Stephen M.R. Covey

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Average: 3.5 (16 votes)

This review was submitted by jhbchina.

Overall this book is a delightful read and will help the reader recognize what types of behavior impacts their ability to be trusted by others. Many of the thirteen actionable items mentioned in the book are good tools for improving relationships with others, and will come in handy for coaching and delegating tasks to direct reports. Any fan of Covey senior’s “7 Habits” and “First Things First” can clearly sense that the “13 Behaviors” of building trust could be called “Habits”. If you are a die hard “7 Habits” enthusiast, then you will certainly enjoy the book, and feel that you have “Sharpened the Saw”. 

In the beginning Stephen M.R. Covey builds the foundation of his theory of how “trust” impacts the speed of transactions. He describes many incidents, drills down to the “trust factor” and shows the possible end products had the “trust factor” been better. The greater the “trust factor” the faster things get done. The less the “trust factor” the slower and more expensive activities take to get completed. When there is a lack of trust, the impact is a tax, when there is high trust, the impact is a dividend. On the whole, Covey believes that people can modify their behavior so that others are confident that they can be trusted.

Similar to “7 Habits” this book is broken down into two main elements: 1) Self Trust and 2) Relationship Trust. Resembling “7 Habits” where the reader is taught first how to choose who they are, “Speed of Trust” starts off by guiding the audience on how to have more “Self Trust”. Covey does this by explaining the concept of “the Four Cores of Credibility” They are:

  • Core 1 – Integrity – Are You Congruent?
  • Core 2 – Intent- What’s Your Agenda?
  • Core 3 – Capabilities – Are You Relevant?
  • Core 4 – Results – What’s Your Track Record?

Covey then moves to the behaviors one needs to practice and master to create strong solid relationships of trust. This is the core of “Speed of Trust”. Overall, the thirteen behaviors are explained in simple details with interesting anecdotes from CEO’s such as Peter Huntsman, and authors such as Jim Collins. These stories enforce the accuracy of Covey’s theory. Many of the behaviors are easy to apply and practice and one can quickly improve their relationships. For managers, the most important behaviors that can be used with direct reports are:

       Talk Straight         Right Wrongs              Deliver Results

       Get Better            Clarify Expectations     Practice Accountability

       Keep Commitments     Extend Trust

In closing, “Speed of Trust” tackles the question “What is the value of trust?” It proves that trusting relationships save time, money and can be a competitive edge in today’s complex global economy.



lar12's picture
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I found the book gimmicky and without any original thought or insight when compared to other business/self-help books. However, I'm not a fan of Covey and anything that attempts to ride his coattails is met with a healthy degree of skepticism.



Every definition of a successful life includes service to others - President George H.W. Bush




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