Inspire Trust

“Trust is the one thing that changes everything.”

Stephen M. R. Covey, American writer, businessman, and expert on workplace trust

In 1997, as CEO of Covey Leadership Center, Stephen M. R. Covey helped put together a merger between the Covey company and the Franklin Quest Company. The two companies would become one: FranklinCovey. The merger was a natural fit. Both companies were involved in high-quality training and leadership development and were composed of good people working together to do great things. But all mergers are difficult, and this one was no exception.

Each company brought its own distinct operating style. Neither was right or wrong, or better or worse; they were just different. Because of the differences, as the merger progressed, some tension began to develop within the different factions. The people from each respective side began to view things through a competitive lens. Accompanying every decision were murmurings and grumblings from both the Covey and the Franklin side; it seemed nothing made everybody happy and the lingering subtext was a question of which side was “winning.” There was palpable resentment brewing on all sides.

While Stephen would not be running the entire company, he was tasked with leading the company’s largest division: training and consulting. He had big ideas and was ready to hit the ground running. But there was a problem. Only half the company had confidence in his ability to lead: the Covey half.

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