The first job of a leader – at work or at home – is to inspire TRUST. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.
– Stephen M.R. Covey
TRUST is the guiding principle behind Venture Tech Partners and its team members. Over a decade ago I discovered Stephen M.R. Covey’s 2006 book, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, and instantly recognized that the book captured everything I had been trying to practice throughout my career. It has become my favorite business book, and I will regularly huddle with my team members to go over its concepts and applications. The same half-day seminar I have held with my direct reports I once conducted with a distributor in Korea, in repairing damaged trust and a broken relationship.
The premise is as follows. At nearly any business school worldwide, aspiring students learn that,
…where Strategy times Execution equals Results (or Revenue in a sales organization).
The more accurate formula would be,
…where Strategy times Execution, compounded by Trust, equals Results/Revenue.
In the first formula, if an organization has a Strategy score of 95%, and its Execution score is 95%, the Results (or Revenue) become 90.25% of what they could be. Consider, though, that if that organization’s Trust score is 50%, all of a sudden the results become just over 45% – a failing grade.
Trust changes everything! It’s important to note that Trust cannot rescue a flawed Strategy nor Execution; however, it sure can sink both! Hence the principles of The Speed of Trust are a relentless focus of our team, and Trust is at the core of all our successes.
I highly recommend the book, as well as FranklinCovey’s Global Speed of Trust Practice, I’ll quickly outline some principles they dive in to.
In my mind, it’s most important to nail the five waves of trust outlined in the book, which are:
- Personal Trust: The key principle underlying this wave is credibility. For a business, this may manifest as trustworthiness in the CEO or other executive.
- Relationship Trust: The key principle underlying this wave is consistent behavior. Only when there is a trustworthy relationship between you and your collaborators can you successfully cooperate and effectively work together.
- Organizational Trust: The key principle underlying this wave is alignment. Leaders help to create structures, systems, and symbols of organizational trust.
- Market Trust: The underlying principle behind this reputation. This comes only after significant effort has been expended and you have a good track record under your belt.
- Societal Trust: The underlying principle behind this wave is contribution, when everyone practices the above trust-building principles. Societal Trust is difficult to achieve and maintain in today’s day and age.
Another important principle is Restoring Trust. Now, we’ve all made mistakes and need to restore lost trust from time to time. Covey goes over how to change your behavior and repair damage you may have done to the trust others hold in you. This usually requires a significant amount of self-observation and repeated good behavior, but it can be done in many cases.
There is so much richness covered in this book; there’s just not time nor space to cover it all here. If you want to learn more about it, first and foremost get the book and devour it. Please feel free to reach out to me, as well, and we can we can discuss how to apply these principles in your organization and build lasting success.
About John Goodale
Having lived in or traveled to and done business in 50+ countries, John has a proven track record of maximizing sales, profits, and market share while opening and staffing offices globally.