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the speed of trust

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, by Stephen M.R. Covey

i slowly read this book on my kindle, over the course of about a month. it was helpful, insightful, and occasionally painful.

covey (this is the younger covey, by the way — son of the stephen covey who wrote “the 7 laws…” stuff) both knows his stuff, and clearly did a lot of preparation for this book. peppered throughout with stories of businesses and individuals, the book lays out the role of trust in human relationships: this certainly includes (and to some extent, focuses on) business, but includes friendships, civic groups (and churches), and marriages. he explains in detail, offers assessment tools and questions, then goes a step further by outlining pathways to build trust.

at times, i felt the book had a bit too much detail. i think i would have liked it more at 2/3 the length. but it’s not wordy, and i’m sure those parts i skimmed a bit would be helpful to others.

it’s impossible to read this book and not constantly dip into self-reflection:
– what am i doing to build or erode trust in my workplace?
– what am i doing to build or erode trust in my friendships?
– what am i doing to build or erode trust in my marriage?

as someone who has a natural tendency toward spin and manipulation, and has been on a decade-long journey of trying to live more honestly, i was regularly challenged. i quickly saw old behaviors (that i have moved away from), and begrudgingly confronted ongoing behaviors, thought patterns, and proclivities.

really, while i think this book could be helpful for just about anyone, it is particularly important reading for anyone in a leadership role: in a business, in a church, or any other organization.

monday morning update

the weekend that was: enjoying my christmas family holiday in the detroit area. this first half of our trip was spent mainly with my wife’s family. the weekend was low-key. we did see a couple movies: marley & me (which was really great) and the curious case of benjamin button (which was very good, but too long). sunday evening we made the move to my parents, where we’ll spend this coming week. we had a great evening of watching the san diego chargers win the division title by seriously kicking the butts of the denver broncos.

where i am at the moment: in canton, michigan, at my parents’ house.

on my to-do list this week: chillax with my fam. and finish the middle school ministry book.

procrastinating about: my email inbox is nasty, as is my facebook inbox. and i have about 4 or 5 phone calls i really need to make.

book i’m in the midst of: i’m in-between books at the moment. finally finished the speed of trust, and think i’ll start the know it all next.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: it’s been an uncommonly music free week for me.

next trip: after heading home in a week, my next trip is the ys one day premiere in san antonio, tx.

how i’m feeling about this week: how could i not feel great about a week of play and hanging with my family?

monday morning update

the weekend that was: fun and full weekend, it was. friday night was the ys staff christmas party. we had a great time. the party was at the san diego museum of photographic art, and had a “black and white” theme. everyone wore black and white, and a costume competition was part of the night. crazy stuff, as one would expect from the ys staff. i’ll post some pics when i get access to them. we also had a surprise concert and carol singing time with kendall payne, which was totally cool. no one knew she was coming until i brought her on stage in the theater at our venue.

saturday was filled with running around (a bit of christmas shopping included), and then max’s 11 year-old birthday party. he had three of his buddies over, and in the evening, we all took the trolley to a nice mall, when i’d put together a mall scavenger hunt for them. dinner was a the cheesecake factory. then the boys spent the night.

sunday was a full day also: cinnamon roles for the boys in the morning, then cleaning up. jen and jay howver, and their girls noelle and chloe came over for lunch and the afternoon. then we had home church at our house in the evening, and it was a goodbye to one of our guys who’s been with us since the beginning. sadness and happiness both.

where i am at the moment: i’m flying to grand rapids, michigan today for a couple days at zondervan. lots of meetings, and two christmas parties (one for all zondervan staff, and one for the leadership team). i fly home wednesday morning.

on my to-do list this week: after the three days at z, i have a couple days in the office, which will be my last two days at ys this year. lots of catching up and wrapping up to do. and i have to keep making progress on the middle school ministry book.

procrastinating about: finances. there are some personal finances and ys finances i need to spend some time on, and i have no energy for it.

book i’m in the midst of: still plodding through the speed of trust by covey. great book — i just haven’t had much time to read.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: mostly christmas music. particularly, i’ve been diggin’ kendall payne‘s new christmas cd and alathea‘s new christmas cd. i have the two of them in a playlist, and listened to them quite a bit this week.

next trip: after i get home from z, my next trip is next monday, when my family flies to detroit for our annual christmas trek. i’ve never had a christmas that wasn’t in detroit. jeannie’s family and mine all live there, so we’re able to spend time with everyone quite easily. we’ll be there until january 3.

how i’m feeling about this week: a little stressed. i have a meeting with my boss this afternoon i hope will be good, but we have to talk about ys’ financial year, which isn’t exactly pretty. and i have much to do this week in prep for my own family’s christmas this coming saturday. just lots to do is all.

