Trust & Lead: Exponential Community Value!
On Elements of Community, Lucas Root discusses how trust transforms communities with leadership expert Stephen M. R. Covey. Author of "The Speed of Trust" and "Trust and Inspire", Stephen reveals how trust and inspire leaders unleash exponential value through modeling trust, going first, and inspiring others to unleash their potential. Learning how to
In this episode of Elements of Community, Lucas Root spoke with leadership expert Stephen Covey about the power of trust in communities. Stephen, known for his books “The Speed of Trust” and “Trust and Inspire,” explained how trust and inspire leaders set a positive example by showing respect and vulnerability. This inspires others to follow suit, unleashing the potential within the community.
Stephen emphasized that trust and inspire leadership add value and have an exponential impact. In contrast, traditional command and control leadership can stifle creativity and productivity. The key to success, according to Stephen, is recognizing the greatness in people, valuing them as individuals, and prioritizing service over self-interest.
He challenged Lucas Root to be a trust and inspire figure for someone in his life, kickstarting a positive transformation in the community. Trust and inspiration, when passed on, create a chain reaction of empowerment and growth. By fostering trust, individuals can elevate their communities and unlock the full potential of those around them.
Other subjects we covered on the show:
- The positive impacts of trust: higher productivity, creativity, job satisfaction, and community wellbeing.
- The detriments of command and control leadership: meetings absorb most of the work day, leaving only 2 hours of productive time for employees.
- Inspiration leads to 50-125% higher productivity than engaged employees. It also creates greater well-being, energy, and joy.
- The 5 fundamental beliefs of a trust and inspire leader: people have greatness inside, people are whole beings, there is enough for everyone, leadership is stewardship, and influence comes from within.
- The invitation for listeners to “go first” by becoming a trust and inspire figure for someone in their life.
AND MORE TOPICS COVERED IN THE FULL INTERVIEW!!! You can check that out and subscribe at https://pbp.li/eoc52.
If you want to know more about Stephen M. R. Covey, you may reach out to him at:
- Website: https://www.speedoftrust.com/
- Website: https://trustandinspire.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-m-r-covey-6400191a5/
[00:00:00] Stephen, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to the show. Everybody who doesn’t know you need to know Stephen M. R. Covey. And I’m going to hold up the 2 books that we’re going to have some time talking about. And for those of you who are audio only, I’m holding in my right hand, “The Speed of Trust”, and I’m holding in my left hand, his latest book, “Trust and Inspire”.
And these are going to be core and central to the conversation that we’re having. Here’s why I’m excited about this. “The Speed of Trust” is it’s a concept that I think everybody in the world needs to hear, and needs to understand, and needs to let it settle in. Here’s why. You all have heard me talk about the power of community, and Stephen’s gonna jump in and have some things to say about this.
The power of community only works, it only works when we have people around us who trust us and love us. It only works that way. If we don’t have trust inside [00:01:00] community, it’s not powerful. You lose the power. It goes away. We disconnect from the community. And your book, Stephen, “The Speed of Trust”, brings out the elements, because I do like elements, the elements that make it possible for trust to happen. And we’ll jump into trust and inspire in a second, but would you like to add to “Speed of Trust” a little?
Well, thank you, Lucas. First of all, I’m excited to have this chance to be with you and with your community and have this conversation. So thank you. And yes, in a very real sense, “The Speed of Trust” kind of gives, is a foundational element of what makes our world go round, what makes communities work, what makes relationships work.
And that’s trust because to your point, if you could, if you take, you know, people could be aligned in their interests and the like and have a common objective and purpose and even a common [00:02:00] language, but if you take away trust, everything slows down or grinds to a halt or just doesn’t work very well.
And so trust in a very concrete way is like the currency that makes this work. And I love how you said it. It’s what gives the community power and it multiplies it accelerates it, and I like to say that it energizes it.
And joy as well, because it not only makes it more efficient and more creative, but it makes it more enjoyable and greater wellbeing, happiness, fun. And so I think trust is truly the one thing that changes everything. And that kind of was the purpose of the speed of trust.
Was to give people a common language, a common framework, a common process of how we can build trust with each other and in relationships on teams [00:03:00] and organizations. And by the way, in ourselves as well, in order to do everything else, we’re trying to do better.
Beautiful. So they’re everybody’s on this. We’ve talked about it. My audience certainly is very familiar with this. There are 6 elements of community. And I actually have an order to them. And they are Common Language, and you just brought up Common Language, and that was awesome.
Thank you. Common Purpose, the projects that we do together. It’s amazing, like the projects that we do actually bring us together as a community. So, Language Purpose Projects. Value, the value that you contribute to the community and the value that you receive from the community.
The social contract, which is the fifth. And last is what I call common heart. And for the purposes of this conversation, it is actually trust. I often talk about the Greek word “philotimo”. when I’m talking about this sixth element, the common heart.[00:04:00] And when you, it’s a challenging word to translate from Greek to English because we don’t have concepts that describe this, which is unfortunate.
As you said, we don’t have a common language for this. And because we don’t have a common language for it, we have a hard time thinking about it. We have a hard time talking about it. We have a hard time building that into our lives, this “philotimo” common heart. Trust, it’s the thing that makes it all work. It gives it the power. If community is a body, “philotimo”, trust is the blood of the body.
I like that. Yeah, it’s what brings life to it.
And vitality, but also power and strength. So I love that. And I love in those six elements, the idea that common heart is another way of expressing or capturing trust [00:05:00] because there’s the common is the idea of mutual benefit and we’re on this together.
We’re in this together and I care about your interest just like you care about mine and our hearts and heart is speaking to our inner core and being aligned this way, common heart, “philotimo”. I’m not familiar with that Greek word, but I do appreciate going back to the etymology of words and that makes a beautiful sense.
And sometimes it doesn’t translate and you go back to the original and then there’s great power in that. So “philotimo”, trust this is the blood. It makes a body work that circulates. So that’s beautiful.
