Issue No. 186 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a best-selling book on the “speed of trust.” The author says you can “behave yourself out of a problem you’ve behaved yourself into…and often faster than you think!” And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
$10 Million Education
Yikes. I recommend lots of book. I don’t know anyone who reads all the books I recommend. And I can’t give every book an extraordinary rating. But five months into the year, I’ve clearly found another Top-10 book for 2010.
Clients and colleagues raved about it. So I bought it, but didn’t read it. I mean, it’s 322 pages, plus the index. Finally, I read a review that hooked me. So I read it. Wow! This is one powerful book. It has the potential to change the culture of your organization.
Stephen M.R. Covey is the son of Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—a classic. So could the son crank out anything special—especially on a subject as basic as trust? Yes. Very special.
“Contrary to what most people believe,” writes Covey, “trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create—much faster than you probably think possible.”
Covey’s content is very deep (character isn’t enough, you must also pair it with competence). His four cores of credibility will preach (Integrity, Intent, Capabilities and Results). And his 13 behaviors that flesh out the core are stunning, important, memorable and teachable. Examples: #1 Talk Straight, #3 Create Transparency, #4 Right Wrongs, #8 Confront Reality, #9 Clarify Expectations, and #11 Listen First.
Behavior #7 is Get Better. He quotes a story told by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus about IBM Founder Tom Watson Sr. in their book Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge:
“A prominent junior executive of IBM was involved in a risky venture for the company and managed to lose $10 million in the gamble. It was a disaster. When Watson called the nervous executive into his office, the young man blurted out, ‘I guess you want my resignation?’ Watson said, ‘You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent $10 million educating you!’ It’s this type of learning that caused Watson to say, ‘If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.’”
So what would it take in your organization to ignite the “speed of trust” so failures are an appropriate part of your culture? Covey’s answers and thinking are original and without the taint of fads or trendy stuff. You’ll read, ponder and remember. But it’s also a page-turner. Stories punctuate the principles and pithy quotations convict, like this one from Blaine Lee: “Almost all conflict is a result of violated expectations.”
You’ll repeat the hilarious story of his parents’ encounter with the Highway Patrol and your listeners (staff, board, family members) will never forget the episode or the core principle (intent). The dozens and dozens of illustrations will ensure that you’ll never think of trust—and the cost of squandering it—in the same light again.
Alan Greenspan said, “Rules cannot take the place of character.” Covey quotes a psychologist and corporate ethics trainer who said, “I see a lot of organizations who say they are going to tighten the rules. I don’t see a lot of them saying that they’re going to work to be extremely clear about what their values are, and give people training on how those values translate into actual behavior.” Amen.
Covey says that “leadership is getting results in a way that inspires trust.” His 13 behaviors tell you how to do that. I urge you to get your team reading and wresting with this important book.
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, by Stephen M.R. Covey.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Covey says that “it’s the little things—a day at a time, a weak or dishonest act at a time—that gradually weaken and corrode credibility.” Where are we on the little things that define trust?
2) Warren Buffet says, “I look for three things in hiring people. The first is personal integrity, the second is intelligence, and the third is a high energy level. But, if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” What do we look for in hiring people?
Leave Work on Time - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
Here’s the core competency in the Team Bucket, Chapter 9, in Mastering the Management Buckets:
“We believe that a balanced life honors God, each other, our families and our friends, so we leverage the unique set of talents and strengths given to each person by God. Thus we serve with more fulfillment and joy. We also leave work on time, physically and mentally.”
I heard a leader share this nugget with other leaders and managers a few years ago. “I leave the office at 5 p.m. every day, so my staff can leave at 5 p.m. too.”
For more resources from the Team Bucket, including a link to Andy Stanley’s powerful book, Choosing to Cheat, click on my website.