Stephen M.R. Covey Profile

Co-founder and CEO of CoveyLink Worldwide, Stephen M.R. Covey speaks and advises on trust, leadership, ethics and high performance to companies and audiences across the globe.

Stephen’s book The Speed of Trust revolutionized the ways in which trust is viewed. Stephen’s thesis is that rather than trust being a soft social or emotional virtue it can be one of the most effective business tools that can be learned and measured. Where trust exists, he explains, there is more profit, people become better workers, relationships become energized and leadership improves. His speeches take a practical approach to methods whereby individuals and organizations can reap the benefits of high trust.

After being awarded his Harvard MBA Stephen joined the Covey Leadership Centre as a Client Developer. Amongst other achievements there he personally drove the marketing of his father’s (Dr. Stephen R.Covey’s) book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; this book was later nominated by CEO Magazine as one of the two most influential business books of the 20th century.

After being promoted to National sales manager and then President and CEO, Stephen drove phenomenal growth in the company, helping it to achieve Inc. 500 status. Under his stewardship, revenues doubled to over $110 million whilst profits increased twelvefold. When Stephen became CEO the company had a share value of $2.4 million; three years later when he orchestrated a merger with Franklin Quest to form FranklinCovey that had grown to $160 million.

As well as working on his books and his highly regarded and much in demand public speeches, Stephen currently serves on the board or advisory board of several entities. He is Advisory Board Chairman at the Human Performance Institute, which is at the forefront of energy management technology.

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    Stephen M. R. Covey is co-founder and CEO of CoveyLink Worldwide. A sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and advisor on trust, leadership, ethics, and high performance, he speaks to audiences around the world.

    He is the author of The Speed of Trust, a groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting book that challenges our age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue and instead demonstrates that trust is a hard-edged, economic driver—a learnable and measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing. He advocates that nothing is as fast as the speed of trust and that the ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders is the critical leadership competency of the new global economy.

    Covey passionately delivers that message and is dedicated to enabling individuals and organizations to reap the dividends of high trust. Audiences and organizations alike resonate with his informed, practical approach to real-time issues that affect their immediate and long-term performance.

    He is the former CEO of Covey Leadership Center, which, under his stewardship, became the largest leadership development company in the world. Covey personally led the strategy that propelled his father’s book, Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, to one of the two most influential business books of the 20th Century, according to CEO Magazine.

    A Harvard MBA, he joined Covey Leadership Center as a Client Developer and later became National Sales Manager and then President & CEO. Under Covey’s direction, the company grew rapidly and profitably, achieving Inc. 500 status. As President & CEO, he nearly doubled revenues to over $110 million while increasing profits by 12 times. During that period, both customer and employee trust reached new highs and the company expanded throughout the world into over 40 countries. This greatly increased the value of the brand and company. The company was valued at only $2.4 million when Covey was named CEO, and, within three years, he grew shareholder value to $160 million in a merger he orchestrated with then Franklin Quest to form FranklinCovey.

    Over the years, Covey has gained considerable respect and influence with executives and leaders of Fortune 500 companies as well as with mid- and small-sized private sector and public sector organizations he’s consulted. Clients recognize his unique perspective on real-world organizational issues based on his practical experience as a former CEO.

    Covey currently serves on the board/advisory board of several entities, including the Human Performance Institute—the leader in energy management technology—where he serves as Advisory Board Chairman.

    Covey resides with his wife and children in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains.

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Stephen M.R. Covey's Speech Descriptions

Stephen M.R. Covey’s presentations advocate an entirely new and more productive way to look at business. He demonstrates how the two essential measures in business are speed and cost, and how the level of trust, will have significant effects on both of these measurements. He demonstrates the ways in which you can turn the provision of trust from a “tax” to a “dividend.”

Stephen’s methodologies of trust are particularly relevant to leaders. Drawing on his experience as a CEO he provides practical ideas to assist leaders in building trust within their companies and with external collaborators. He will send you away with a whole new perspective on the ways in which you interact with your employees, your colleagues and your suppliers.

    Stephen offers the following as keynote addresses, half-day retreats, or full-day workshops:

    In this thought-provoking presentation, Stephen M. R. Covey challenges conventional wisdom about business. From his informed perspective as a highly successful CEO, he demonstrates how there are two important measures in business—SPEED and COST. The level of TRUST in an organization significantly effects this measurement. He will show how to increase your speed and lower your costs. How to turn a Trust Tax™ into a Trust Dividend™ and transform the way you do business on all levels.

