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Book Review: Covey, Stephen M.R. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, Simon and Schuster, New York, N.Y. 2006
Reviewed by Ron Aguilera

A few months ago, a good friend of mine recommended this book to me. He told me it was the best book on developing trust he had ever read. Since I believe this is a critical issue these days, I bought it and read it recently on the plane during my trip to Thailand and Cambodia.

Even though, it is not a spiritual book, the topic of building trust is critical for those of us in ministry. The trust we have with our leaders and the trust others (our members, church leaders, family, etc…) have in us is critical to our ministry. This book not only explains the dynamics of trust, but spends the bulk of its time on thirteen behaviors that can help us behave our way out of the problems we’ve behaved into…behaviors that will help us establish trust and gain credibility.

The premise of the book is this that you can’t have success without trust. All of us have experienced this at some level. In a high trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing and people will still get your meaning. How many of us have experienced the opposite?

Covey spends the first part of the book talking about how to create credibility and what he calls the four cores of credibility: Integrity, Intent, Capabilities, and Results. A statement that caught my attentions was that when trust goes down, speed goes down and cost goes up. In other words, when there is little trust, there is little progress, and a lot of pain.

Covey spends four chapters on how to develop the four cores of credibility. Each chapter has practical applications and things we can do to develop our credibility and enhance trust. But, the core of the book is the 13 behaviors (a chapter each) we can apply to our lives that will helps develop the trust we need to minister effectively. Things like: Talk Straight, Create Transparency, Right Wrongs, Confront Reality, Listen First, Keep Commitments, etc… Each chapter has assessment questions that help you determine where you are and “Trust Tips” that will help you grow.

This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. It is serving as a great tool for my personal growth. And, I believe the church can only grow to the level of our growth, so we must continue growing, learning, and being open to how God leads us.