It is, I’m loving it and I’m loving being able to bring the conversation around from just this sort of amorphous thing that I knew really mattered a lot. And some other languages have it and we [00:06:00] don’t. But what you’ve done is a thing that I love you’ve taken a concept that’s really important and you’ve built a framework around it. And you’ve given us a formula for it.
And it’s a formula that I can understand and I can talk about easily and simply and share every single time I talk about “philotimo” and Common Heart from now on. So I’m gonna lay it out, but obviously you are the expert. The formula you have is, it’s three parts, and the first part is in order to determine trust, there are five behaviors that make it possible.
And these are credibility, competence, reliability, integrity, and intentions. And, boy, I love a good formula just like my six elements of community, like, now we can talk about it, we have a framework for it, it can sit in my brain and start to affect the way that I interact with everything from here forward. Now you’ve given me a [00:07:00] formula for common heart, trust. Amazing.
Yeah, it is. And I, cause I find exactly to your point, Lucas, that when I tell people, I’m going to be talking about trust, people kind of they know the idea, they know the concept, they certainly know what it’s like to have trust and especially what it’s like to not have trust. But they often don’t know how to get their arms around it.
It feels amorphous to them. And it feels like a, you know, conceptual idea that they know is important, but how do I do something about it? How do I impact it? And so oftentimes it’s kind of seen, hey, you either have it or you don’t. It’s either there or it’s not, and that’s not accurate.
That might be a starting place, but once you understand what trust is. The nature of it, the components behind it, and [00:08:00] suddenly if you give people a way of framing it, a common framework so they can think about it in a common way, a language, a common language so they can talk about it in a common way, and then a process, you know, a behavioral process so they can actually behave their way into it.
And you can actually move the needle on trust and that’s exactly it. And so the idea that trust flows out of our credibility.
And our behavior and that those are things that we can do something about credibility. And I use that credibility tree and the four cores of credibility. That’s the framework. It’s a language, it’s a process, integrity. And intent, they flow out of our character and then capabilities and results flood of our competence. [00:09:00] And suddenly I’m taking this character and competence construct, and I’m even going to another level down with it so that I can really get practical and actionable.
And that helps me as a person, because, you know, it’s one thing, let’s say, if someone says, Hey, I don’t trust this person. It’s one thing if they’re focusing on, this person’s not honest. It’s a completely different thing if they’re focusing on, I don’t trust this person because they don’t deliver. They don’t perform. They don’t come through. Those are different issues. Or this person is self serving. So their intent. It’s not aligned. It’s self serving instead of mutual benefit. That’s a different issue than this person is now no longer relevant or current in their skills or profession.
These are all different issues. And suddenly you have, you can pinpoint this because you have a framework and you have a language to know how to [00:10:00] describe it in a way that people can do something about. That’s what I find has really maybe been the best contribution that “Speed of Trust” has made is it’s taken an amorphous and tangible idea that everyone knows is important.
Trust. And made it practical, tangible, actionable for each of us as individuals or as leaders to say, I understand what trust is and therefore how I can build it and grow it.
Yes, you’re a man after my own heart. Or, I mean, you got there first, so I’m a man after your heart.
Well, and vice versa. We’ve got a common heart here, so.
We do have a common heart here. Now I’m going to sort of open up the stage to “Trust and Inspire” because this is, you’ve taken this and you’ve taken it a step further in a similar way as I have. So my audience is familiar with what I call the adult framework. Many people, you say, what is an adult?
And they’re stumped by the question. I don’t know what an adult is.[00:11:00] Similarly, ask somebody what is the drinking age, and the irony is most people will tell you 21, but it’s not actually. There is no drinking age, because we don’t know what an adult is. 21 is when you’re allowed to buy alcohol. Interesting question.
So I’ve taken this idea of an adult and I’ve redefined it. Because we have a concept for adult. It’s a biological thing. We know the difference between an adult and a non adult in every animal. And in most cases, we know how to define that. But in humans, we don’t. So my definition for an adult is my audience is familiar and it’s going to open up “Trust and Inspire”.
My definition for an adult is that there are five skills that we humans need to demonstrate mastery in to our, and the sixth element of being an adult is to our community, to receive approval from the community that we are adults.
And those five skills are complex communication, [00:12:00] fluid leadership, teamwork, strategy, and coaching. And we’re not going to spend time on all five of them. Fluid leadership is really where I want to draw our spotlight to is what you’ve done in trust and inspire is you’ve laid out a concept, one step beyond the speed of trust. You’ve laid out a concept of how we can be better leaders.
And your concept of “Trust and Inspire” is very much in alignment with the fluid leadership I have in being a human adult. Why? fluid leadership. We’ve talked about this because as a human, when we’re out hunting in a hunting party, we know for absolute certainty, this is the base model for humanity, we know for absolute certainty that we cannot always see the pray from one position in the party.
And so everybody must be able to be the leader. And as a team, we must accept that [00:13:00] anybody will be the leader at any given time. So we take that a step back and modernize in a little bit. And what we realize is that leadership is itself very expensive. It’s a heavy burden to carry. And we’re not designed as an animal to carry that burden all the time. Why? Because we know that we can’t see the pray all the time, and we need to trust our team to be able to help us continue moving forward.
In a static leadership model. Only one person has the leadership all the time, and it’s exhausting. And it leaves them in a bad mood, and it forces them into making decisions that they themselves end up regretting. But in a fluid leadership model, I might be in leadership for a moment, and then I might pass the leadership back to the community. Not necessarily even to one person, just back to the community to allow the community to self select the next leader. Whoever it is that can see the pray. Who can see the objective for us [00:14:00] to take that next step forward.
And your “Trust and Inspire” model. Walks that same path in a really beautiful way where you talk about how a static leadership model and you don’t use these words. This is just my words and my audience’s words, right? You talk about how a static leadership model is expensive. It’s expensive to the leader and it’s expensive to the community.
They, you know, one of your stories right at the beginning of the book is where you talk about how you’re consulting at an organization and they’re sitting there talking about how the owner of the organization has a firm grip on everything that happens inside the company.
And then finally somebody says, but he could just pass it to his son. And you have this conversation about passing leadership to his son. And then a little bit further down the line, you realize. The son’s been there for 40 years and the dad still isn’t ready to pass off leadership. And boy, doesn’t that sound like classic static leadership to me and I love that.[00:15:00]
That’s beautiful. Lucas, and I love your framing of this and this idea of fluid leadership in contrast to static leaderships. I’ve always believed that we learn best by contrast
And so, you know, what makes fluid leadership become more real is in the, especially as you contrast it to what we’re typically seeing. And still the majority of organizations today are operating in the old model.
They’re stuck in it.
It’s traditional and heretical it tends to be top down position based, you know, and I like to say leadership is a choice, not a position. And, you know, in the trust and inspire model, but in the command, you know, I call this what you’re calling static leadership, I’m calling command and control. And kind of more the traditional model of how we’ve efficiently tried to [00:16:00] run our organizations and lead it is through a command and control model.
Now, what’s happened over the years is we’ve become more aware that there’s people. It’s not just. You know, things and machines, so it’s, we bring things to it like emotional intelligence and strengths and even mission and trustworthiness, good things, and it becomes better, but we haven’t really shifted the paradigm.
How we view people, how we view leadership. So, in my words, it becomes an enlightened command and control, a better version of it, but still. A static model is still more than the traditional model. And whereas by contrast, “Trust and Inspire” is like a sea change. It’s crossing a chasm that is different in, not in degree, but different in kind.
And no, you’re calling it fluid leadership in contrast to static leadership [00:17:00] where it ebbs and flows and it’s not position based, but it’s influence based and contribution based. And I’m calling it trust and inspire to say, this is the kind of leadership. That people respond to, that works better, that also builds people, and you’re highlighting also that shares the load, the expense.
And enables communities to do better because of that, you know, like the flock of geese that flies together and in a V formation and they benefit from the draft that’s created and, but that the lead geese in the front of the V drop back and someone else will take that front, right?
Yeah, they cycle out.
It’s, they cycle out and so again, leadership is a choice, not a position. And so that’s my contrast is to be relevant today to really bring out the best in [00:18:00] people and in teams and organizations in communities that. The way that we’re leading matters and to try to lead in a static leadership model in a command and control model in our world today is just not very effective.
It’s not going to attract the best people and keep them. It’s not going to inspire them and it’s not going to enable the kind of collaboration and innovation that we need to stay relevant. You can’t command and control your way to collaboration and innovation. You can’t command and control your way to a high trust culture that inspires.
So we need a new way to lead. I’m calling it trust and inspire. You’re calling it fluid leadership. And I think that this idea of “Trust and Inspire” is trying to say, this is trying to give a name to it, a common language. And so many of those, you know, six elements of community, it’s trying to say, there’s a [00:19:00] better way of doing this.
That where everyone wins better, it’s better for everyone and for the entire community and for the purpose and that we’re all about and it’s far more relevant in our world today to create the kind of culture we’re desiring that’s going to be a magnet to attract talent, not just to attract it, but to retain it, to engage it and to inspire it so that we have the best people.
And I think equally important is. To bring out the best in people, but then also so that we can be collaborative and innovative in a way with trust that you just will never achieve with command and control or static. So I think this is where leadership is going. The irony is we kind of conceptually understand this and been talking about it in different constructs.
Like you’ve had your, you know, from static to fluid. I’m saying [00:20:00] command and control, trust, inspire, but the reality is about nine out of 10 organizations are still led in the old model in the command and control model, static model. And for, so I like, you know, for all our progress, we still haven’t shifted the paradigm. And there’s an expression to know and not to do is not to know.
So we kind of know we need to be here, but we’re not doing it yet enough. And that’s not to know. So that’s, you know, we need to shift the paradigm and it’s hard because old paradigms can live on indefinitely the old way of doing it.
And we’re good at it. And it’s what we know it’s what we’ve been raised in. And maybe I, you know, I know the command and control model of leadership that’s worked for me. And the idea that I change how I lead, change my style. [00:21:00] It feels like you’re, maybe that’s could be attacking who I am, but it’s not.
It’s saying, no, it’s honoring you that you’re not a program. You’re a programmer. You can write a new program. You can re script into a trust inspired leader and be far more, not just relevant, but we will also achieve better results, but have a greater, better community, greater wellbeing. Greater joy, greater energy.
So it’s, I think the kind of leadership that’s needed today. And the thing about leadership done well is that it’s the enabling art that makes every other art even better.
Leadership done well, is the enabling art.
Yes. Enables us to do everything else. We’re trying to do better.
Yeah, I see it. I love it. If you take nothing else from this conversation, take [00:22:00] that. Wow.
Now together, the two books actually create an additional, like, an additional complexity. So when you put them together, and I think that was your intent. And I love that. Your intent was to actually put them together, that they’re an additive rather than separate conceptual framework.
So together, by moving out of static leadership and into the “Trust and Inspire” model, it’s not just an enabling art, but rather, think about it from the hunting party again. It’s my favorite because it’s so core humanity. Think about that hunting party. If every single time we lost track of the pray, we had to come together and have a conversation about how we move forward.
We might even succeed. Let’s pretend that’s still a path forward to success. Now you’ve taken a hunt that’s going to take four hours and [00:23:00] turned it into a hunt that takes 12. Even if you succeed, that’s the cost. I mean, that’s how you quantify the cost right there of static leadership.
Yeap, absolutely. It takes longer, it costs more and it drains people as opposed to energizes them because t here’s not trust. So it’s, you’re commanding and controlling versus trusting and inspiring. And you might ultimately get to the outcome, but it’s usually a compromised result.
But even if it’s not compromised, like you say, there’s a cost to it. It took longer, it costs more. And that cost could be in the form of energy of joy, as well as money and resources and time and lost opportunity, all kinds of possibilities.
