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Smart Trust Paperback – 10 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (10 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085720792X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857207920
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen M. R. Covey is a Harvard MBA and the former CEO of the Covey Leadership Center which, under his stewardship, became the largest leadership development company in the world. He is in demand as a leading authority on creating high-performance organizations. He lives in Utah.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jag Tatla on 17 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
I saw this book in an airport bookshop, and recent events at work had engendered in me a need to rebuild an ability to trust. This book seemed like the right recipe.

However as I read through this, I was somewhat disappointed. I give it two stars because it does state some truisms about trust - that trusted people will perform more effectively, trust has to be granted before it can be earned, and the need to trust without being gullible and so on. However, it takes over 260 pages to say what could be communicated in a 5-page essay. It is highly repetitive, it reverse engineers success stories to imply that trust was the main driver and motivator of the success, it speaks to many examples (some personal) which are at best tangential to the question of trust.

Given it's desperation to find examples of great acts of trust in the public sphere, it is surprising it does not pick up Nelson Mendela's release and his subsequent endorsement of the "rainbow nation" - in my opinion possibly the greatest act of "smart trust" on both sides in the 20th Century and maybe many more. Detractors may well respond that Mandela had no choice given the collapse of the Soviet Union, but he still had to trust the Apartheid era politicians and the people of South Africa (of all colours) not to take the law into their own hands.

The book also makes some simple blunders that should have been picked up during proofing - e.g. it states that Denmark (with a lower population than London) has the 5th highest GDP in the world. Even if the book intended to state that Denmark has the 5th highest GDP per capita in the world, that would be wrong. The example of Mark Zuckerberg backtracking on a verbal agreement is hardly one of trust !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lou Lou 2 on 16 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
I was quite excited when the book arrived and couldn't wait to start reading it. At first I was impressed with the writing and the content but by the time I was about halfway through I was getting a tad bored. The point the writers are making is well explained in the first few chapters and after that it just seems to be repetition.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love it. This is great common sense that we have to be told as we ( I for one) seem to forget and need reminding.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Maghribi traders had the right idea: To capitalize on lucrative business opportunities amid the chaotic political and social climate of the Middle East in the 10th century, these merchants formed an economic system that spanned miles, cultures, and governments - all based on handshakes. Leadership experts Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link (working with writer Rebecca Merrill) offer the story of the Maghribis to set the stage for their innovative "Smart Trust" strategy, which helps people create, maintain and leverage high-trust relationships and business environments in today's "low-trust world." They explore why people trust and why they don't, why some people adopt the wrong kinds of trust, and how trust shapes your perceptions. In this well-researched, logically organized presentation, the authors draw from their experiences and those of numerous firms and individuals to show how trust can raise your "prosperity, energy and joy." getAbstract believes this inspiring work could motivate you to take "the lead in extending trust" to enhance your professional and personal relationships - and you can trust us on that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
This Book Is Both Amazing and Important 10 Jan. 2012
By Rodger Dean Duncan, author of "Change-friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance." - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is both amazing and important. It's amazing because it thoughtfully analyzes the most critical issue of our time - trust - and does so in a way that's easily digested and understood. It's important because exercising the practices it espouses can produce profoundly positive outcomes.

Trust is the glue that holds together nations, organizations, families, and every good relationship on earth. Most of us already know that. What many people haven't yet discovered is the principle-centered framework that enables "smart trust" - balancing risk with opportunity, competence with character.

This powerful book by Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link gets to the heart of what can make trust work to everyone's advantage. They show how to cut through the traditional trust or distrust dichotomy. Covey and Link give us a handy set of trust lenses through which we can realistically envision a whole new world of possibility in our current and potential relationships.

As I coach leaders in a wide range of organizations, I'm frequently asked "Should I lead with my head or with my heart?" My answer is always the same: "Yes. Both." The most effective leaders - corporate executives, politicians, educators, clergy, parents, etc. - resist the head or heart quandary. They balance caution with optimism, analysis with empathy. They are neither gullible nor overly rigid. They exercise Smart Trust.

