What is the speed of trust?

I routinely integrate the subject of Ethics into every thing that I do.  A person’s true character eventually will always show through in the manner in which they conduct themselves in every aspect of their life.  Personal integrity is all that a true man has once the thin veneer of a surface showmanship is stripped away.  Yet it is this reality that many fail to truly grasp as life’s bumps pierce the thin veneer of their life exposing the character beneath.

Covey says that the Speed of Trust is one of the most powerful forces of life.  Stephen Covey does an excellent job of discussing the life effect of one’s ethical charcter in his book titled "The Speed of Trust" available at Amazon.com.

In his book, Covey talks about how trust flows throughout our lives and directly impacts our relationships in everything that we do.  I consistently choose to live by the rule that integrity, ethics, and honor are the root character of who I am, and that those characteristics are demonstrated in the actions and successes that I experience.  Covey argues that this essence is integrated into your personal and professional life and is largely responsible for your succcesses and failures.

Covey adds the variable of "trust" to illustrate this impact in business success.  Covey states that business success is traditionally illustrated with the formula:

Strategy x Execution = Results

Covey illustrates the role of ethics or trust by adding Trust as a variable to that equation:

(Strategy x Execution) x Trust = Results

The illustration drives home the point that no matter how good your strategy and execution may be, if you are missing that personal characteristic of ethics and trust – your life successes will be reflected in diminished results.

It saddens me when I see this simple truth proved out in real life, where people of otherwise respectable talents make life choices regarding their personal ethics and trust.

Covey goes on to describe the role of trust in our life of relationships – describing five different circles of trust.

Five circles of trust:

  1. Self-Trust
  2. Relationship Trust
  3. Organizational Trust
  4. Market Trust
  5. Societal Trust

These relationships influence every aspect of our lives.    If you can’t trust yourself (self-trust), will you be able to build healthy relationships and friendships?  If you can’t maintain healthy relationships based on trust, will you be able to participate in larger organizational relationships?  Or will you consistently find yourself on the outside looking in? 

Covey goes on to describe the principle of market trust.  What is your reputation within the market?  Have you established a reputation of associations that cast doubt on your trustworthiness?  And within society, how do you personally contribute to trust in your personal relationships, organizational relationships, and market relationships.

You can examine your behaviours of trust by evaluating thirteen behaviours of trust.  Do you:

  • Talk Straight
  • Demonstrate Respect
  • Create Transparency
  • Right Wrongs
  • Show Loyalty
  • Get Better
  • Confront Reality
  • Clarify Expectations
  • Practice Accountability
  • Listen First
  • Keep Commitments, and
  • Extend Trust

Covey’s book "The Speed of Trust" is one of the most important books that a person can read.   Trust can be an assest and the lack of trust can be a liability, both personally and financially.  It is a fundamental concept that can be a life altering experience. 

Covey breaks character and competence down further into what he calls the "4 Cores of Credibility" – integrity, intent, capabilities, and results.  When you combine integrity, intent, and trustworthiness – you have a rare person; and capabilities and results will follow!

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Ethics

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