monday morning update

the weekend that was: i was in toronto for the canadian youth workers conference, a ys event in partnership with canadafire. it was really a wonderful weekend, with a slightly more intimate vibe than the u.s. conventions (since there was about 900 people there). everything went really well, and i think people were blessed, encouraged, challenged and equipped — all the things we hope for.

where i am at the moment: flying home from toronto. i had a ghastly early flight, but that means i get home in the early afternoon; and i’m really looking forward to being with my family.

on my to-do list this week: busy week. i have to get back to writing middle school ministry; i have a wad of meetings; and the big item of this week is the ys staff christmas party on friday night. our christmas party is always a blast, and always a surprise to our staff (not a surprise that we’re having it, but most of the details). they know our theme this year is “black and white”, and they know we’re having a photo contest (they have all been given cameras), and they know we’re having a re-written christmas song contest, and they know we’re having a costume contest. but that’s about it at this point. i’m sure i’ll post more after the party is over!

procrastinating about: i have to take a deep look at ys finances, as we’re having a challenging year. and, with all the conventions, i’ve been putting that off a bit. time to get to it. not my favorite thing to do, nor my strongest gifting.

book i’m in the midst of: the younger stephen covey’s excellent book, the speed of trust.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: didn’t listen to much recorded music this week, due to the convention. but i loved listening to starfield and a couple of my personal favorites, matt maher and lost and found, live.

next trip: i have a short-ish trip to zondervan, in grand rapids, next monday through wednesday.

how i’m feeling about this week: i mostly have a good sense of anticipation. but i also feel a bit overwhelmed with everything on my plate right now.

monday morning update

the weekend that was: ah, thanksgiving weekend. great family time. we had a couple families over for thanksgiving day. one of them was my cousin and his wife and baby, who live in LA. they spent the night thursday, and we had a great time with them through friday late morning. the rest of the weekend was filled with massive to do lists, which included decorating the house for christmas. this included a challenging moment when we discovered that the nice fake tree friends had purchased for us last year (we’d always had real trees prior to last year) was too tall for the ceilings in our new house. but it was only about 8 inches too tall. so i used a variety of metal-working tools to hack off 8 inches. and, voila, we now have a decorated tree that nicely mushes up into the ceiling! also had to do a little wire splicing when i discovered i’d cut through one of the light wires. got the lights on the outside of the house also, made our christmas shopping lists (and did a tiny bit of shopping), planned max’s birthday, and a whole bunch of other stuff. friday night we had a family night at the movies: max and jeannie saw bolt, while liesl and i saw twilight (i’ll try to post about this movie later this week). saturday night, liesl was out, and jeannie, max and i watched fred clause while eating cookie dough. sunday morn was church (a really wonderful communion service), followed by bits of the sad chargers game interspersed with decorating. and sunday night we hosted our home church at our house. we had a really meaningful time of writing down things we need to release and things we’d like to embrace on paper. then we wrote one of each that we really want to move forward on onto small colored pieces of paper, then fed them through a shredder. after some discussion about these in triplets, we came back and the person leading had turned those shredded pieces into confetti. we all took a small bunch of the confetti and put it into little round clear boxes (used by people who collect and sort beads). we’re each keeping these to remember to pray for each other. really cool.

where i am at the moment: i have a couple days home before leaving for our canadian convention, and i’m taking them to do some writing and shopping. jeannie and i have a lunch date today, followed by some christmas shopping; but otherwise, i’ll be writing (the “middle school ministry” book is due may 5, and i still have about 7 chapters to go!).

on my to-do list this week: after getting some writing done, and working on my seminars for the canadian youth workers conference, i’ll be in toronto from wednesday on. should be a wonderful event.

procrastinating about: i’m not really procrastinating about writing, but it feels like it, because i have so much to complete. i also have a magazine column due today. i suppose i’m procrastinating about getting caught up on email and facebook messages, since i’m not finding the time for them.

book i’m in the midst of: finished anne rice’s amazing called out of darkness, and started reading steven covey’s (the younger one) the speed of trust, which is shaping up to be a fantastic read.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: still soaking in all my 80s christian alt i wrote about last week. started listening to christmas music over the weekend, and have been laughing over the gift i received of colbert’s christmas cd.

next trip: wednesday, to toronto, for the canadian youth workers conference. come home next monday.

how i’m feeling about this week: a little stressed at the moment, and don’t feel like leaving town again; but i’m excited about the convention.

bonus: today is my son max’s 11th birthday. crazy. i’ve been telling him for years that the teenage years don’t start at 13 anymore, but are usually considered to be 11 – 20-something. so he’s convinced he becomes a teenager today, which is awesome, because he’s really still a kid who loves being a kid. i had to tell him, “well, this is the year when you start becoming a teenager.” pop over to max’s blog and wish him a happy birthday!