In The Speed of Trust
, Stephen M. R. Covey (son of renowned author Stephen R. Covey (The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People)),
delves into the mechanics of trust, an element, which in spite the attention we think ourselves giving it, remains to a great extend underestimated. According to Covey, trust is the keystone for every relationship in our lives, including our relationship with ourselves.
The author does a great job in showing that trust is something we can recover. I believe this to be one of the most powerful ideas in the book. As individuals, we tend to think that trust is something unfixable and can’t be retrieved once lost. But the book shows different ways to help people recover their trust to themselves or to the people around them.
On the other hand, how can we determine who to trust? How can we know that we are trustable by other people? Here comes Covey and explains the key elements of trust which he calls the four cores: integrity, intent, capabilities, and results. Questioning these cores in others as well as ourselves can guide us in building trustful relationships in our lives, getting rid of the useless relationships with distrustful people, and enhancing our self-confidence and identity.
Covey also explores the different "types" of trust, which are highly correlated with one another: self trust, relationship trust, organizational trust, market trust, and societal trust. These five waves of trust, as the author calls them, are essential for the success and well being of not just ourselves, but our families, organizations, and societies as well. Throughout the book, the author emphasizes that the trust we build in our organizations and markets, is an echo of the trust we have in ourselves. I particularly liked when he talks about how trust can affect both speed and cost. The examples used to demonstrate this idea were very helpful and tangible, as the Warren Buffett’s acquisition of McLane Distribution from Wallmart. He shows how this 20$ billion acquisition took only two hours and a handshake due to the high trust both parties had in each other, and the whole merging process took less than a month instead of several months spent on formalities and millions paid to consultants and attorneys.
Covey also shows that it’s not only important to be trustable or to trust other people, but also to inspire them to trust themselves and one another and I think this is the essence of effective leadership in today's world.
Finally, the subject matter of this book may seem superficial for some (well, after all we all know that trust is important), but caught in our everyday lives, I can't help but realize that people underestimate trust or don't pay regard it as an asset
. This book can be helpful in showing how trust can affect everything and how we can make our lives and surroundings better by utilizing it more effectively.