, and team members but also in our personal relationships, which makes this insightful book all the more valuable."
— Kevin Rollins, President and CEO, Dell Inc.

"This book can change lives. Covey helps us understand how to nurture and inspire immediate trust in every encounter, which is the foundation for true and lasting success in life. A very interesting and enlightening read."
— Larry King

"Covey brilliantly focuses on that overlooked bedrock of democratic capitalism — trust. Like the air we breathe, we too often take this critical intangible for granted. As Covey makes clear, we do so at our ultimate competitive peril."
— Steve Forbes, President and CEO, Forbes

"Want to be an irresistible positive force? Combine personal responsibility with compassion and respect for others. Want to know how to do this perfectly? Read The Speed of Trust."
— Dr. Laura Schlessinger, internationally syndicated radio host and author of The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage

"Covey's book underscores the single most important factor — the substrate — that will determine the success (or failure) of any organization in the 21st century: TRUST. This is a powerful read: brave, imaginative, amazingly prescient, and backed up by empirical and analytical heft. A must-read for anyone in a position of responsibility, from a support group to a global corporation."
— Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, USC, and author of On Becoming a Leader

"This much-needed book provides many practical examples of how greater trust produces better results, at less cost, sooner — at work and in life. It's invaluable."
— Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of Who Moved My Cheese? and coauthor of The One Minute Manager

"Stephen Covey's work changed the world. I'd bet the price of this exciting book and more that his son, Stephen M. R. Covey, will have at least as much impact. The Speed of Trust is an amazing book, starting with its novel and powerful title — my greatest wonder was why it hadn't been written before. From the epigraph — 'Speed happens when people truly trust each other' — to the closing bell, this is a book worth savoring — and implementing."
— Tom Peters

"When I received this book and was asked to read it and offer my comments, my first impulse was, 'I don't have the time.' However, as I read the foreword, then the first few chapters, I could not put it down. It is exactly what business leaders need today. This book gets to the core roots of ethical behavior and integrity and how 'trusted' leaders and organizations do things better, faster, and at lower cost. Everyone should make the time to read this book."
— Nolan D. Archibald, Chairman and CEO, The Black & Decker Corporation

"I am happier when I am trusted, and I bet you are too. Covey has done a masterful job teaching that trust is conditioned on our behavior and that we can consciously shift our behavior to deserve trust. This one realization can change your life. This is the best book by a Covey since 7 Habits."
— Richard Carlson, Ph.D., author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and Don't Get Scrooged

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933976792
  • Publisher: Franklin Covey Company
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen R. Covey, in 1996, was recognized as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans and one of Sales and Marketing Management's top 25 power brokers. He is the author of several acclaimed books.
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Read an Excerpt

Speed happens when people . . . truly trust each other.
-- EDWARD MARSHALL

If you're not fast, you're dead.
-- JACK WELCH


I'll never forget an experience I had several years ago when I worked for a short stint with a major investment banking firm in New York City. We had just come out of a very exhausting meeting, during which it had become evident that there were serious internal trust issues. These issues were slowing things down and negatively affecting execution. The senior leader said to me privately, "These meetings are dysfunctional and a waste of time. I just don't trust 'Mike.' I don't trust 'Ellen.' In fact, I find it hard to trust anyone in this group."

I said, "Well, why don't you work on increasing trust?"

He turned to me and replied seriously, "Look, Stephen, you need to understand something. Either you have trust or you don't. We don't have it, and there's nothing we can do about it."

I strongly disagree. In fact, both my personal life and my work as a business practitioner over the past 20 years have convinced me that there is a lot we can do about it. We can increase trust -- much faster than we might think -- and doing so will have a huge impact, both in the quality of our lives and in the results we're able to achieve.


TRUST ISSUES AFFECT EVERYONE

As I speak to audiences around the world about the Speed of Trust, I repeatedly hear expressions of frustration and discouragement such as these:

I can't stand the politics at work. I feel sabotaged by my peers. It seems like everyone is out for himself and will do anything to get ahead.

I've really been burned in the past. How can I ever trust anyone enough to have a real relationship?

I work in an organization that's bogged down with bureaucracy. It takes forever to get anything done. I have to get authorization to buy a pencil!

