Increase Your Trust Score

In over eleven years of writing for Over the Road, I’ve never done a book review on a book I haven’t yet finished reading. I don’t advise it and I hope to never do it again, but I’ve been so moved by a section of a book that I’m only 20% finished that I am going to comment.

The book is the New York Times bestseller ‘The Speed of Trust’ by Stephen M.R. Covey (son of the author of the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’). It should be read as a very personal book. While reading, one should reflect only on their own shortcomings and failures as reading it with a critical eye to those around you will not provide the true benefits of its wisdom.

If you have been reading my articles over the last couple of years, you have seen me paint a picture of how both business and personal relationships should work. I’ve written many articles on ethics and integrity. I’ve tried to promote integrity in both our industry and in our/my personal life. I’m in no way implying my life has been perfect. However, I did come to see the benefits of some of the paths that I have taken and the downfalls of others. Also, I have learned some lessons from the faults in my own life and some from those around me.

As Mr. Covey expounds on trust, he shows how trust reduces cost and increases performance efficiency. Probably the simplest example (not given in the book) is someone going for a loan with either a high credit score or a low one. The high credit score applicant will receive approval much faster and usually at a better cost than the lower (less trustworthy) credit score.

As an accountant to over 500 independent operators, I see the difference trust makes within a wide range of scores. I’m not just talking about credit scores but about all factors of life: finances, family, friends and taxes (just to mention a few).

In my line of work, I see a lot of trust applications, specifically business finances. After several decades of watching the outcomes of operator’s efforts, I can safely say that those who actively develop trustworthy habits and reputations end up accumulating much higher levels of after-tax wealth than those who cut corners and fudge on their taxes. It is probably the most counter-intuitive anomaly in the financial industry. Those who confess to having an accident end up getting much more lucrative opportunities than those who hide their failures. However, there are other trustworthy character traits such as, ‘clients who actively give to charity end up with more than those who don’t’. I’m a numbers guy… I’m supposed to show the trail of its benefit… but seriously, I cannot. I can only verify that it is true… those who give will get, while those who take will have less. That’s as best as I can testify to.

Building trust in both our character and our competence (Covey) will bring long term financial gain, reduce stress, increase capacity and provide more opportunity, bolsters confidence plus a whole host of other benefits. Simply put, it’s just good business. The road to success may be slower at first but as the compound interest of trust multiplies, eventually, it’s hard to keep up with it.

Hire trustworthy people in both character and competence… but first, make sure you have it yourself. A quality person rarely will stay with an unscrupulous boss or co-worker. Get the right people onto your bus and the wrong ones off. Trustworthy people have a desire to be trusted and will flourish in the right atmosphere.

I challenge you to read the book ‘The Speed of Trust’. Take it personally. Read it as a self-help book as I have. I have found ways to be a better leader, husband, father and friend. I encourage you to better yourself, better your neighbour and better your work environment. Increase your trust score.

About the Author:
Robert D. Scheper is a leading Accountant and Consultant to the Lease/Owner operator industry in Canada. His first book in the Making Your Miles Count series “taxes, taxes, taxes” was released in 2007. His firm exclusively serves Lease/Owner Operators across Canada. His second book “Choosing a Trucking company” is the most in-depth analysis of the operator industry available today. He has a Master degree (MBA) in financial management and has been serving the industry since he and his wife came off the road in 1993. His dedication, commitment and strong opinions can be read and heard in many articles and seminars.

You can find him and his books at or 1-877-987-9787. You can also e-mail him at

About Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper operates an accounting and consulting firm in Steinbach, Manitoba. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of the Book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” (now available on CD). You can find him at and or at 1-877-987-9787. You can e-mail him at: