Stephen M. R. Covey is co-founder of CoveyLink and the FranklinCovey Global Trust Practice. A sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and advisor on trust, leadership, ethics, and collaboration, he speaks to audiences around the world. He is the New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling 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. The Speed of Trust has been translated into 22 languages and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
Stephen is also the author of the newly released Wall Street Journal bestseller, Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others, which was named as the #1 Leadership Book of 2022 by the Outstanding Work of Literature Awards. While the world has changed, our style of leadership has not. Most leaders and organizations-faced with ever new and disrupting challenges-continue to operate from a base model of “Command & Control;” they’ve just become more advanced and sophisticated at it, what Stephen calls “Enlightened Command & Control.”
In contrast to Command & Control, Trust & Inspire is all about unleashing greatness in others. Leading in a way that both inspires and empowers people to become the best version of themselves-tapping into a sense of purpose, meaning, contribution and inclusion. The result is a level of belonging, collaboration, and ultimately innovation that Command & Control is simply not capable of producing.
Stephen asserts that trust has become the new currency of our world, and that having the ability to develop, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders is the number one competency of leadership needed today. He passionately delivers this message and is dedicated to enabling individuals and organizations to reap the dividends of high trust throughout the world. Audiences and organizations alike resonate with his tangible, practical approach to trust.
Stephen is the former CEO of Covey Leadership Center, which, under his direction, became the largest leadership development company in the world. He personally led the strategy that propelled his father’s book, Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, to become one of the two most influential business books of the 20th Century, according to CEO Magazine. A Harvard MBA, Stephen joined Covey Leadership Center as a Client Developer, became National Sales Manager, and then President & CEO. Under Stephen’s leadership, the company achieved Inc. 500 status, nearly doubled revenues while increasing profits by 12 times, and expanded into over 40 countries. This greatly increased the value of the brand and company. Within three years of being named CEO, Stephen had increased shareholder value by 67 times in a merger with then FranklinQuest to form FranklinCovey.
Over the years, Stephen 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.
Stephen serves on numerous boards, including the Government Leadership Advisory Council, and he has been recognized with the lifetime Achievement Award for “Top Thought Leaders in Trust” from the advocacy group, Trust Across America/Trust Around the World.