The older my children get, the less they listen to me. What can I do?

I feel like my contributions at work are hardly ever recognized or valued.

I foolishly violated the trust of someone who was supremely important to me. If I could hit "rewind" and make the decision differently, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can't. Will I ever be able to rebuild the relationship?

I have to walk on eggshells at work. If I say what I really think, I'll get fired . . . or at least made irrelevant.

My boss micromanages me and everyone else at work. He treats us all like we can't be trusted.

With all the scandals, corruption, and ethical violations in our society today, I feel like someone has pulled the rug out from under me. I don't know what -- or who -- to trust anymore.

So what do you do if you're in a situation like one of these -- or in any situation where a lack of trust creates politics and bureaucracy, or simply slows things down? Do you merely accept this as the cost of doing business? Or can you do something to counteract or even reverse it?

I affirm that you can do something about it. In fact, by learning how to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust, you can positively and significantly alter the trajectory of this and every future moment of your life.


GETTING A HANDLE ON TRUST

So what is trust? Rather than giving a complex definition, I prefer to use the words of Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. He said, "[Y]ou know it when you feel it."

Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust -- distrust -- is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them -- in their integrity and in their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them -- of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record. It's that simple. We have all had experiences that validate the difference between relationships that are built on trust and those that are not. These experiences clearly tell us the difference is not small; it is dramatic.

Take a minute right now and think of a person with whom you have a high trust relationship -- perhaps a boss, coworker, customer, spouse, parent, sibling, child, or friend. Describe this relationship. What's it like? How does it feel? How well do you communicate? How quickly can you get things done? How much do you enjoy this relationship?

Now think of a person with whom you have a low-trust relationship. Again, this person could be anyone at work or at home. Describe this relationship. What's it like? How does it feel? How is the communication? Does it flow quickly and freely . . . or do you feel like you're constantly walking on land mines and being misunderstood? Do you work together to get things done quickly . . . or does it take a disproportionate amount of time and energy to finally reach agreement and execution? Do you enjoy this relationship . . . or do you find it tedious, cumbersome, and draining?

The difference between a high- and low-trust relationship is palpable! Take communication. In a high-trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing, and people will still get your meaning. In a low-trust relationship, you can be very measured, even precise, and they'll still misinterpret you.

Can you even begin to imagine the difference it would make if you were able to increase the amount of trust in the important personal and professional relationships in your life?


THE CRUCIBLE

One of the most formative experiences I've had personally in increasing trust occurred several years ago as a result of the merger between Franklin Quest and Covey Leadership Center to form FranklinCovey Company. As anyone who has ever been through a merger or an acquisition will know, these things are never easy. The merged company had terrific strengths. We had great people, superb content, loyal clients, and productive tools. But the blending of the two cultures was proving to be enormously challenging.

As president of the Training and Education business unit, I had traveled to Washington, D.C., to address about a third of our consultants on the topic of our division's strategy. But a meeting that should have had me looking forward with anticipation literally had my stomach churning.

Several weeks before, the company's new CEO -- frustrated (as we all were) with the enormous problems and friction that had beset what had seemed to be a promising merger -- had scheduled a meeting of all the consultants in the company. In an effort to "get out" everyone's concerns, he had created a format in which we, as leaders, were to listen, but could not respond, to anything anyone wanted to say. The meeting, scheduled to last four hours, turned into a 10-hour "dump" session. With no one allowed to amend, correct, give context, supply missing information, discuss the other side of the issues, or even show the dilemmas involved, only a small percentage of what was said had real contextual accuracy. Most was misinterpreted, manipulated, or twisted, and some of it was flat-out wrong. There were assumptions, suspicions, accusations, frustrations. And, as leaders, we had reluctantly agreed to a format in which we weren't permitted to say a word.

In the end, we'd had over a dozen such meetings. The whole experience had been brutal, and, with my position of leadership, I had taken it all personally. Having had some experience on Wall Street, I knew mergers were usually hard, but I had thought we could do what needed to be done to make this one work.

