Trust and Inspire Book Summary - Trust and Inspire Book explained in key points
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Trust and Inspire summary

Stephen M.R. Covey

How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others

4.5 (145 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

Trust and Inspire by Stephen M.R. Covey is a leadership book that explores how trust can be harnessed to inspire and motivate teams. It provides practical tips for building trust-based relationships that lead to increased productivity and engagement.

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    Trust and Inspire
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    Why the Command & Control leadership style is outdated

    If your résumé contains more than a few jobs over the years, there’s a good chance that at some point, you’ve felt like just a cog in a machine; maybe you were stuck behind a desk, dealing with mindless, repetitive tasks all day. Or maybe you just felt out of touch with the master plan, unsure whether your efforts were really making a difference.

    If this sounds familiar, you’ve likely toiled under a leadership style known as Command & Control. Of course, you weren’t alone. Command & Control has been popular since the Industrial Revolution. In fact, you could say that leaders who practice Command & Control take a machinist’s approach to getting things done; they see workers as resources who are there to do as they’re told. The name says it all, doesn’t it? It’s a top-down approach to leadership that’s all about commanding and controlling your employees in the name of maximum efficiency and productivity.

    Command & Control isn’t limited to the workplace, either. Perhaps you’re familiar with the “because I said so” school of parenting? Parents who use this approach – and this goes for leaders, too – don’t see the point in explaining why they’re telling someone to do something. They just expect it to be done.

    It’s surprising this style has lasted so long. After all, very few people prefer to work under such conditions. And these days, when people have more choice as to where they can work, fewer are willing to tolerate jobs where they’re being managed and motivated, making the whole approach pretty ineffective. At the end of the day, people would rather be led and inspired.

    That’s why we need a new framework for effective leadership. That’s why we need to move away from Command & Control and toward Trust & Inspire.

    If Command & Control leadership is about micromanaging and pigeonholing people, Trust & Inspire is about empowering and emboldening them. It’s about recognizing that every worker is a human being with ambitions, dreams, and potential waiting to be unlocked. Everyone wants to be inspired. Everyone wants to feel useful and apply their talents in a meaningful way. And that’s the difference between a manager and a leader. A manager just motivates people with “carrot and stick” techniques. A leader, on the other hand, inspires a sense of purpose that gets people genuinely excited about their work, then watches them reach new heights.

    Let’s see how this plays out in real life. For example, in a school. Covey spoke to a teacher who once suffered under a principal with a typical Command & Control style. The principal was pleasant and considerate, but ultimately, he showed very little trust for his teachers. If a conflict arose between a teacher and a parent, he always took the parent’s side, and he also had a habit of saying one thing and doing another. This lack of trust meant that the school had a revolving door when it came to teachers – they’d come, work for a year, dislike the leadership, and leave. 

    Finally, one year, it was the principal himself who left. Fortunately, a Trust & Inspire leader took his place. The new principal established a trusting and appreciative relationship from day one. She listened, cared, and also inspired by keeping everyone focused on their important role as educators. And here’s the thing: at this school, there weren’t many resources to go around; the budget was low and the photocopier was always broken. And this didn’t improve when the leadership changed. But it didn’t seem to matter. Once the Trust & Inspire principal was on board, everyone got more enthusiastic, collaborative, and innovative in their approach to teaching. 

    As a result, things improved for the students. Test scores began to skyrocket, and even parents noticed a positive change. The revolving door of teachers stopped, too. Trusted and supported by the principal, the staff now felt empowered to do exciting work.

    That’s the kind of difference that a change in leadership style can make. But it isn’t easy breaking away from generations of Command & Control. For most people, it’s what they’re familiar with, so the journey away from it isn’t an easy one. But it’s still worth trying. Over the next three Blinks, we’ll take a closer look at how you can achieve a more trusting and inspiring leadership style. It all starts with leading by example.

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    What is Trust and Inspire about?

    Trust & Inspire (2022) provides a new leadership model. Instead of the traditional “Command and Control” approach, Covey proposes one that focuses on collaboration, trust and personal growth. It offers a new set of tools for inspiring and unlocking the massive potential of a modern workforce. 

    Trust and Inspire Review

    Trust and Inspire (2022) is a book that delves into the power of trust and its transformative effects on individuals, relationships, and organizations. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • By showcasing the undeniable link between trust and success, this book offers practical strategies to build trust and foster stronger connections.
    • Through compelling examples and insightful stories, the book demonstrates how trust can drive collaboration, innovation, and growth.
    • With its thought-provoking concepts and actionable advice, Trust and Inspire keeps readers engaged and eager to apply trust-building practices in their own lives.

    Who should read Trust and Inspire?

    • CEOs and executives looking to create a better workplace environment
    • Managers and supervisors who want to be more hands-off
    • Parents and educators who want a more empowering approach to childcare

    About the Author

    Stephen M. R. Covey is a world-renowned expert on leadership, ethics, inspiration, and collaboration. He is the co-founder of CoveyLink and the Franklin-Covey Global Trust Practice. He is also the author of the bestselling book The Speed of Trust (2006). And yes, the resemblance isn’t a coincidence – he’s the son of world-famous productivity guru and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey.

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    Trust and Inspire FAQs 

    What is the main message of Trust and Inspire?

    The main message of Trust and Inspire is to build trust in relationships and harness the power of inspiration to create positive change.

    How long does it take to read Trust and Inspire?

    The reading time for Trust and Inspire varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Trust and Inspire a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Trust and Inspire is worth reading as it provides insights on building trust and inspiring others. A valuable read for personal and professional growth.

    Who is the author of Trust and Inspire?

    The author of Trust and Inspire is Stephen M.R. Covey.

    What to read after Trust and Inspire?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Trust and Inspire, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey
    • The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill
    • The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey
    • Impact Players by Liz Wiseman
    • Trust by Dr. Henry Cloud
    • Primary Greatness by Stephen Covey
    • Leading Without Authority by Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich
    • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey
    • Radical Collaboration by James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman