Our guest in episode 79, Stephen M.R. Covey, emphasizes the profound importance of trust in leadership. He believes that trust, once broken, can only be rebuilt through consistent and genuine behavior rather than mere words. Covey passionately advocates for a leadership style of “trust and inspire” as opposed to the traditional “command and control.” In this approach, leaders need to embody attributes like integrity, credibility, and transparency. They should be the first to demonstrate the values they wish to instill in their teams. He underscores the critical nature of trust in professions, taking accounting as a prime example. He notes that when trust suffers, the repercussions are immense.
Stephen makes a distinction between leadership and management. While management often pertains to processes and objects, leadership is about guiding and inspiring people. He posits that individuals do not want to be merely managed; they wish to be led, trusted, and inspired. To this end, Stephen introduces the idea that leadership is akin to stewardship, highlighting responsibility over rights. This perspective calls on leaders, especially those at the CEO level, to view their roles as stewards who model behavior, extend trust, and inspire those they lead. Concluding his insights, Covey commends the TrustTalk podcast for amplifying the essential conversation around trust, underscoring its pivotal role in today’s world.