One of the first forums that caught my eye was this one on "favorite books" and I've gained at least a dozen recommendations that I've added to my reading list. Fantastic!

A book that left me with a good impression was Stephen M.R. Covey's [b]The Speed of Trust[/b].
(Son of author Stephen R. Covey who wrote the famous "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" book).

It's no secret that trust is fundamental to any business, reporting, family, partner, marriage, etc. relationship. I find myself discussing this topic in the classroom a lot and I was excited by the detailed framework that Covey offers here. It seems that we all view trust as defacto and don't give it much thought beyond a teambuilding event that, in and of itself, is supposed to foster trust. That's not enough!

This book outlines 5 different types of trust (self trust based on the principle of credibility, relationship trust based on the principle of proper behavior, organizational trust based on the principle of alignment, market trust based on the principle of reputation, and societal trust based on the principle of contribution) and then discusses the 13 behaviors that establish or rebuild trust. It also offers a type of benchmark that we can use to evaluate how we're doing with our various interactions.

With all the rich discussions here about books I thought I would pose the question...

Did anyone else read this book? Did you enjoy it? Do you see the value in Covey's analysis of trust? Has it changed anything about the way you approach your direct reports?

Look foward to hearing from you.

cwatine's picture
Training Badge

I would be interested also to know about the book before I would buy it ... If it is like his father's books ... It is certainly big.
I personally liked the ideas in Covey's books, but not the books them selves : too big, too complicated. I got lost :oops:

Another thing about "Speed of Trust" : what I read in the sum-ups and comments seems so obvious, I can't see what can be developed in the book! Am I wrong?

Maybe another good way would be the audio. I saw it on Itunes.

swifty27's picture

I do think it's obvious but it's one of those fundamental topics that sounds more obvious once it's been said out loud than it does when you're trying to practice it daily.

Too often we mention the word "trust" and people say (or think), "ya ya ya I got that and I know the issue(s) surround trust" but then fail to do a good job at earning/building/supporting trust within their organization. Quite the opposite, we violate some basic tenants and wonder why our relations are strained.

What I liked about Covey Jr.'s approach in this book is that it's direct and straight forward. He simply identifies how trust looks and feels in different settings (read the 5 types above) and then explores, in more of a bullet point list kind of way, how we damage, build, or rebuild trust using different leadership behaviors.

I found myself thinking, "Yes, I can use that" while I was listening. I also found myself thinking, "Are you done yet?" while listening but that was mostly because my mind wandered.

It's that mixed reaction that led me to post here and ask for others opinion. I suspect there is value there but the work isn't perfect. I suspect that there is enough value there that it's worth really studying and pulling out some solid recommendations, maybe even structures to use in describing someone's dysfunction but I haven't done that yet so I was looking for more input.

If you read/listen to it, please let me know.

cwatine's picture
Training Badge

I agree with you. A book like this is supposed not only to tell you those obvious things, it is also supposed to motivate you to put them in application.

However, much too often, books of this kind are an addition of obvious advices followed by a huge quantity of examples or data "proving" those advices are right and that they work.

The problem is that [b]proof is not motivation.[/b] I can be sure that you are right and not follow your advice.

It takes something else to motivate someone ... Something more profound (what would motivate you would not motivate me) ... By the way, Mark and Mike podcasts do a perfect job in motivating us !

I will get the audio and tell you my mind ...

cwatine's picture
Training Badge

I had a long trip today, by car, so I could listen to the Audio (and to some MT casts too !).

I was not hooked by the book. As I said, I did not find it motivating and could not see how it could change me and my interaction with others. For me, it looks like a "classification" of the different kinds of "trusts" and the lists and arguments just seem "obvious".

It seems that it is not the kind of arguments that get me eager to act.

HMac's picture

I'll admit that I only skimmed the material - but I was left by it thinking that it's a case of extending the "Covey brand" a little too far. Not enough original content or unique enough a point of view.

If you think about it, the original "Seven Habits" was chock full of content - so much so that it become the motherlode for a really impressive body of work. But as with other things that were huge hits, I think there's a natural tendency to release things under the brand name that are a bit too weak, and probably wouldn't make it without the coverage of the brand.


jhbchina's picture

BLUF, I recently finished reading this book, and I recommend it. If you step back and think of what Mike & Mark a book's the requirements this book meet them. It is a practical book with lots of "what you can do" points. If you are a fan of Covey Sr, reading Covey Jr will not be a disappointment.

I am not big on listening to books, for I am a visual person.  The examples and case studies are add value to the book. 

JHB  "00"