I don’t know about you.
Part of the ethos of trust.
If I’m [00:24:00] doing something that costs me joy, I’m going to charge money. So it’s, I mean, from the organization’s perspective, it’s both if the result of your leadership model inside your organization costs me joy, I’m going to charge you more money.
Absolutely. I saw this happen. I’ll just make a long story short on this one where this person, this contractor, they would do construction jobs was bidding on something and would mostly work in private industry. They had to do one in a government setting. Where, you know, because of the fear of, in a government setting of someone ripping somebody else off, they have so many rules and regulations that to make sure that they’re not ripped off, you know, the old story of, you know, you have a hammer that costs 500 or a toilet, you know, something that to make sure there’s no fraud, but this person just said [00:25:00] it was so expensive to work with this public entity, then in these private entities that he had to charge him for it because it took him longer.
It cost him more and he didn’t want to do that. He didn’t have to do that. And so he priced his services differently. If he was going to do that because of the cost and irony is, you know, is that it was the lack of trust that caused the increased cost. Which actually defeated the whole purpose of what they were trying to do in the first place to make sure they got the best bid, they got the lowest price possible. So it’s really can become a vicious downward cycle.
When the trust is low and what it does to, to cost into the, you know, our distrust is very expensive.
That’s a great example and I love it. On the other hand[00:26:00] you’ve taken this idea of fluid leadership. and you’ve leveled it up in a really beautiful way. So and with intent, I don’t talk about inspiration at all because I think of inspiration as a thing that we move into in community. Which is great, but I don’t think of it as core to success.
I don’t think of it as core to our ability to hunt. We can do a fluid leadership model that’s really effective inside of our, again, the base human model of a hunt. And end up at the end of that hunt, satisfied, successful, maybe even joyful, and inspiration is unnecessary for that. But we don’t live in a world today where the base model is enough. At least I don’t. I want more than just enough.
So I’ve defined this fluid leadership model to allow us to step into an understanding of what it [00:27:00] looks like to be a base human. But we’re not limited by just base humanity. We can have more. And “Trust and Inspire” invites me into more. You want to talk about that?
Absolutely. Yeah, I think this is one of the key additive dimensions of what trust inspire rings to a construct. Like static, the fluid leadership. It’s command and control to “Trust and Inspire” is similar to that, but “Trust and Inspire” is adding one more key piece, and that is this new addition you’re describing.
So let me set the stage as command and control works on the premise of motivation. That’s external. It’s extrinsic, it’s outside of the person. So it’s heavy rewards, you know, carrot and stick rewards, more carrots, more, you know, or more sticks, which is fear based. I’ll punish you or more carrots. I’ll reward [00:28:00] you. Do rewards work.
Either way expensive.
Either way expensive and either way limited on how much you can really achieve. Do care, you know, do rewards work. Sure, they motivate people. To want to get more rewards, but you got to constantly provide more external stimuli, more carrots or more sticks. And you talk about expensive to keep moving people that way.
So that’s the external extrinsic approach by contrast, trust and inspire rather than motivation. It relies upon and is based upon inspiration, which is internal. It’s intrinsic, it’s inside of people, it’s lighting. The fire within that fire once lit can burn on for months, if not years without the need for constant external stimuli, which is so expensive, but also it can, that [00:29:00] fire once that can help light other fires.
And can become expansive and inspire come from the Latin word “inspirare”, which means to breathe life into. So you breathe life into relationships, into teams, into cultures, into communities. Trust, you know, command and control tends to suck the life out of versus breathing life into. Which is “Trust and Inspire”. So inspiration takes, it goes much beyond motivation. You can tap into what’s possible at a different and kind level. And there’s data, I’ll just highlight two sources of data that’s quite interesting. There’s data from.
I just had an idea.
This is, you just inspired an idea.
Let’s run with it.
It sounds to me like command and control static [00:30:00] leadership is extractive. While fluid leadership steps away from being extractive, it’s not actually additive. It’s neutral. “Trust and inspire”, what we’re talking about here, inspiration, “inspirare”, breathing life into, it’s actually additive. It’s the step beyond fluid leadership. Very cool. When we are feeling like there are limited resources, we move it.
We tend to, and this may be cultural, not base human, but we tend to move more towards a command and control model, but because it’s extractive, we’re going to run out faster. Where is a trust and inspire model is additive, so we’re actually going to run out slower. We’re going to run out of those, even if it’s a limited resources model, we’re going to run out slower.
Beautiful. I love it. It’s operating also on the premise of, of [00:31:00] abundance, not scarcity.
Well, it’s creating abundance.
It’s creating abundance.
It’s not just stepping into it, it’s creating it.
It’s creative. And I would say, it’s additive, but not in a linear way. In potentially a geometric way. An exponential way, not just linear. So it’s different math. It’s literally, it’s a creative multiplier. Force multiplier, if you will. And creates more abundance. It is ironic, isn’t it?
So I think that’s beautiful. That’s exactly it. This is, you know, you could be extractive, you could be neutral, which is you eliminate the extraction. You’re not getting the tax anymore. if you could truly multiply and what if you could do it exponentially?
That could be powerful.
No, seriously, I’m getting goosebumps right now.[00:32:00]
Yeah, well, that’s what’s possible with a trust and inspire approach. When people have life breathed into them, they can also, it not only brings out the best in them, they are enabled then to breathe life into others. But you know, if your own light, if your own candle is burned out you’re not.
Which happens to everyone.
Happens to all of us at some point when your own candle is burnt out, then it’s hard to, how are you going to light another candle?
You know, so it’s an inside out approach, but we want to go out. We want to be, that’s part of why it’s additive geometrically or exponentially is because we’re moving out. Cause it’s always still about purpose and meaning and contribution, not just self interest. It’s really service. Above self interest and ironically in the process, self interest gets served.
But your mindset [00:33:00] is I’m seeking to bless, you know, not to impress. That’s the mantra I use. Lucas before any podcast, any speech presentation I do to make sure I get out of my own head. And into the world of others, of seeking to make a difference and contribution. I go on and I did it before today, before you and I had this conversation.
I just remind myself of my intent, my purpose. And the best mantra for me, this is personal, is to make sure my motive is right. What am I trying to do on this podcast? Is my motive to try to look good, impress people? There’s my motive to try to serve, to bless. So the way I capture it is the mantra for me, seek to bless, not to impress.
And it helps me orient myself around who I am and [00:34:00] what I’m about and to make sure that my goal here is to bless and to serve, to put service above self interest. And it’s all about, you know, creating more abundance and opportunities and possibilities and trying to model. The kind of trust inspired leadership that we need more of in our world and in our communities, in our homes.
In our organizations, really at every level. So that’s the idea. So yes, I love this idea of “Trust, Inspire” being genuinely additive. And I suggest in an exponential way.
Yeah, let’s go prove it. Let’s go prove it.
Prove it out. Well, here’s what the data shows, and this is more traditional quantitative data, which is, I think, a good starting point because that’s kind a big roadblock for many. I think the qualitative data is even better. So the quantitative data shows this study from Bain.
That [00:35:00] employees who are inspired are 50, excuse me, they’re 125% more productive than merely satisfied employees. And you might expect that because satisfaction. It’s not a high bar, that’s the minimum. So 125% more productive, but listen to this. They’re even 56% more productive than fully engaged employees.
On engagement for 20 years, you know, kind of, that’s been the holy grail in organizations to have engagement in the workforce and nothing wrong with engagement, that’s a good thing, but there’s something beyond engagement.
I believe the inspiration. Is the next frontier of engagement. Inspiration is the new engagement if you will, it’s going to a level [00:36:00] beyond that there’s greater productivity, which is kind of the metric that traditional business organizations look at, but I’m going to also say. It creates far greater, this is where it gets into exponential energy and joy and well being of people. So it’s not just that they perform better, they’re happier.
Their well being goes up, their energy, their joy. And that enables us to tap into far greater purpose and far greater community, truly. Cause I can, engagement. Is a good thing, but push the extreme. It could be still, I’m a thing being used, you know, they’re engaging me to get results out of me where stress inspire is there’s always two ends. Yes, to get the result. We always trying to get results, but we’re trying to also grow people, unleash people, develop people, build trust, build [00:37:00] community. Then the quality of those results are better.
They’re different in kind, not just degree. And so you get different in degree results, but then you get different in kind, I believe energy and joy and creativity and innovation and passion and commitment and fun, even . So there’s a huge power to that. So that’s the one source or the one data point of what inspiration does. Yes, greater results, but also greater wellbeing.
I love it. Since we’re doing quantitative, let’s talk about that for a second. So I actually pay a lot of attention to productivity data. In the traditional 8 hour day, most people look at eight hours as eight hours of work, and that’s not inappropriate. You should. Also, you need to take some breaks, go to the bathroom, get your coffee refilled, get your water refilled, and take a lunch break.
The typical person has about six and a half [00:38:00] hours of reasonably productive time available to them, and I’m putting the emphasis intentionally, available to them. Now, you take those six and a half hours, and you start breaking it into the ways that you as an organization want that time to be spent. Outside of a command and control static leadership model, what I want is six and a half hours of productive work. I want you to go do the thing that you’re here to do and do it well and get six and a half hours of that done. Inside of a command and control model, let’s be realistic about this. How many meetings am I having you take during the day?
Meetings to talk about progress, meetings to talk about next steps, meetings to talk about whatever it is that me and my little command and control model brain thinks that I need to be getting updates on from you. And each of those meetings has a cost in and of itself. So if it’s a 30 minute meeting, it takes some time for the employee to [00:39:00] get out of the work that they’re in to stop doing what they’re doing and get into the meeting.
Let’s call it 10 minutes and it takes another 10 minutes on the back end to do the same thing. Get out of the meeting and into the work. So a 30 minute meeting actually is a 50 minute cost. And how many of those 30 minute meetings are we having every day?
That six and a half hours disappears really, really fast when you’re throwing around 50 minute commitments by the many, more than one. The average American, this is an actual number, before COVID hit, the average American was doing two hours and 13 minutes of productivity, of productive work a day. Two hours and 13 minutes out of an eight hour day. And that was considered an engaged employee. Can you imagine two hours and thirteen minutes?
It’s [00:40:00] stunning.
You need to take a deep breath and let the stress of that go.
It really is.
That’s the cost of command and control right there.
That’s the cost of command and control that is ironic because the very thing they’re trying to ensure they’re destroying, you know, in their efforts to make sure they control it, they’re taking eight hours and cutting it down to two hours and 13 minutes and getting less out of the people, which is an efficiency mindset, but the irony is they’re hurting efficiency.
It’s a huge cost.
In the name of efficiency is a huge cost. That’s why, again distrust is so expensive and you know, and so by contrast, trust and inspire, and this is where the “Trust and Inspire” you extend that trust and you empower people, you build the agreement together so that there’s clear [00:41:00] expectations around the trust being given. And there’s an agreed upon process of accountability.
To that trust being given. So it’s not a blind trust of just, Hey, I just trust you to do whatever you want. That’s not going to work in our world. It’s a smart trust and intentional trust with clear expectations, with agreed upon accountability that you build together, not dictated because that’s command and control. If I just dictate.
Here’s the expectations and accountability you report to me. It’s now let’s build this together, build an agreement together around the trust being extended. Yes, we have expectations and accountability. You do that. Well, you build such an agreement. The person then can run with it themselves.
They don’t need to be micromanaged. The agreement governs, you’ve already built in control into the agreement you built together, not you having to hover over and micromanage them. So you don’t have to have all those meetings because you’ve agreed upon how they’ll report back when they’ve, you do it [00:42:00] together and the person in a sense can govern themselves.
