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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen M.R. Covey’

Theo Epstein and the Trust Factor in Leadership

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Theo EpsteinDoes trust really matter when it comes to leadership? After all, leaders pay people to do their jobs. Trust is somewhat beside the point, right?

Actually, not by a long shot. Research both formal and anecdotal proves that organizations run as such suffer in big ways, including the bottom line.

On the other hand, leaders who treat their people with respect and who’ve earned the trust of their people tend to have an entirely different result. These organizations are happier, healthier, more profitable, and sometimes even win world championships after 86 years and 108 years respectively.

Last week I received a very excited email from my great friend and brother, Randy Stelter, a veteran professional educator and Athletic Director of Wheeler High School (and without question a long-time loyal Chicago Cubs fan). Randy is also the coauthor of A Teacher’s Guide to The Go-Giver, a curriculum for High School students.

He wrote:

“I was coming home today from an Athletic Director’s meeting and ESPN Radio was interviewing Cubs President, Theo Epstein. They asked him about the ‘trust factor’ he has with the players. He shared a story about sitting on the bench with a player in 1995. The player made a statement about the fact that no MLB (Major League Baseball) players ever trust management. Theo said the lightbulb went off and he vowed he would never lie to a player and that all contracts and conversations with agents would be on the up-and-up. He has never deceived a player during negotiations. He went on about ‘trusting and knowing’ the players and meeting their needs in the contract periods. Very refreshing and no wonder he has turned two programs around that had such world series droughts.”

No wonder, indeed. Of course he brought a lot of knowledge and talent to the equation. But, lots of baseball executives have knowledge and talent. That’s simply the baseline (no pun intended). Trust was a key factor for the man who brought the Boston Red Sox their first World Series championship since 1918 and the Chicago Cubs their first one since 1908.

It was the trust he focused so hard on earning that allowed him to operate without the — as Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust puts it — “low-trust tax” that affects so many organizations.  After all, when your team-members know you care about them, they’ll not only negotiate in good faith; they’ll be committed to a team goal that is bigger than themselves.

As Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last so eloquently stated it, “Trust is a biological reaction to the belief that someone has our well-being at heart.”

Trust comes not by being demanded but by being earned, in small part by what one says, in greater part through what one does, but in greatest part…through who one is!

Mr. Epstein, as a public figure, is a fantastic ambassador of this message. But he’s just the latest in an ever-growing line of leaders who understand this simple truth: when leaders earn trust, they are nine steps ahead of the game…in a ten-step game.

The Missing Piece to the Influence Puzzle

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Trust is the missing piece – Bob BurgIf influence is the ability to move a person(s) to a desired and appropriate action, then what is its lynchpin?

What is that one…thing that, without it, you convince but cannot persuade and, with it, you can rally a single person or huge group to commit themselves to a cause?

What is that one…thing that will make the difference between “that’s a good idea; I’ll really have to consider thinking about perhaps some day maybe doing that” and, “yeah, baby, I’m on board; let’s do this thing!”?

I strongly believe that:

“When it comes to influence, TRUST is often the missing piece.”

I often say that, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”

We can also add the phrase, “and allow themselves to be influenced by.”

Yes, it might be a seller attempting to influence a prospect that they have the right solution to their problem. Perhaps it’s an employer wanting to influence her employees that the company is worth standing behind.

Maybe it’s the non-profit’s executive director attempting to influence his community that the charity he represents is the proper steward for their donations. Or, it could be a corporate CEO trying to influence the public to see her company as the leader in their field.

If the trust isn’t there, it most likely isn’t going to happen.

The dictionary defines trust as: “The character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.”

In his terrific book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey says trust is based on both character and competence (when anything of significance is involved, one of them without the other just isn’t going to cut it).

That person trying to influence you; do you trust him or her?

That person who you are trying to influence; does he or she trust you?

If not, why not? What can they do to elicit your trust? What can you do to elicit their trust?

What examples have you seen where everything seemed just perfect…but the “trust piece” was missing? Was it able to be fixed? If so, how?


Have you picked up your copy of my new book, Adversaries into Allies yet?

If not, visit www.AdversariesintoAllies.com and get Chapter One.

If you have purchased the book, be sure and let us know so you can obtain immediate access to the five brief videos — covering the Five Key Principles of Ultimate Influence — that are my thank you gift to you.

“Smart Trust” – An Interview With Stephen M.R. Covey

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In 2006, Stephen M.R. Covey, with coauthor Rebecca R. Merrill, wrote a book from which I have quoted at practically every single one of my live programs.

The Speed of Trust showed the world that trust — typically thought of as a “soft skill” — is actually a quantifiable skill with huge economic value and, as the authors say, “the one thing that changes everything.”

Now, Stephen (son of the legendary Dr. Stephen R. Covey of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame), along with his business partner, Greg Link (as well as Ms. Merrill), is back with a new book which shows how to create prosperity, energy and joy in a low-trust world.

Stephen M. R. CoveySmart TrustAs indicated by the title, this has nothing to do with naivete. It is not blind trust. Neither is it distrust. As the author shares, however, it is a third alternative; a different way of seeing and being, known as Smart Trust.

Enjoy this discussion with Stephen.


After listening to Stephen, how do you feel you do in terms of your sense of “Smart Trust?”

NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

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