September 16th to December 1st – Smart Trust, by Stephen M.R. Covey ($12.99 on Amazon)
My Rating: ★★★★✰
Okay, so now I realize that my original goal of reading 50 books per year isn’t going to work at all. In fact, if I’m lucky, I might get to finish 5 books before the end of the year. Oh well. I selected this book because of a recent seminar featuring Mr. Covey that was hosted by Infinity, a financial services company I worked for during the early part of Autumn 2012. I wanted to get a head start at what this company was pushing, and I wanted to establish a good, trustworthy business with them, so I read this book to learn how to build trust with my coworkers and my clients.
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade . . . not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
The author uses the quote above to illustrate an example of declaring intent, one of the five steps of Smart Trust listed below. I personally enjoy this quote and use it to lead myself into new challenges in life.
Needless to say, I don’t work for this company anymore, so the things in the book may be irrelevant to me now. However, I still kept reading it because it can still give other useful information in life. Covey broke down his concept of “Smart Trust” in five steps: Choose to believe in trust, start with self, declare your intent (and assume positive intent in others), do what you say you’re going to do, and lead out in extending trust to others. To many people, this may seem like common sense, but surprisingly a lot of businesses are failing today due to a lack of trust, especially with a no-trust environment like China.
To illustrate what I mean with a “no-trust environment like China”, take for example the necessary steps just to move my class to a new room. To make it simpler, I just had the class monitor do all the tasks, since they could do it in Chinese anyways. I would have to get approval first from their homeroom teacher, then from the appropriate department, then from the management in the new building, and also from the administration of the school. Each step required a special red stamp to show that yes, we really did go there to get their permission. This was just in a classroom environment, out in the real world things were very similar, if not worse. Financial services also tends to be a low-trust environment, so this book would be a good recommendation for anybody deciding to work in that industry, or any industry where they may feel that building trust is key.