The problem was that I had assumed far too much. Mistakenly, I had failed to focus on establishing trust with the newly merged company, believing that my reputation and credibility would already be known. But they weren't, and, as a result, half the people trusted me and the other half didn't. And it was pretty much divided right down Covey or Franklin "party" lines. Those from the Covey side who knew me and had worked with me basically saw my decisions as a sincere effort to use objective, external criteria in every decision and to do what was best for the business -- not to try to push a "Covey" agenda . . . in fact, sometimes even bending over backward to avoid it. Those who didn't know me, hadn't worked with me, and didn't trust me interpreted every decision in the exact opposite manner.

In one case, for example, a question had come up concerning the use of the Sundance Resort for one of our leadership development programs. Sundance had been somewhat hard to work with, and some felt we should move the program to another venue. The program director strongly wanted to keep it at Sundance because clients loved the location, and the financial data showed that we were averaging nearly 40 percent more revenue per program held there compared to other venues. I said, "Because the economics are better and the program director strongly recommends that we keep it there, we'll find better ways to work with Sundance." That was an example of a solid business decision I assumed people would understand.

But those who didn't trust me didn't understand. They thought I was trying to push a "Covey" approach. Some even wondered if I was getting some kind of kickback because, as a community leader, I had been asked to serve in an unpaid role on the advisory board for the Sundance Children's Theater. Many suspected my motive. Because there was such low trust, the feeling was, "There's got to be some kind of hidden agenda going on here."

In another situation, I had made the decision to move "Ron," an extremely talented leader who had come from the Covey side into a different position because, like many of us, he had gotten caught in merger politics and had polarized the two camps. I had decided to go outside the organization for Ron's replacement so that there would be no perception that the new manager was a "Covey" person or a "Franklin" person.

When I made this announcement, I thought people would be excited by my attempt to bring in new talent. But among those who didn't trust me, no one even heard the part about bringing in someone from the outside to replace Ron as manager; all they heard was that he was still in the company, and they wanted him gone.

Time after time, my actions had been misinterpreted and my motives questioned, even though I had involved both Covey and Franklin camps in making decisions. As you might imagine, some who had no idea of my track record and results had assumed that the only reason I was in my position of leadership was simply that I was Stephen R. Covey's son and that I had no credibility on my own.

As a result of all this, I'd had to make decisions much more slowly. I tried to project how every decision would be interpreted by each of the cultures. I began to worry about baggage and risk. I started playing a political game that I'd never played before -- one that I never had to play before, because it had never been part of who I was.

As I thought about everything that had transpired, I came to the realization that if I didn't take the tough issues head-on, the current situation would simply perpetuate itself -- probably even get worse. My every decision would be second-guessed and politicized. Getting anything done would be like trying to move through molasses. We were facing increasing bureaucracy, politics, and disengagement. This was wasting enormous amounts of time, energy, and money. The cost was significant.

Besides, I thought, given how badly things were going, what did I have to lose?

So when I walked into the consultant meeting that day in Washington, D.C., I basically said, "Look, we're at this meeting to talk about strategy. And if that's what you want to talk about, that's what we'll talk about. But if you would rather talk about the merger issues that are really on your minds, we'll talk about those. We'll talk about any of the tough questions you have: Who's staying and who's going? Who's making what decisions? What criteria are being used? Why aren't we more informed? What if we don't trust those making the decisions? What if we don't trust you, Stephen, to make some of these decisions?"

At first, people were stunned that I would bring up these difficult issues, including their perception of me. Many were also wondering what my real agenda was. But they soon realized that I wasn't hiding anything. I was being transparent and candid. They could tell I genuinely wanted to open things up. As the meeting progressed, they could see that I wasn't operating from any hidden agenda; I was sincerely trying to do what was right for the business.

As it turned out, the scheduled one-hour strategy meeting turned into a full day's discussion of their concerns: Whose buildings were we going to use? Which compensation plan would we adapt? Whose sales model would we use? Are you, Stephen, really competent to make these decisions? What is your track record? What are your criteria?

I openly acknowledged that these were challenging issues. I candidly shared the thinking and rationale behind the decisions and the process by which they were made, or were being made. I shared all the data I could share, and if I couldn't share it, I explained why. I listened and sought to understand their concerns. Based on their recommendations, I made several commitments around improvements.

