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The Speed of Trust

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The Speed of Trust

The One Thing That Changes Everything

Free Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Trust is the core value that shapes what kind of organization you have, be it your company or your family.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


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?), getAbstract recommends it to readers seeking confirmation of perennial truths about the importance of trust and its application in business.


The Value of Trust

Trust is necessary to the credibility – and, therefore, the empowerment – of any organization, economy or human relationship. People who work in an atmosphere of trust can collaborate productively, so things get done faster and at lower cost. Without trust, however, business slows down and costs rise. When trust is absent, people keep trying to protect themselves against those whom they cannot trust. They insist on getting everything in writing because they cannot believe what people say and they engage in other steps whose only function is to compensate for lack of trust. The absence of trust is like a tax on a business. The presence of trust is like a dividend.

“Character and competence” underlie trust. Character includes integrity, motivation and the right attitude. Competence includes skills, capabilities, work habits and results or products. A competent yet dishonest person is untrustworthy; so is an honest but incompetent person. Trust can be built, broken and restored. Those who speak and act in ways that build trust pursue it as a distinct purpose. They are attuned to the “five waves of trust,” which move outward among people, like the...

About the Authors

Stephen M. R. Covey is co-founder and CEO of CoveyLink, a leadership consultancy. Rebecca R. Merrill is the co-author of Life Matters and Connections (with Roger Merrill) and of First Things First (with Merrill and Stephen R. Covey).

Comment on this summary

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    E. J. 2 years ago
    Good information for new leaders but maybe even a more helpful reminder to experienced leaders as best practice.
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    C. K. 2 years ago
    This summary is encouraging me to get the book and learn more!
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    K. C. 6 years ago
    Wonderful read

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