The Speed of Trust "The One Thing that Changes Everything" by Stephen M.R. Covey explores the profound impact that trust has on individuals, relationships, teams, and organizations. The book presents several key ideas about the importance of trust and how it can be cultivated:
Trust as a Cornerstone
Covey argues that trust is the foundation of all successful relationships, both personally and professionally. Without trust, communication, collaboration, and effectiveness are compromised.
The Two Dimensions of Trust
The book introduces two dimensions of trust: character trust and competence trust. Character trust relates to a person's integrity, honesty, and ethics, while competence trust relates to their skills, capabilities, and reliability.
The Four Cores of Credibility
Covey identifies four cores of credibility that underlie character trust: integrity, intent, capabilities, and results. Leaders and individuals must develop and demonstrate these cores to build trust.
The Five Waves of Trust
Covey describes the ripple effect of trust as it extends outward in "waves." The waves of trust include self-trust, relationship trust, organizational trust, market trust, and societal trust. Building trust within each of these spheres is essential for success.
The Trust Tax and Dividend
Trust has tangible consequences for organizations and individuals. High trust reduces the "trust tax," which consists of hidden costs, such as bureaucracy and delays, associated with low trust. Conversely, high trust yields a "trust dividend" in the form of increased speed, efficiency, and collaboration.
The 13 Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders
Covey outlines 13 behaviors that high-trust leaders exhibit. These behaviors include talking straight, demonstrating respect, creating transparency, righting wrongs, and keeping commitments.
The Trust Matrix
The book introduces a trust matrix, which helps individuals and organizations assess their trustworthiness. The matrix consists of four quadrants: low credibility and low competence, high credibility and low competence, low credibility and high competence, and high credibility and high competence.
Smart Trust
Covey advocates for "smart trust," which involves discerning when to extend or withhold trust based on an assessment of the situation and the individuals involved. Smart trust balances prudence with a willingness to trust when appropriate.
Restoring Trus
When trust is broken, the book provides a framework for restoring it, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the breach, making amends, and rebuilding credibility.
Creating a High-Trust Culture
Covey explains how leaders can create a culture of high trust within their organizations by modeling trustworthiness, aligning systems and processes with trust values, and fostering a climate of accountability and transparency.
The Link Between Trust and Speed
The book underscores the idea that trust accelerates decision-making and execution. High trust leads to faster results, while low trust slows down progress due to increased scrutiny, skepticism, and bureaucratic processes.

"The Speed of Trust" emphasizes that trust is not just a soft, interpersonal quality but a measurable and strategic asset that drives organizational success and personal effectiveness. It provides actionable insights and principles for building and sustaining trust in various aspects of life and work.