Covey and Link elaborate on five specific actions that produce Smart Trust:
1. Choose to Believe in Trust
2. Start With Self
3. Declare Your Intent ... and Assume Positive Intent in Others
4. Do What You Say You're Going to Do
5. Lead Out in Extending Trust to Others

The authors don't merely throw out platitudes. They provide plenty of compelling evidence in the form of case studies from the real world. They demonstrate that Smart Trust is not only achievable, it's - well, it's Smart.
60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Read Speed of Trust Which is Far More Insightful and Practical 12 Jan. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a spin off from a chapter from the authors' previous book, Speed of Trust, which is far better written. More practical and insightful with the 13 Behaviors of trust-building laid out in the book. This book is kind of conceptual and filled up with many rhetorics, like trust enhances prosperity, energy, and joy, etc. Sound very idealistic in a low trust world these days. This new book only repeats the key messages from the previous book, and keeps on stating the obvious--trust with care and wisdom. Sometimes self-help authors have a tendency to state simple facts or truths in complicated ways, using a lot of jargons.

Principle-centred, emotional bank account, speed of trust, etc....

Jargons after jargons, they are stating the same thing over and over again with so called new examples. Underneath, the same old messages! Got a lot fed up by self-help books these days. Quantity versus quality!

Try "The Trusted Advisor" and "Practice What You Preach" by ex-Harvard Business School professor and seasoned consultant , David H. Maister too. Those books have far more practical ideas and skills to offer in the trust-building areas in human and client relations.

Or try "The Science of Trust" and "Relationship Cure" in family relationship and marriage by Dr. John Gottman, both have solid research to back up and not just common sensical stuff made complicated like "Smart Trust".

I trust that the authors of "Smart Trust" have good intention, but this new book and the audio book edition that I have just listened to only just don't deliver a lot of new insights and inspirations that I long for from their new book.

I think just like 7 Habits book, which has been overly line-extended as a "brand franchise" and milked for profits, each new book just keeps on repeating themselves with new book jackets and titles under the same "old 7 Habits School". "Smart Trust" has the same tendency to ride on the "Speed of Trust franchise", which will simply water down the "brand trust" of the Covey Family Brand in the long term. Just like the recent "3rd Alternative" book by Stephen Covey which is simply a lengthy elaboration of Habit 6 Synergy, which makes it not as inspirational as the first 7 Habits book!
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Don't distrust, trust smart 10 Jan. 2012
By Mark Goulston - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
If you end up at the end of your life trusting no one, you may end up safe (from hurt or disappointment), but you will end up very sorry. The answer after you have trusted people and been let down, hurt or disappointed is not to stop trusting, but to trust smartly. In this wonderful follow up to their book The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything , Covey and Link have provided a no nonsense, straight forward road map about how to trust smartly.

The key to trusting more smartly is by doing what Covey and Link call a Smart Trust analysis which involves three variables:

1. Opportunity (the situation - what you're trusting someone with)
2. Risk (the level of risk involved)
3. Credibility (the character and competence of the people involved)