And with the agreed upon routine reporting back on updating how they’re doing against the agreement. It just looks and feels different in kind than someone writing me, you know, hovering over me, micromanage my every move and that not only drains productivity, but even worse, it drains energy and joy in profound ways, and we all hate to be micromanaged. We all love to be trusted and we respond far better.
Yes. Okay, now you threw out some statistics and I’d like to invite us to level them up.
So that the cost of command and control is six and a half hours down to two hours and thirteen minutes. This is huge. Let’s pretend for a second that we still need to have at least one meeting a day. [00:43:00] But it’s an inspirational meeting, but it’s still going to take away from my productive capacity. So 6 and a half minutes minus 50, let’s call that a full hour. Now we have 5 and a half hours of potential productive time left in the day.
Now at five and a half hours in a fluid leadership model, that’s a hundred percent more productive. Actually, it’s about 125% more productive than a command and control model, but that’s just fluid leadership. We haven’t even talked about inspiration yet. Now your inspiration suggested, and this gets me excited because I have the numbers and I can quantify it.
That’s the kind of guy I am. If I’ve got five and a half hours left and inspiration is going to make me 50% more productive. Now, managers, listen to this. I can get those five and a half hours worth of work done, but because I’m inspired, I’m going to work better, I’m going to work faster, I’m going to ask for help sooner, I’m going to have fewer roadblocks, and I’m going to be better at overcoming them, [00:44:00] I’m going to get the equivalent of 53% more work done, which is seven and a half hours worth of productive, engaged employee work done in my five and a half hours at work. That’s more than 100% of the available time. That’s more than 6 and a half hours. That is an actual additive model.
It genuinely is. It’s and the reason it’s real is for all those. All the reasons you described of when someone feels both trusted, but also inspired by the work that they’re doing, by the team that they’re on, that by their leader and the leadership, the style, the way that they model this, they feel inspired with purpose and meaning and contribution.
They are more creative. They are, so, you know, it’s a linear concept to say that all hours are worked or used equally, they use them [00:45:00] differently and they get the equivalent of greater. So, you know, you’re just using common math to say, you’re suddenly, you’re now at 7 and a half hours of common math of what the productivity is because they took five hours and because they’re so effective, so creative, so innovative, it’s a creative innovation and collaboration is the equivalent of seven and a half on the same metrics.
And that’s the idea. That’s genuine synergy where the whole is more than the sum of its parts because it’s a greater whole. It’s one plus one equaling three or more. That’s synergy.
In my world, 1 plus 1 equals 11.
I love it. Yeah, it’s a conceptual idea that is more than the sum of its parts.
Compromise is one plus one equals one and a half, [00:46:00] you know, you’re still not even there. Yeah, you’re weighed down by all the things you got to deal with. And then many are into negative synergy, whereas one plus one equals .5, you know, they’re not even getting out of it because the culture is toxic and you’re paying a tax, a low trust tax at every gate.
And again, there is a high cost of low trust and there’s an extraordinary return. To high trust. Now, here’s the interesting thing, Lucas, we’re just talking, we’re talking here, just the quantitative side.
And I always, that’s one of the things I brought to the trust discussion is I quantify it, not only how to build trust, but also the impact of trust. You know, the high cost of low trust and the great return of high trust so that people say, wow, what a better way to run a business or an organization or a community, a team to be part of a community, to [00:47:00] have trust, to power it up.
So that’s the quantitative and as great as the quantitative is, the qualitative is even bigger or what it does to the energy and the joy and the wellbeing, the commitment, the passion, the inspiration, and that’s even higher, but the quantitative gets you in the game of you’re now playing the same game everyone else is playing and saying, what a better way to lead. And our people are so much happier.
And by the way, here’s on this quantitative or qualitative point. Thank you. As well. So one other study, this is one done by Zenger Folkman. They looked at their construct. They have these 16 competencies of a leader.
And that leaders demonstrate, and then they asked the people that reported in to leaders. [00:48:00] As you look on this 16 competencies of leadership. Which of this matters to you? What’s most important to you? They see from your leader.
And what came out as the number one competency that people wanted from their leaders more than any other was this a leader who inspires. A leader who inspires me because of who they are and how they lead their integrity, their humility, their courage, their authenticity, their vulnerability, their empathy.
As well as they’re modeling the performance. So a leader who models, that is what I want to, a leader who inspires. And so part of this “Trust and Inspire” book is to say, look, when we are in the role of a leader, we have stewardships that are implicit. In that leadership.
These are [00:49:00] not rights. These are responsibilities. That’s what a stewardship is a responsibility. I like to call a stewardship, a job with a trust. We have these jobs with a trust. We’ve been given when we’re in the role of a leader, where we have stewardships. And the first is to model. To model the behavior that we would like to see. So rather than say, we need to do this, we model that.
And if we say we need more openness, more transparency, then we become the model of the openness and transparency. We’d like to see, we need to see more empathy. We model empathy, more respect. We model respect. We need to have more trust. We model the giving of trust.
So we model the second stewardship. Then we have is to trust meaning to extend trust, to give trust, to know if in a sense of modeling is being trustworthy, the second stewardship is being trustee.[00:50:00] To be merely trustworthy. We also need to be. Trusting as leaders. So we need to give that trust to extend the trust. That’s a stewardship we have to bring out the best in people.
And that’s everything we’ve been talking about. If we got to empower, we’ve got to have the shared leadership and empower. And it’s this fluid leadership. We trust people. But then the third stewardship now we have. Is to inspire those around us and sometimes Lucas people have too often equated inspiration with charisma, you know, saying, Hey, I’m just not, I’m not very charismatic. I, you know, with the idea that you got to be charismatic to inspire now they’re different things.
I know some people who are charismatic, but who are not inspiring and I know others who no one would describe as charismatic, but who are extraordinarily. Inspiring because of who [00:51:00] they are, how they lead, how they connect, how they create a sense of purpose and meaning and contribution, how they create a sense of caring and of love and of concern or of identity and of belonging.
