The words, “trust me”, seem to roll off some people’s tongue as if just saying them is enough to induce belief. The words conjure up images of snake oil salespeople, slippery politicians, lying tradespeople and deceitful real estate agents. The list of “who don’t you trust” seems endless.
The lack of trust in modern society and its continuing decline is a major issue not just in business, but socially, politically and in the family. That’s why The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M R Covey is such an important book. Stephen M.R. Covey is the son of the famous Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Not surprisingly, many of his father’s themes are interwoven throughout this book.
Covey maintains that mistrust doubles the cost of doing business. He calls it the Hidden Trust Tax. He claims that organisations that do 360 feedback and include the question: “Do you trust your boss?” have learned that the answer to that one question is the most predictive of team and organisational performance.
With trust present, things go faster and costs go down. “Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust,” meaning nothing can accelerate a transaction, a task, or project of any kind like trust. For instance, when there is a high level of trust between parties in a business transaction, deals can be made in minutes with a handshake.
Not only does trust make things faster, it simply makes every aspect of our lives better. To use another business example, a high level of trust between an organisation’s members promotes innovation, generates productivity, and results in cost savings. Trust “changes everything.” It’s not just a touchy-feely concept. Covey gives statistics to back it up.
Although it has value for everyone, this book is especially helpful and important reading for those in leadership positions.