1. Opportunity - This is simply answering for yourself, "I am trusting this person to/with/for ________________." Are you trusting them to give you money, do a job, follow through on something they promised, or to keep something in confidence?
2. Risk - Trusting anyone or anything always involves some risk. To evaluate the degree of risk answer the question: a) What are the possible outcomes? So if someone said they'd give you money the outcomes may be: they will, they won't, they'll delay in giving you it beyond what they promised, they'll pay you less than they promised; b) What is the likelihood of the outcomes? Reasonable is not the same as realistic. Reasonable means, everything makes sense or what someone told you seems reasonable. Realistic means what is likely to happen. How realistic is it that that person will give you that money if they don't have it and have to get if from someone else or if they have it, but have other priorities suddenly thrust upon them? Trusted advisors or friends with no agenda and who want the best for you can often be your greatest "reality check" about the realistic likelihood of something working out even if you don't like their sometimes telling you, "No." For this critical role pick people who can give you a reason for their saying, "No," as opposed to the dispiriting people who are just naysayers (which you are hinting your wife might be, not that I want to start an argument there); c) What are the importance and visibility of the outcomes? The more important, critical and urgent something is, the more you won't be able to deal with it not coming through. For instance, for someone not to come through with money they promised you might make you have to scurry around to find it somewhere else, but if what they promised you was critical to your staying in or going out of business that's a much different level of risk.
3. Credibility - This is about the character and competence of the person or people involved. This directly affects the "likelihood of the outcomes" mentioned above. The lesser the character and competence, the lesser the likelihood of a good outcome. Character is about integrity. It's about doing what you say you'll do, when you say you'll do it and at the first signal that you might not be able to do what you promised, letting all parties know and taking an alternative action. Competence is about the person's capabilities and their track record. Furthermore, the competence needs to be relevant to the present circumstance or whatever job is to be done. Does this person you're expecting money from have access to it? Are there any complicating other priorities that might delay it? Do they have a track record of giving people money?

Try using the above "filters" the next time you trust someone.

I have never read a "soft skills" book that was backed with such extensive research and jam packed with so many stories that all the skeptics among you and even some of you hardened cynics will reconsider giving trust another try.

If my testimonial isn't enough, the foreward by Indra Nooyi, CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo, and one of the most trusted and respected CEO's in the world should compel you to give this book your consideration.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
For those who aspire to be leaders, this MAY be a place to start 24 Jan. 2012
By rlweaverii - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

Let's just say that you have not read "The Trusted Advisor" or "Practice What You Preach" by ex-Harvard Business School professor and seasoned consultant, David H. Maister. And let's say that you are not familiar with "The Science of Trust" and "Relationship Cure" in family relationship and marriage by Dr. John Gottman, both of which have solid research to back up and not just commonsense stuff made complicated like "Smart Trust."--mentioned in another review of this book at by Tiger "SamFan." If you were to come to this book fresh, with little information about trust as part of your background, then you certainly might discover new insights and useful information.

I found the book a bit dry--somewhat like a college textbook--and the writing style is not particularly engaging. Most of the examples are good, and there are 21 pages of notes and a complete index, but the book remains a bit tedious and, at points, boring.

If you think of the entire concept of "smart trust," it isn't rocket science, and most leaders become leaders because of it. They already possess the concept--it is natural, embedded, and etched deeply in their psyche--that is one element that propels them to leadership positions. Can it be taught? Like those who are effective communicators, I'm not certain. It can be polished, honed, and perfected, of course -- but taught?

For those who are just starting out and want to become leaders, this might be one place to start, although the books mentioned in the first paragraph (above) might serve as better starting places.

You have to believe in trust; you have to start with your self; you have to declare your intent and assume positive intent in others; you have to do what you say you're going to do, and you have to lead out in extending trust to others. (These represent titles to the various chapters.) To me, these seem to be natural, well-understood, and basic. This book is very fundamental -- commonsense, it seems to me.

I'm not saying the book is bad, nor is it off the mark in any way. I'm just saying that it seems to me that any smart person--especially those who aspire to be leaders--would know this information already. Maybe it's in their genes. Maybe it's in everyone's genes!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Don't waste your mone, take an hour and read it in your library... 26 Jan. 2012
By PContino - Published on
Format: Hardcover
While the ideas here are timely and fashionable, the overall message is repeated throughout the book. It feels like Covey allowed his name to be used on a book that was actually written by a literate MBA student. I'm not sure how this received such high ratings at Amazon, maybe there are lots of Covey lovers from his previous efforts. The central ideas of this book are strong, but the book itself is worthy of a browsing at your library and not much more.
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