You know, they can inspire. So inspiring others is actually a learnable skill. Everyone can inspire, that’s the paradigm shift. It’s not just for the charismatic. It’s a learnable skill. We can all learn to inspire. And it is a stewardship that we have, because again, it’s what people want. They want a leader who inspires.
So that’s where we go with this “Trust and Inspire” book is saying, you know, to your point, this is the additive piece, inspiration. And inspiring others is learnable. How do we inspire? We inspire when we model. We inspire when we trust.
To trust to be the most inspiring form of motivation. And we inspire when we connect with people [00:52:00] through a sense of caring and belonging, and that’s so much rooted in community and when we connect to purpose and to meaning and to contribution. To mattering, to making a difference, to leaving a legacy, to you know, we move from success to significance that inspires, and we can do that. And so this is learnable.
From success to significance. Oh, damn. Yes.
Yes. That inspires it is. And it’s what people seek. And I think the reason, you know, to your point earlier, we need to go beyond neutral because we’re now operating in a world that is so divided you know, almost the opposite of community. So divided. And so we have all the examples in a real time [00:53:00] world of distrust.
And you know, that people are starting to wonder, can you trust anyone? So more than ever, we’re living in a world of this desperately low and trust in some ways, desperately low in inspiration. So we need to be intentional about it, deliberate about it, that this is the kind of leadership that people are seeking and wanting, not again, a charismatic leader, but a genuine trust and inspire leader that this is who they are.
This is a model they trust, they inspire, and they’re going first. We seek that we want that. And if we can get an, if we can become a model and show this kind of leadership. Then people say, Hey, you can still get your. Look at what Lucas is doing. You know, getting results in a way that grows the people, grows the culture, grows the team.
Look at their engagement scores and look at the results. Wow, that [00:54:00] suddenly becomes a model of Trust and Inspire works and not just command and control where maybe I’m getting results, but look at the culture. It’s lousy. Look at the, everyone’s leaving. Look at, you know, look at the engagement. You know, all these measures are bad. So, but they’re maybe performing, but at what price? At what cost? And again, can they sustain it?
A Trust and Inspire leader, if they can see, wow, here’s someone that is performing and. They’re growing capability, they’re growing talent, then their ability to perform in the future has just gone up.
If we can find models of saying, Hey, you can do this, those models can become mentors and we can begin to replicate and then start to move into the exponential math that we talked about, but we need models and mentors. And that’s the challenge. That’s the invitation, I believe for all of us. In your community is because the whole idea of community is believing these ideas [00:55:00] of this broader concept that society is moving away from that you’re trying to work back into.
And fluid leadership is a way of conveying this. And I’m just adding one last little piece to it. Trust and inspire, adding the inspiration into it. But this is such a better way to lead. And if we can become this kind of model who can then become mentors to others, we will make that dent in the universe and we’ll start to elevate those around us and bless society.
Beautiful. Stephen, thank you. Amazing. I’m going to hold them up 1 more time. “Speed of Trust” and “Trust and Inspire”. Don’t just get 1. Get them both, read them both. They are extraordinarily good reads and the concepts that you outline and the way that you talk about them is powerful.
And I really appreciate you coming on and, and giving me the opportunity to talk with you about it. Because this was [00:56:00] great.
Thanks so much, Lucas.
I like to close out my interviews with three questions.
Using your language, for those people who feel like you have truly brought blessings upon them, what is the one best way for them to reach out and give you thanks?
Wonderful. Thank you. Follow me and connect with me probably best on LinkedIn, Stephen M. R. Covey. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram. But LinkedIn is probably the best way to convey a message and follow me. And you can, you know, communicate with me this way. And that’s as a starting point, it’s probably an easiest thing.
Also you can go to both SpeedOfTrust.com and TrustAndInspire.com we’ve got a little bit of a community website type things in both as we’re trying to grow these. And I love how you’ve noted that they’re really [00:57:00] integrated works. You just come at it from different angles and add different things with, in a sense speed of trust being a foundational element.
And trust inspire being more the leadership dimension to it, the kind of leadership needed. So those TrustAndInspire.com, SpeedOfTrust.com and then me on social media following.
Awesome, Stephen M. R. Covey. Second question is there any one question that you wish I had asked you in this interview? It’s my favorite group call.
Yeah, I love this one. Here’s oftentimes when I’ve been asked this, I often will come back to what you made sure you asked, which is that the big new additive insight I believe I’m bringing here is this idea of inspiration. And you addressed that so well, you saw it and you know, just like you saw, Hey, this is something that’s additive to fluid leadership.
And so you’ve already really addressed that. So I think you’ve done it beautifully. [00:58:00] Maybe I would say this, that I think this will really resonate with your elements of community, community that you have here. I’ve been saying that we’ve got to make sure that we shift the paradigm and not just be an enlightened form of command and control.
But how we view people, how we view leadership is not shifted. It’s still a thing paradigm versus a people paradigm. So maybe the question is, so Stephen, what is, describe the paradigm, the mindset of a trust and inspire leader. And then I’ll answer it for you. So is it that.
That’s the one piece I feel like, I think we’ve given some practical things on inspiring and trusting. But I want to talk with, almost go back into the mindset, the paradigm. So let me just, I’ll briefly describe, you know, and I won’t be too talkative on this. I’ll just give it in its [00:59:00] gist.
Believe that there are five fun.
I’m inspired. Let’s do it.
Let’s do it. I believe there are five fundamental beliefs of a trust inspired leader. This is a way that a way of how they view people. How do they view leadership? A paradigm.
The paradigm comes from the Greek “paradigma”, which means a mental map or model. So the idea of a paradigm, a map, is to describe the territory, right? But you could have a bad map of the territory. I mean, look at early cartographers, you know, their version of the world. It’s kind of accurate, but way off because they were doing the best they could, but, you know, you look at it now and you say, Oh, I can kind of see what they were describing as the Americas, but it was an incomplete map.
It was an inaccurate map, but it was the best that they had. I think too many leaders today walk around with an inaccurate map of how they view people, how they view leadership. [01:00:00] So I call that maybe it’s a command and control of authoritarian command and control map or enlightened command and control, but here’s a more accurate, a more complete map of people and of leadership, a trust inspired paradigm.
There’s five fundamental beliefs. First, I believe that people have greatness inside of them. So if I buy that belief, my job as a leader is to unleash their potential, not to control them. See, I see the greatness in people. It was Thoreau who said, “it’s not what we look at that matters, it’s what we see”. Do you see the potential, the greatness of people?
It may be lying dormant, it may not be developed, but to see it so leaders see potential in others, they communicate it so that others come to see it in themselves, they develop it and then they unleash it. Whereas a trust inspire manager may be operates with the premise [01:01:00] of some people have greatness.
They’re the high potentials, but everyone else you really gotta control. And you know, they have a limited not complete map of people. So again, I’m giving too much explanation. Let me go a little faster. So I believe that people have greatness inside of them. So my job as a leader is to unleash their potential, not control them.
Second, I believe that people are whole people, meaning body, heart, mind, spirit, whole person. So my job as a leader, if they’re whole people is to inspire, not merely motivate. Now look, if people were only economic means just the body, then motivation would be sufficient. Yeah, just pay them, but they’re not just a body.
They’re a heart. So they want to connect. And to care and to belong. They have a mind. They want to grow and develop. They have a spirit. They want to contribute. And to make a difference, to matter, to have [01:02:00] significance. So inspiring is so much better than merely motivating. So how do I view people? Hold people with greatness inside of them.
That’s a more accurate map. Now how do I view leadership? That moves to the next three beliefs. So third, number three. I believe that there is enough for everyone. That’s an abundance mentality. So if I buy that belief, my job as a leader Is to elevate caring above competing. Yes, we can compete in the marketplace, but let us care and collaborate in the workplace.
We’ve already described this, how abundance is such a better mindset to have than a scarcity one. Fourth, I believe that leadership is stewardship. It’s about responsibility, not rights. Influence, not position. So if I buy that belief, my job as a leader is to put service. Above self interest.
I serve, [01:03:00] finally number five. I believe that enduring influence is created from the inside out. So if I buy that belief, my job as a leader is to go first. Someone needs to go first. Leaders go first. Take these beliefs collectively and they comprise a paradigm, a mindset, a more accurate map of people and of leadership.
And I believe that’s what a Trust Inspired Leader starts with. It could from that is now why I can trust people because I see greatness in them from that is why I can inspire people because I believe they’re a whole person. They want meaning and purpose and so forth. And, but if our paradigm hasn’t shifted, our behavior won’t follow.
So the best way I know to shift your behavior, shift your paradigm. And this is a more accurate paradigm of people in a leadership trust and inspire paradigm. [01:04:00] As you read, I know you did such a great job in preparing for this interview and reading my works. That’s in there beautifully of this idea of that we start with the paradigm, the mindset.
So that was the one area I was hoping we’d have some discussion, but we had it with this beautiful question at the end.
I love it, Stephen, M. R. Covey, everyone amazing. Do you have any parting words?
I would say this, that where do you start? If you felt anything in here is start with this idea of go first yourself, you’d be the first to show the respect that you would love to see you’d be the first to demonstrate the kind of authenticity and openness and even vulnerability that you would like to see from others, including your boss or your community, you [01:05:00] model it, you go first, be the first.
To give that trust, be the first to yes, take that risk. Somebody needs to go first. Leaders go first. We can all lead leadership as a choice, not a position. You’re right. Your model of fluid leadership is filled with that the roles of this is something that we shift and share so we can all lead and the best way now to lead is to go first.
So I would say go first. And if you think about, has there been someone to our listeners and to our viewers. Is there been someone in your life who believed in you had confidence in you? Maybe they believed in you more than you believed in yourself.
Maybe they had more confidence in you than you had it. Someone who took a chance on you. And again, this could be anyone in your life. Maybe for me, it was my father, but it could be a family member. Could be a friend. Could [01:06:00] be parent, someone in the community. Could be someone at work, a mentor, a boss, a coach. Someone in your, you know, service life, community, religious life.
If you have that. So whatever it might be, but someone who believed in you. Maybe more than you believe in yourself. Someone who, in effect, trusted and inspired you. As you reflect upon such a person, and I’ll bet most of us, if we think long enough, we’ll find at least one and maybe many. What did that do to you?
I ask our listeners and viewers. When you felt trusted and inspired by this person, how did you see yourself differently because of them? How did you make you feel? And how does that impact who you are today? And then I would ask, what if you could become that kind of person for another?[01:07:00]
Where you become a trust and inspire. person, figure leader to another person in your life and you help them see their potential. You help them become who they can become just like someone has done for you. So in a sense, that’s my go first idea is just like someone has been a trust inspired figure person in your life and have that unleashed you now pay it forward and you become that for another in their life.
And if you can do it with one, you can do it with another and then another start with one. So that would be maybe my invitation to all of us is become a transition figure, a trust and inspire leader to another person you identify in your life who you would really like to unleash in a way that they haven’t yet, but you can help be the catalyst.[01:08:00]
Wow. I’m inspired.
Well, thank you. I’m inspired talking with you, Lucas.
Thank you, Stephen. Appreciate you. Thank you for coming on the show.
Absolutely. Thank you. And to all of our viewers and our listeners, thank you for being part of this. And I’ve loved the conversation, love your thinking. And also your, you know, this idea of static leadership, fluid leadership, command and control, trust, inspire with our addition to it. It’s beautiful. Thanks so much.
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Lucas is the host of Elements of Community. He is a community growth strategist and works with mega companies like The Pokemon Company to help build and foster community. This podcast is Lucas' way of giving back what he has learned about the magic of building and growing community.
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Like what you hear on the podcast? We have more secret recordings from every guest. We keep the microphone rolling after the podcast is done and get our guest to spill the beans on the best tactics for growing their communities profitably. You don't wanna miss this.