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The Speed of Trust

I recently revisited Stephen Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust prompted by listening to a great friend and colleague, Diane Heritage. In my current role developing trust is critical to our organisation’s success. This trust is multi-faceted, I need people to trust me, trust the central team and develop trust between schools.

No small task, but such a crucial one.

Covey talks about developing self-trust as a starting point, if you can’t trust yourself, how can anyone else trust you? To foster self-trust, you need to make yourself credible by adopting The Four Cores; Integrity, Intent, Capabilities, Results.

Integrity; I talk a lot about integrity and values. I’ve had highs and lows throughout my career, fortunately for me more of the former than the latter but often reflect how easy it is to stay true to your values when things are going well compared to when times are tough. I am always proud that I have stuck to my values, including those of championing the vulnerable, developing positive learning cultures and investing in others.  Covey states that by being true to your self, standing by your principles and doing what you say you will you’re are developing and fostering self-trust.

Intent; the second core is Intent, meaning positive motives and behaviour. Why do we do what we do? I am yet to meet an educationalist who does their job because of the money more often there is a genuine desire to ‘make a difference’. I have been fortunate to work with and alongside many incredible and inspirational leaders and without exception they have all been driven by a strong desire to impact positively on the lives of young people.

The third core is Capabilities, developing abilities that evoke confidence. I am a firm believer that as leaders we need to be exemplary learners, always staying curious and open to improve. I used to quite glibly say ‘we learn more from what we got wrong that what we get right’ when I was on the end of a really negative and challenging professional experience it took me a while to believe this again. But with time and honest reflection, it is once again my strongly held view, the addition to this mantra, however, is ‘learning can be difficult and at times painful’.

Finally, Covey identifies Results as the final core. In education whenever we think of results we almost always default to considering attainment data, there is no doubt that these form a critical part of how our ‘results’ are judged but I think our role as school leaders is also to develop those around us and create positive, learning-centred organisational cultures that can thrive long after we have gone. 

So how do you manage your core 4? What makes you trust yourself and why should others trust you?

Kate Davies