At the end of the day, there was a renewed feeling of hope and excitement. One participant told me that I had established more trust in one day than I had in the prior several months. More than anything else, I realized, it was a starting place, an acknowledgment of the value of our transparent communication. I also realized that the real test, however, would be on how I followed through. At least now, people could see my behavior through new eyes, not tainted by the lens of low trust.

Word from this meeting spread, and within the next few months, I was able to meet with the other consultants and go through the same process with the same results. I followed a similar course with other groups and divisions. In a very short period of time, we were able to establish trust with our entire business unit. As far as my unit was concerned, this increased trust dramatically changed everything. We were able to increase speed, lower cost, and improve results in all areas.

Though I eventually left FranklinCovey to start my own company and write this book, I am happy to report that they have weathered the storms created by the merger and are now doing very well. On a personal basis, the whole experience helped me to understand trust far more clearly than in premerger times when trust was high and things were good.

First, I learned that I had assumed way too much. I assumed I had trust with people, when in fact I didn't. I assumed that people were aware of my track record and Covey Leadership Center's track record, which they were not. I assumed that because I was teeing up the tough issues in my private meetings and making decisions based on objective business criteria, this was being reported down line, but it was not.

I also learned that I had been politically naïve. Yes, I made mistakes. But I didn't make the mistakes I was being accused of making. The most significant mistake I made was in not being more proactive in establishing and increasing trust. As a result, I experienced firsthand both the social and the hard, bottom-line economic consequences of low trust.

In addition, I learned that trust truly does change everything. Once you create trust -- genuine character- and competence-based trust -- almost everything else falls into place.


A CRISIS OF TRUST

You don't need to look far to realize that, as a global society, we have a crisis of trust on our hands. Consider recent newspaper headlines:

• "Employees' New Motto: Trust No One"
• "Companies Urged to Rebuild Trust"
• "Both Sides Betray the Other's Trust"
• "20 NYSE Traders Indicted"
• "Ethics Must Be Strengthened to Rebuild People's Trust"
• "Relationships Fall Apart as Trust Dwindles"
• "Now Who Do You Trust?"

News headlines reveal the symptoms of the compelling truth: Low trust is everywhere. It permeates our global society, our marketplace, our organizations, our relationships, our personal lives. It breeds suspicion and cynicism, which become self-perpetuating, resulting in a costly, downward cycle.

Consider our society at large. Trust in almost every societal institution (government, media, business, health care, churches, political parties, etc.) is significantly lower than a generation ago, and in many cases, sits at historic lows. In the United States, for example, a 2005 Harris poll revealed that only 22% of those surveyed tend to trust the media, only 8% trust political parties, only 27% trust the government, and only 12% trust big companies.

Perhaps even more telling is the loss of trust with regard to people trusting other people. A recent survey conducted by British sociologist David Halpern reveals that only 34% of Americans believe that other people can be trusted. In Latin America, the number is only 23%, and in Africa, the figure is 18%. Halpern's research also shows that four decades ago in Great Britain, 60% of the population believed other people could be trusted; today, it's down to 29%.

The "good" news of this study -- relatively speaking -- is that 68% of Scandinavians (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) and 60% of the people in the Netherlands believe others can be trusted, indicating that there are some higher-trust societies. And Mexico's figure -- though a low 31% -- is up from 1983's 19%, which indicates that it is possible to increase societal trust.

On the organizational level, trust within companies has also sharply declined. Just look at what the research shows:

• Only 51% of employees have trust and confidence in senior management.
• Only 36% of employees believe their leaders act with honesty and integrity.
• Over the past 12 months, 76% of employees have observed illegal or unethical conduct on the job -- conduct which, if exposed, would seriously violate the public trust.

What about trust at the personal relationship level? While this naturally varies with regard to particular relationships, trust is a major issue for most people in at least some relationships (and too often with their most significant relationships, such as with a boss or coworker or a spouse or child at home).

Consider the following:

• The number one reason people leave their jobs is a bad relationship with their boss.
• One out of every two marriages ends in divorce.

