Friday, September 28, 2012

Covey’s Speed of Trust 3: Character and Competence

Covery trust character and competenceThis continues our review of Stephen M. R. Covey’s book The Speed of Trust. I share tidbits to encourage you to buy the book, study it carefully, and implement its teachings.

Covey writes “Most of us tend to think about trust in terms of character—of being a good or sincere person or of having ethics or integrity. And character is absolutely foundational and essential. But as I suggested in the previous chapter, to think that trust is based on character only is a myth.”

Trust: a Function of Character and Competence

I agree with Covey’s premise about character and competence

  • “Character includes your integrity, your motive, your intent with people”
  • “Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, your results, your track record”
  • “Both are vital”

Covey states that, even as society reinforces ethics, ethics alone will not engender trust. People must note the ethics, integrity, and character of a person to trust them, He writes

  • “You might think a person is sincere, even honest, but you won’t trust that person fully if he or she doesn’t get results”
  • “And the opposite is true”
  • “A person might have great skills and talents and a good track record, but if he or she is not honest, you’re not going to trust that person either.”

Elements that Support and Develop Trust

The chart at the top of the post shows 4 cores of credibility for both character and competence:

  • Character uses two cores: intent and integrity.
    • Good intents include caring, transparency, and openness
    • Integrity includes honesty, fairness, and authenticity
  • Competence uses two cores: capability and results.
    • Capability includes skills, knowledge, and experience
    • Results develop your reputation, credibility, and performance

Others Confirm This Principle

Covey shares quotes from other leaders that confirm the dual factors of trust:

  • Jack Welch “Live the values” (character) and “Deliver results” (competence)
  • Warren Buffett prioritizes “integrity” (character) and “intelligence” (competence)
  • Jim Collins describes level 5 leaders possessing “extreme personal humility (character) and “intense professional will” (competence)
  • Ram Charan emphasizes “a leader of the people” (character) and a “leader of business” (competence)

Monday we will introduce Covey’s Five Waves of Trust

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