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The Speed of Trust Review

A while ago I read Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything . As you would guess, Stephen M.R. is the son of Dr. Stephen R. Covey, who wrote the extremely influential book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The heritage shows. Speed of Trust is written in a very similar style to 7 Habits, and I mean that as praise. It contains reasonable advice, based on the author’s work with clients, and is seasoned with anecdotes from Stephen M.R.’s clients and family/personal life. It discusses five ‘waves’; thirteen ‘behaviors’; and the four ‘cores of credibility’ that inspire trust. I know management consultants are often mocked for their love of the numbered list, but there’s a reason why they use it: it enhances recall for the reader.

Echoing Ronald Coase‘s argument for why firms exist in the first place, Stephen M.R. argues that a high-trust workplaces receive two main benefits: they get things done faster, and at a lower cost. This certainly echos my own experience, both inside and between firms.

What’s particularly interesting to me, given my experience building Circle of Experts, is how economic capital can be used to substitute for social capital in building trust. The whole power of an expert network is that it allows a customer to very rapidly open up a high-trust conversation with a source, without all of the lengthy relationship-building that historically was necessary. This can reduce the amount of effort required to build trust.

I think that the book has a lot of wisdom and encourage you to take a look.

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