The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey Book Review

Jan Jones
October 29, 2023

The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey dives deep into the subject of trust like no other book I have seen or read on the topic.

Trust is explained to be the driving force of all relationships, personal and professional. Covey details many personal experiences building and restoring trust in his corporate career that give hope to those of us who have ever been caught in a bureaucratic web of suspicion and distrust of leaders and decision-makers.  Trust can be restored, and the speed of productivity can be recaptured.

This is more of a “how-to” book than I expected, which makes it a great resource for growing your “trust ability” and restoring trust that has been lost personally or professionally.


Covey defines trust as confidence, the opposite of trust as suspicion. Confidence in what? Their integrity, abilities, and agenda.

The visual of a thrown pebble creating ripples in water is given to illustrate the relationship of trust building from the center out.

Self-trust is the inner wave and focuses upon credibility. The four cores of credibility being:

                  Integrity: are you congruent?

                       Intent: What’s your agenda?

                       Capabilities: Are you relevant?

                       Results: What’s your track record?

Relationships is the second ripple and the focus is on your behavior.

    The 13 behaviors discussed:

                       Talk straight      Demonstrate Respect     Create Transparency

                       Right wrongs     Show loyalty     Deliver results     Get better

                       Confront reality     Clarify expectations     Practice accountability

                       Listen first     Keep commitments   Extend trust     Action plan

Stakeholder Trust encompasses the third though fifth ripples and covers:

             Organizational Trust: The principle of Alignment

             Market Trust: The principle of Reputation

             Societal Trust: The principle of Contribution

The book concludes with a hopeful message that trust can be restored once lost and should be extended. He gives a detailed how-to approach to restore trust and extend trust in a “smart” way.

I recommend this book for people at all levels of business, but also for use in their personal life. It will deepen your understanding of what it means to be trustworthy.

-Jan Jones

For more on trust, check out this video: