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Trust & Inspire: how truly great leaders unleash greatness in others by Stephen MR Covey

In today’s fast-paced world, where trust seems to be in short supply, Stephen MR Covey’s book, “Trust & Inspire,” offers a refreshing perspective on leadership. Drawing inspiration from various thought leaders and experts, Covey presents a compelling argument for shifting from the traditional “command and control” model to a more effective and humane leadership style […]
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In today’s fast-paced world, where trust seems to be in short supply, Stephen MR Covey’s book, “Trust & Inspire,” offers a refreshing perspective on leadership. Drawing inspiration from various thought leaders and experts, Covey presents a compelling argument for shifting from the traditional “command and control” model to a more effective and humane leadership style built on trust and inspiration.

Stephen Covey begins by emphasising the importance of genuine care for people, quoting the age-old wisdom, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” He encourages leaders to envision the legacy they want to leave behind and reminds us of the importance of beginning with the end in mind. These foundational principles set the stage for a profound transformation in leadership philosophy.

One of Covey’s key takeaways is the distinction between motivation through manipulation and inspiration. He points out that true leadership inspires individuals to become the best versions of themselves, rather than resorting to manipulation. Covey highlights that inspiration is not the exclusive domain of altruistic leaders; even narcissists can inspire followers. However, the key lies in moving from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation, as Daniel Pink suggests.

Covey’s book also addresses the current challenges of our low-trust world. Trust has become the new currency in business and leadership, and “Trust & Inspire” offers a compelling solution. Covey argues that organisations today are over-managed and under-led, and it’s time to shift the focus from control to trust. When leaders trust their teams, it fosters a culture of creativity, collaboration, and productivity.

Furthermore, Covey explores the role of trust in the age of AI, emphasising the importance of maintaining trust within teams while embracing technological advances. As we navigate the complexities of remote and hybrid work, cultivating trust becomes paramount.

In a world filled with outrage and negativity amplified by social media, Covey’s message resonates even more strongly. He urges leaders to break the cycle of distrust and suspicion and instead inspire trust. By doing so, leaders can create a more positive workplace culture, improve productivity, and foster collaboration.

In conclusion, “Trust & Inspire” by Stephen MR Covey offers a timely and insightful perspective on leadership. It encourages leaders to trust in the potential of their teams, inspire their best work, and ultimately shape a brighter future in a world hungry for trust and inspiration. As Covey aptly puts it, “People don’t want to be managed; they want to be led.”

– Jonathan Bowman-Perks

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