    Learn how great companies create cultures of high trust that produce extraordinary organizational dividends, enabling their firms to operate (unlike their competitors) at a different-in-kind “speed” in business. What do Wal-Mart, Berkshire Hathaway, and other great companies know about capitalizing on the matchless speed of high trust? How do companies convert the high Trust Taxes™ of low trust into the abundant Trust Dividends™? What can any influencer do, within any organizational setting, to likewise engage at this level of speed, benefits, and results?

    Stephen teaches your organization to measure TRUST and understand that establishing, growing, extending, and restoring TRUST are the leadership competencies required in the new global economy. This will increase your business acumen and allow for better, faster, and more profitable decisions at all levels.

    “Leading at the SPEED of TRUST” practices significantly lower costs and increase speed, profits, and influence. In this fast-passed and engaging presentation, Stephen M. R. Covey dramatically demonstrates the leadership benefits of TRUST from the informed perspective of a CEO and teaches how to establish and grow a high-trust, high-performance organization.

    Stephen M. R. Covey predicts that:

    “The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders–customers, suppliers, investors, and employees–is the critical leadership competency required in the new, global economy.”

    TRUST, more important than VISION, you ask? Yes! No matter how grand a vision, the high cost of low trust can stop you from reaching it profitably.

    TRUST, more important than STRATEGY? Yes! While high trust can‘t make a poor strategy succeed, the high cost of low trust can derail an otherwise great strategy.

    TRUST, more important than SYSTEMS and STRUCTURE? Yes! No degree of re-engineering and quality control can overcome the sabotage and tax of a low trust culture.

    TRUST, more important than SKILLS? Yes! No matter how skilled a group, the high cost of low trust can disrupt their potential success. Nothing repels talent like a high control, low trust workplace

    We call it the “SPEED of TRUST™.” Leading at the SPEED of TRUST is both more financially rewarding AND just plain more fun and energizing. (And not just because of the money!)

    What separates the great leaders from the good ones? What makes a manager a manager of choice by his reports, peers, and boss? While there are many elements to these questions, there is one common thread throughout—that of being a leader who can be trusted.

    Stephen M. R. Covey, informed by his experience as the successful CEO of a $100 million-dollar company, identifies the 13 critical behaviors of a High Trust Leader in this engaging presentation. In his vintage, no nonsense style, he candidly and enthusiastically teaches these behaviors to participants.

    These career critical behaviors insure success in this difficult new economy. Leaders that manifest these traits have a marked advantage over their competitors. High trust leaders attract and retain hard-to-find talent that amplifies their effectiveness and competitive advantage.

    Organizations and teams that expect high performance must master these skills and make high trust leadership an explicit competency for hiring and promotional selections. Those that do will experience the dividends of Leading at the SPEED of TRUST™.

    Additional Programs:

    • Teambuilding at the Speed of Trust
    • Beyond Compliance: An Inside Out Approach to High Trust Leadership

What People are Saying about Seeing Stephen Speak

Rating Entries

    “Mr. Covey did a great job of engaging the audience with his energy, enthusiasm, and good use of story-telling. The content was also spot-on for our audience.”
    (Engagement arranged by

    “The event was a huge success. We had a great turnout. Outstanding! Stephen hit a home run with the audience. We had a local book store there selling The Speed of Trust – The One Thing That Changes Everthing after his keynote. Stephen stayed on to sign books for people. The bookstore called me to tell me that they were more pleased than they anticipated. I′m getting good feedback. What a timely message!”
    Traverse Area Human Resources Association
    (Event booked by

    “When I received this book and was asked to read it and offer my comments, my first impulse was, ‘I don’t have the time’. However, as I read the foreword, then the first few chapters, I could not put it down. It is exactly what business leaders need today. This book gets to the core roots of ethical behavior and integrity and how ‘trust’ is the most critical factor in effective leaders and organizations. The author discusses with clarity and insight now to develop trust through character and competence and how ‘trusted’ leaders and organizations do things better, faster, and at lower costs. Everyone should make the time to read this book.”
    Nolan D. Archibald
    Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
    Black & Decker Corporation

    “Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade.”
    Tom Peters

    “The Speed of Trust is a great find. It superbly achieves the goal of providing a road map to peak performance, both for individuals and organizations. But the true genius of the book is its universal relevance, as it combines a highly effective common-sense approach with frank guidance to enhance all relationships in life.”
    J.W. Marriott, Jr.
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
    Marriott International, Inc.

    “I am happier when I am trusted, and I bet you are too. Covey has done a masterful job teaching that trust is conditioned on our behavior and that we can consciously shift our behavior to deserve trust. This one realization can change your life. This is the best book by a Covey since 7 Habits.”
    Richard Carlson, Ph.D
    Author of Don′t Sweat the Small Stuff and Don′t Get Scrooged

    “In a ′flatter′ world, trust is the ′secret sauce′ that significantly enhances learning, relationships, and results. Covey′s breakthrough insight that trust is a competency is both revolutionary and immediately practical. CEOs and Chief Learning Officers will embrace The Speed of Trust as an authentic and actionable strategy–a roadmap–for increasing the effectiveness of their organizations and leaders.”
    Elliott Masie
    The Learning CONSORTIUM

    “Covey convincingly makes his case that trust is the one thing that changes everything. He shows that speed is the currency of success and trust is the source. In an era when so many of our leaders have shown themselves to be strangers to the power of trust, this book is a must read.”
    Marcus Buckingham
    Coauthor of Now, Discover Your Strengths

    “The Speed of Trust clearly identifies trust as the source of speed in our direct relationships. Covey convincingly validates our experience at Dell—that trust has a bottom-line impact on results and that when trust goes up, speed goes up while costs come down. This principle applies not only in our professional relationships with customers, business partners, and team members but also in our personal relationships, which makes this insightful book all the more valuable.”
    Kevin Rollins
    President and CEO

    “Stephen Covey′s work changed the world. I′d bet the price of this exciting book and more that his son, Stephen M.R. Covey, will have at least as much impact. The Speed of Trust is an amazing book starting with its novel and powerful title–my greatest wonder was why it hadn′t been written before. From the epigraph–′Speed happens when people truly trust each other′–to the closing bell, this is a book worth savoring–and implementing.”
    Tom Peters
    Author of Re-imagine!
    Coauthor of In Search of Excellence

    “Covey brilliantly focuses on that overlooked bedrock of democratic capitalism — trust. Like the air we breathe, we too often take this critical intangible for granted. As Covey makes clear, we do so at our ultimate competitive peril.”
    Steve Forbes
    President & CEO, Forbes

    “The Speed of Trust is a must read for not only business leaders but every individual. Mr. Covey defines trust in a most accurate fashion. One can benefit immensely from its contents.”
    Jon M. Huntsman
    Founder and Chairman
    Huntsman International

    Partial Client List:

    • Marriott International
    • Campbell Soup
    • Jet Blue
    • Deloitte Touche
    • American Express
    • Macrovision
    • IBM
    • Easter Seals of America
    • CB Richard Ellis
    • Dell
    • Black and Decker
    • Toro
    • NuSkin
    • Procter and Gamble
    • Penske
    • Eli Lilly
    • Harvard Business School
    • Ernst & Young
    • Southwest Airlines
    • American Society for Training and Development
    • Institute of Internal Auditors
    • Department of the Navy
    • ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership
    • American Management Association

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Books by Stephen M.R. Covey:

    Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World

    Praise for Smart Trust:

    Smart Trust is without doubt one of the most powerful and seminal books of our age. It exposes and helps solve the most dangerous crisis apparent in almost all human institutions: how to trust in a low-trust world.” –Warren Bennis, Professor USC, author of Still Surprised

    “We’ve turned to Stephen M. R. Covey to help us train more than 100,000 AT&T managers, … I recommend Smart Trust to anyone trying to succeed in today’s fast-paced, global business environment.” –Randall Stephenson, Chairman, President and CEO, AT&T

    “The job of every leader at every level is to cultivate and protect trust, but this is especially challenging in a distrustful world. Smart Trust shows the way; it is both a mindset and a toolbox for 21st century leadership. I recommend it highly.”
 –Robert A. McDonald, Chairman, President and CEO, The Procter & Gamble Company

    “From all the people I’ve interviewed, I’ve learned that trust is everything. Smart Trust powerfully shows us how to increase it, which is more important than ever in this low-trust world. The best leaders I’ve ever met have the ability to create trust. Smart Trust is a great read! This is an important addition to your library.” –Larry King

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    The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

    From Stephen R. Covey′s eldest son comes a revolutionary new path towards productivity and satisfaction. Trust, says Stephen M.R. Covey, is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization.

    For business leaders and public figures in any arena, The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in our every transaction and relationship—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction—and how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can forego the time–killing, bureaucratic check–and–balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.

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