Relationships of all kinds are built on and sustained by trust. They can also be broken and destroyed by lack of trust. Try to imagine any meaningful relationship without trust. In fact, low trust is the very definition of a bad relationship.

What about trust at the individual level? Consider the percentage of students who acknowledged that they cheated in order to improve their odds of getting into graduate school.

• Liberal arts students -- 43%
• Education students -- 52%
• Medical students -- 63%
• Law students -- 63%
• Business students -- 75%

How does it make you feel to know that there's more than a 50% chance that the doctor who's going to perform surgery on you cheated in school? Or a 75% chance that the company you're going to work for is being led by someone who didn't consider honesty important?

Recently, when I presented this data to a group of attorneys, they were thrilled to find out that they were not in last place! And they chided me because -- with my MBA -- I was! (It didn't help when I further pointed out that 76% of MBAs were willing to understate expenses that cut into their profits, and that convicts in minimum-security prisons scored as high as MBA students on their ethical dilemma exams.)

Talk about a crisis of trust!

Society, organizations, and relationships aside, there's an even more fundamental and powerful dimension to self trust. Often, we make commitments to ourselves -- such as setting goals or making New Year's resolutions -- that we fail to fulfill. As a result, we come to feel that we can't even fully trust ourselves. If we can't trust ourselves, we'll have a hard time trusting others. This personal incongruence is often the source of our suspicions of others. As my father has often said, we judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior. This is why, as we'll discuss later, one of the fastest ways to restore trust is to make and keep commitments -- even very small commitments -- to ourselves and to others.

Truly, we are in a crisis of trust. It affects us on all levels -- societal, institutional, organizational, relational, and personal -- and it has a perpetuating effect. While many of us may be fairly resilient, with each new violation of trust or corporate scandal, we tend to recover a little more slowly. We wonder what else is out there. We become increasingly suspicious of other people. We begin to project the behavior of the few upon the many, and we are paying for it dearly.


THE ECONOMICS OF TRUST

A cynic might ask, "So what? Is trust really more than a nice-to-have social virtue, a so-called hygiene factor? Can you measurably illustrate that trust is a hard-edged economic driver?" I intend to answer these questions emphatically in this book by clearly demonstrating the strong business case for trust.

Here's a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from an intangible and unquantifiable variable to an indispensable factor that is both tangible and quantifiable. The formula is based on this critical insight: Trust always affects two outcomes -- speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up. When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down. It's that simple, that real, that predictable. Let me share a couple of examples.

Immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, our trust in flying in the U.S. went down dramatically. We recognized that there were terrorists bent on harming us, and that our system of ensuring passenger safety was not as strong as it needed to be.

Prior to 9/11, I used to arrive at my home airport approximately half an hour before takeoff, and I was quickly able to go through security. But after 9/11, more robust procedures and systems were put in place to increase safety and trust in flying. While these procedures have had their desired effect, now it takes me longer and costs me more to travel. I generally arrive an hour and a half before a domestic flight and two to three hours before an international flight to make sure I have enough time to clear security. I also pay a new 9/11 security tax with every ticket I buy. So, as trust went down, speed also went down and cost went up.

Recently, I flew out of a major city in a high-risk area in the Middle East. For geopolitical reasons, the trust in that region was extremely low. I had to arrive at the airport four hours before my flight. I went through several screenings, and my bag was unpacked and searched multiple times by multiple people. And every other passenger was treated the same.

Clearly, extra security measures were necessary, and in this instance I was grateful for them, but the point remains the same: Because trust was low, speed went down and cost went up.

Consider another example. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in the U.S. in response to the Enron, WorldCom, and other corporate scandals. While it appears that Sarbanes-Oxley may be having a positive effect in improving or at least sustaining trust in the public markets, it is also clear that this has come at a substantial price. Ask any CEO, CFO, or financial person in a company subject to Sarbanes-Oxley rules about the amount of time it takes to follow its regulations, as well as the added cost of doing so. It's enormous on both fronts. In fact, a recent study pegged the costs of implementing one section alone at $35 billion -- exceeding the original SEC estimate by 28 times! Compliance regulations have become a prosthesis for the lack of trust -- and a slow-moving and costly prosthesis at that. Again, we come back to the key learning: When trust is low, speed goes down and cost goes up.

On the other hand, when trust is high, speed goes up and cost goes down. Consider the example of Warren Buffett -- CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (and generally considered one of the most trusted leaders in the world) -- who recently completed a major acquisition of McLane Distribution (a $23 billion company) from Wal-Mart. As public companies, both Berkshire Hathaway and Wal-Mart are subject to all kinds of market and regulatory scrutiny. Typically, a merger of this size would take several months to complete and cost several million dollars to pay for accountants, auditors, and attorneys to verify and validate all kinds of information. But in this instance, because both parties operated with high trust, the deal was made with one two-hour meeting and a handshake. In less than a month, it was completed.

In a management letter that accompanied his 2004 annual report, Warren Buffett wrote: "We did no 'due diligence.' We knew everything would be exactly as Wal-Mart said it would be -- and it was." Imagine -- less than one month (instead of six months or longer), and no "due diligence" costs (instead of the millions typically spent)! High trust, high speed, low cost.

Consider the example of another legendary leader, Herb Kelleher, chairman and former CEO of Southwest Airlines. In Robert K. Cooper and Ayman Sawaf's book, Executive EQ, the authors share a remarkable story. Walking down the hall one day, Gary Barron -- then executive vice president of the $700 million maintenance organization for all Southwest -- presented a three-page summary memo to Kelleher outlining a proposal for a massive reorganization. On the spot, Kelleher read the memo. He asked one question, to which Baron responded that he shared the concern and was dealing with it. Kelleher then replied, "Then it's fine by me. Go ahead." The whole interaction took about four minutes.

Not only was Kelleher a trusted leader, he also extended trust to others. He trusted Barron's character and his competence. And because he trusted that Barron knew what he was doing, the company could move with incredible speed.

Here's another example on a much smaller scale. "Jim," a vendor in New York City, set up shop and sold donuts and coffee to passersby as they went in and out of their office buildings. During the breakfast and lunch hours, Jim always had long lines of customers waiting. He noticed that the wait time discouraged many customers who left and went elsewhere. He also noticed that, as he was a one-man show, the biggest bottleneck preventing him from selling more donuts and coffee was the disproportionate amount of time it took to make change for his customers.

Finally, Jim simply put a small basket on the side of his stand filled with dollar bills and coins, trusting his customers to make their own change. Now you might think that customers would accidentally count wrong or intentionally take extra quarters from the basket, but what Jim found was the opposite: Most customers responded by being completely honest, often leaving him larger-than-normal tips. Also, he was able to move customers through at twice the pace because he didn't have to make change. In addition, he found that his customers liked being trusted and kept coming back. By extending trust in this way, Jim was able to double his revenues without adding any new cost.

Again, when trust is low, speed goes down and cost goes up. When trust is high, speed goes up and cost goes down.

Copyright © 2006 CoveyLink, LLC

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword   Dr. Stephen R. Covey     xxiii
The One Thing That Changes Everything     1
Nothing Is as Fast as the Speed of Trust     3
You Can Do Something About This!     27
The First Wave-Self Trust: The Principle of Credibility     41
The 4 Cores of Credibility     43
Integrity Are You Congruent?     59
Intent What's Your Agenda?     73
Capabilities Are You Relevant?     91
Results What's Your Track Record?     109
The Second Wave-Relationship Trust: The Principle of Behavior     125
The 13 Behaviors     127
Talk Straight     136
Demonstrate Respect     144
Create Transparency     152
Right Wrongs     158
Show Loyalty     165
Deliver Results     172
Get Better     177
Confront Reality     185
Clarify Expectations     192
Practice Accountability     200
Listen First     208
Keep Commitments     215
Extend Trust     222
Creating an Action Plan     230
The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Waves-Stakeholder Trust     233
The ThirdWave-Organizational Trust The Principle of Alignment     236
The Fourth Wave-Market Trust The Principle of Reputation     261
The Fifth Wave-Societal Trust The Principle of Contribution     272
Inspiring Trust     285
Extending "Smart Trust"     287
Restoring Trust When It Has Been Lost     300
A Propensity to Trust     316
Notes and References     325
Index     339
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    A rich and practical perspective applicable professionally and personally

    PREMISE (The basic concept on which the book is based)
    While corporate scandals, terrorist threats, office politics, and broken relationships have created low trust on almost every front, the ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is not only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it is the key leadership competency of the new global economy.

