The Speed of Trust:  The One Thing That Changes Everything

by Stephen M.R. Covey

For anyone who is not totally convinced that trust is the foundation of all relationships, I urge you to read The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey.

In this extraordinary book, Covey convincingly makes the case that trust is the one thing that changes everything and is the glue of bonded relationships, both personal and professional!

Further, Covey demonstrates trust as the key to leadership competency in the global economy because trust is measurable and when trust goes up, costs come down.

Believing that trust drives everything in this fast-paced world, Covey explains how to trust and how to be trusted.  With that in mind, he provides a road map for how to establish trust on every level, to build character and competence, to enhance credibility and to create leadership that inspires confidence. Just as importantly, he shows how to restore lost trust.

“Low trust,” Covey writes, “is the greatest cost in life, in families and in organizations. Low trust creates hidden agendas, interpersonal conflict, politics, rivalries and defensive communication. It affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every project, and every effort in which we are engaged.”

Covey’s “5 Waves of Trust” model derives from the metaphor of the “ripple effect,” and illustrates the interdependent nature of trust and how it flows from the inside out. He defines five contexts in which we establish trust and which form the structure that underpins the book.

• The First Wave, Self Trust, deals with our credibility.

• The Second Wave, Relationship Trust, is about consistent behavior and the 13 Behaviors

• The Third Wave, Organizational Trust, deals with alignment.

• The Fourth Wave, Market Trust, deals with reputation.

• The Fifth Wave, Societal Trust, is about contribution.

Stephen M. R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust, like his father’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, provides transformational ideas and tools that I rely on throughout all aspects of my life. If you want to develop more trusting relationships, to repair a breach of trust, or create transparency in an organization, this excellent book is for you.