Move With the Speed of Trust

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© Franklin Covey Co. and CoveyLink, LLC. All rights reserved. Move With the Speed of Trust STEPHEN M. R. COVEY In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and on the day after the stock market's worst day in over three decades, I spoke with a client who runs a technology consulting company in New York City. This CEO told me, "The disruption is devastating, and is hitting all of us. But it's interesting to me, when something like this happens, you see leaders invest and focus on all sorts of different things they think are vital to solving the problem at hand, but you know what? If I'm going to focus on anything, it's going to be on trust. Trust is baseline humanity, and we need it to solve our problems. If we get better at trust, that will help us navigate everything else." In times of change, crisis, and uncertainty, the greatest asset and security any leader has is their credibility. The greatest currency they have is the trust people have in them. The greatest power they have lies in how they choose to extend trust to others. While that's always true, during enormous disruption, the critical currency of trust carries an even greater premium. Trust is the one thing that changes everything. We still have to do other things — collaborate, be adaptive and agile, and stay responsive to changing conditions — but what this CEO was affirming as he navigated that particular crisis for his business is that we can do all of those things better if we start with trust. He's right. And if we lose trust, our ability to do any of those other things is profoundly diminished. If we do what it takes to build a high-trust culture, even in the midst of a crisis— and I would emphasize especially in the midst of a crisis— we'll be far more agile, collaborative, creative, and innovative. TRUST IS AN ACCELERATOR When we say "trust," many people think of a soft, nice- to-have social virtue, and it is that — but it's so much more. Trust is a pragmatic, hard-edged, economic, and actionable asset we can create through specific behaviors. It affects the speed at which we can move and the cost of everything.

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