    PURPOSE (The author's objectives for the book)
    Much has been said about the importance of changing paradigms (paradigm shift) in changing behavior-in other words, changing the way you see will automatically change what you do and the results you get. From a pragmatic standpoint, it is also true that speaking and behaving differently can have an enormous impact on the way you see and the results you get. The very act of serving someone, for example, can quickly cause you to see that person differently. This is a behavior shift-a shift in which our behaviors ultimately bring about a shift in the way we see the world. Similarly, a language shift-the way we talk about things-can create a shift in how we see and how we behave, as well as in how others see us. These three dimensions are interdependent; whenever you effect a change in one dimension, you effect a change in all three.

    The purpose of this book is to enable you to see, speak, and behave in ways that establish trust, and all three dimensions are vital.
    . This book will enable you to see trust in an entirely different and exciting way-a way that will open your eyes to the possibilities and enable you to increase trust and the dividends of trust on every level.
    . It will give you a language to speak about trust; it will enable you to name the underlying issues involved, and it will give you the language to describe those issues and to talk about and resolve them.
    . Finally, this book will help you develop the behaviors that establish and grow trust. As you learn about these behaviors and recognize the impact when people practice them-and when they don't-you will understand how you can behave in ways that quickly build enduring trust.

    POINT (The key messages or take-aways)
    Essential messages include:
    . There are 4 Cores and 13 Behaviors that serve as tools to establish or restore trust in every context-in organizations (including the family), in the marketplace, and in society.
    . The main principle of establishing Organizational Trust is alignment-ensuring that all structures and systems within the organization are in harmony with the cores and behaviors. This is what builds trust with internal stakeholders.
    . The main principle of establishing Market Trust is reputation or brand. It's using the cores and behaviors to create the credibility and behavior that inspires the trust of external stakeholders to the extent they will buy, invest in, and/or recommend your products and services to others.
    . The main principle of establishing Societal Trust is contribution. It's demonstrating the intent to give back, to be a responsible global citizen, and it is becoming both a social and an economic necessity in our knowledge worker age.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    I recommend this book to every person no matter who you are.

    I used this book as a training guide at my office and it was so well received by the end of the training session that I encouraged our church to use it to help build trust that has been lost through out the years. It has been a myth for so long that trust cannot be regained but it can and it starts with Integrity and Respect. This book is well worth your time and I hope you get out of it more that you expect because I sure did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2009

    Trust is the basis for everything...

    This book lays out trust as a tangible, business product. It also identifies 13 behaviors to assist you in reaching your potential. It includes links to Covey's website so you can do indepth analysis of your company and personal trust quotient. A valuable tool to help you and your business get better internally and with customers. The book lays out the topic systematically and with lots of examples. An easy read. I've listened to the CD several times in the car.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent read--great for Leaders; easy to read and apply principles.

    This book by Covey is a super addition to leadership books. It addresses probably the most important aspect of leadership--Trust. Covey writes in such a way that that this book is very readable, interesting, and compelling. I reccommend this book for anyone in leadership: parents, singles, couples; it can be applicable to any area of life, because if a person does not have trust in the one with whom he/she is working, their ability to have growth in their relationship and to solve problems will be greatly hindered and almost impossible to accomplish.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    Like Father Like Son

    I just picked up this book - mistakenly thinking it was authored by Stephen Covey, rather than his son. However, I am not disappointed. Stephen M. R. Covey brings a fresh style and compelling insights to the issue of trust - one of the things that matters most to us and is talked about the least. The concepts in this book will strengthen relationships in your business, your family and your faith community.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    Information was too repetitive in the book. Seems like the same information could have been portrayed in have the amount of space.

    The auto book should NOT have been read by the author himself. It was painful to listen to. Very monotone thoughout the book. Was hard to listen to. The book read more like a text book than a self-help book. I felt the book was repetitive and too long. Belaboring issues to the point of boredom.

    Although the information in the book was good, it was difficult to get through. Therefore I auld not recommend this book to others. There are other books that cover the issue of trust in a much more simplified and easy to read format.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    This book is awful

    I had to read this book for work. It was torture. My opinion is shared pretty much by the 11 other people that had to read it as well. Most of the information is common sense. Don't waste your money!

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    You will increase Profits and Happiness

    I have read hundreds of books that talk about increasing results in business and life, and this one is at the top. The insider stories alone make this book a must buy. Steven has shown how trust not only impacts our daily lives, but how the power of trust can impact our business and profits. He impregnates this book with success principals that the wealthy employ. I highly recommend you read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2007

    It is High Time That More Leaders Understand These Principles

    Covey and Merrill done a careful well reasoned job in identifying the only real basis for success in business, and life. My own observation is that genuine trust is the magic ingredient for bringing out the best of all human interaction. I agree with the authors' suggestion to stop after reading each chapter and go back and address those steps that will make the biggest difference to the reader's own situation. I am confident that application of these concepts can make a huge difference in all business. Lawrence A Haines - author of 'In the Best Companies - People Are Everything'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Great Book, the star is for the barnes and noble delivery, May I

    Great Book, the star is for the barnes and noble delivery, May I suggest using Amazon. I ordered this book from BN and paid the upcharge for express shipping (1-3) business days as I needed the book for a work project by a certain time. 6 days later...no book and customer service not responsive at all- they use "fuzzy math" for calculated one to three business days. Thing is I am not 50 miles form the BN distribution center. The book could have walked itself faster than BN can deliver it. This is one of the reasons I switch to Amazon for book as BN became so bad about shipping times and fees a few years ago that I dropped my membership.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    This will change your life--don't miss it!

    Trust does change everything! If you have it, you know it. And, if you don't have it--you know that too. This book will influence both your personal and professional relationships. You will learn solid, important behaviors to build or restore trust. It's one of my favorite books ever and after I share it with others, they always tell me, "it changed my life!" Let it change yours too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Good business book

    read very much like a textbook. great stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Hi

    Hi

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Stephen Covey does a good good explaining the pros and cons of trust and distrust in a very simplistic manner. Covey uses personal experience as well as knowledge from other resources to clarify his points.

    This book is for anyone who is not only looking to improve themselves personally and professionally, but for the current professionals who are looking to do the same.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2007

    Interesting examination of trust

    Stephen M.R. Covey's book provides a framework for understanding trust, and a set of guidelines for building and restoring trust. Abundant anecdotes illustrate its lessons. An impressive array of business leaders, gurus and authorities lent their names to blurbs for this book, most of them endorsing the proposition that trust is good for the bottom line of any business. It would be hard to argue with that. If the book's style reminds you of ¿The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,¿ there's a reason. The author is the son of 7 Habits' guru Stephen R. Covey, and the same writer, Rebecca R. Merrill, was involved in both books. While this solid book may not be quite as intensely focused as 7 Habits (but then, what is?), we recommend it to readers seeking confirmation of perennial truths about the importance of trust and its application in business.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2006

    Paradigm-Shifting

    Every once in a while a book is published that shifts paradigms and instigates a pervasive buzz around the workplace. As a consultant, I know which books these are because they are on the shelf of every client I visit. I predict this book on trust will become a paradigm shifter. Covey makes the issue of trust a hard science that impacts everything, including the bottom-line. And the book is fun to read....lots of stories, business examples, personal stories, and statistics. This is a five-star book that I highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    Great Book

    Much of my consulting work recently has come from CEO¿s needing to connect with front-line employees, executives applying change management tools to ¿get people on board,¿ and senior leaders trying to establish deeper relationships with customers. As I have read Stephen M.R. Covey¿s book, The Speed of Trust, I have realized the underlying commonality to all of my work with leaders has been TRUST¿or the lack of it. Without trust, leaders spend hours talking, cajoling, convincing, and clarifying. Instead, leaders who have built a climate of trust can spend their time focusing on growth and improving organizational results. Finally an excellent book that teaches leaders how to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust! Thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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