Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 15 – Examine and Refine your Motives

Guys, it’s a human tendency to rationalize lies. This often happens when we try justifying our intent with others. There were plenty of times where I tried justifying who I was as a teacher and individual…..however, the guy sitting across from me didn’t want to hear a cent. Obviously because he had a hidden agenda in terms of trying to get back at me. Nonetheless, let’s try some questions that you can ask yourself regularly.

In an interaction with a child: Are my actions motivated by genuine care and love? Am I really seeking the best interests of this child? Am I humble enough to admit it if I am wrong? Or am I really trying to impose my will on this child?

In an interaction with a spouse: Am I sincerely listening to what my spouse has to say? Am I genuinely open to his/her influence? Do I understand where he/she is coming from? Or am I focused on explaining my point of view, being right, or getting my way?

In an interaction with a work team: Am I quick to see and acknowledge the contribution of every team member? Am I focused on a “win” for the entire team? Or am I primarily focused on my own “win” — on being the “hero,” on being recognized for my own ideas?

In a business deal: Do I genuinely want what’s best for us both? Do I really understand what constitutes a “win” for the other party? Have I clearly thought through and can I express what constitutes a “win” for me? Am I open to synergy and third alternatives? Or do I really want to “win,” regardless of what happens to the other party?


Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

Five Adaptations – My Story

  1. Why am I feeling unappreciated and undervalued? Because I don’t get paid what I should get paid and I never get a “thank you,” rather a complaint, which is blown up.
  2. Why do I think they don’t see the good work I do? Because they focus only on the negative rather than the results.
  3. What makes me think they’re focused on that? Because two weeks ago I had two, two-faced students say the most egregious things about me and requested a change of teacher.
  4. Why do you think they said that? I wish I had a clue, but I don’t.
  5. Why would I talk to my boss about it, or what should I do in the future to protect myself. Keep it as professional as possible, document everything, and never take anyone for granted.

These are the five whys you can use to figure out the real intent.

If your intent is based on principles (caring, contributing, seeking mutual benefit, acting in the best interest of others), it will bring you trust dividends: if it’s not, you’re going to pay a tax — which is what happened when my students ultimately snubbed me.

Three Ideas by Stephen Covey

First, make sure you have identified the principles that will bring the results you want.

Second, recognize that you may need help to create this deep inner change — and seek it.

Third, behave your way into the person you want to be. Example, if you’re not now a person who cares much about others — but you have the desire to be — then act on that desire.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 15 – Examine and Refine your Motives” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 14 – The Trustee Standard

When we believe people truly are acting in our best interest, we tend to trust them. When we believe that they are not acting in our best interest, we do not trust them.

Let me give you an example. I had always gone to a suit shop in old Bangkok. I loved going there to warp my wardrobe into what it should have been. After the last couple of times, I felt that one of the guys there was going for a quick money grab. He wasn’t acting in the best interest of me. So, one day I went there to pick up some clothes and he was pressuring the hell out of me to buy an additional suit. No eye contact, no nothing. He even charged me almost double for the suit, which I would’ve gotten for a much cheaper price if the other guy was there.

I remember being on the skytrain, angry, and I messaged the guy who had taken the day off saying, “could you please cancel my last order I put in. That guy hustled me for my money and this is why I don’t come as often as I did.”

That was probably March/April of 2017. I never went back, and yes, I still do have 300$ worth of clothes to be picked up (and I will go back to pick it up and close the deal), but since they didn’t act in my best interest, I’m certainly not going to do the opposite.

How to Improve Intent

Fundamentally, intent is a matter of the heart. It’s something you can’t fake — at least not for long. But it is something you can definitely work on and improve.

Some people genuinely have poor intent. Though they may not be aware of it or even admit it, deep inside they seek their own profit, position, or possessions above people, above principle, above everything else.

Others have good intent — they sincerely want to do what’s right and seek the welfare of others — but their expression and execution of intent is poor. Though we may not realize it, most of us deal with at least some degree of challenge in both of these areas. If we’re really honest, we have to admit that sometimes our motives are not completely pure. Sometimes we approach situations with hidden agendas — even tiny ones — that keep us from being appropriately transparent with others. Sometimes we manifest behaviors that don’t demonstrate caring, openness, and concern. To whatever degree these challenges are part of our lives, we are being taxed, both personally and professionally.

It’s time to get into those accelerators on the next episode.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 14 – The Trustee Standard” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 13 – Agenda & Behavior

The agenda generally inspires the greatest trust is seeking mutual benefit — genuinely wanting what’s best for everyone involved. It’s not just that you care about others; you also genuinely want them to win. Yes, you’re seeing a win for yourself; that’s natural, desirable, and to be expected. But you’re also seeking a win for all others involved. You recognize that life is interdependent, so you seek out solutions that build trust and benefit all.

The opposite of a mutual benefit agenda is a self-serving agenda: “I want to win — period.” If that’s your agenda, you might get results. But you need to ask yourself: Are these the best possible results I could be getting? And: Are these results sustainable over time? The answer to both of these questions is “no.”

Instead of building bridges of credibility and trust, you’re creating roadblocks of suspicion and distrust.

Stephen Covey

From a teaching standpoint, this is what you want. When it comes to teaching test preparation courses, that mutual benefit is vastly important. You have to not only brag about it to peers, but also workmates and the CEO, telling them “look what I made my student achieve?” Of course, the shoulder shrugs always happen, but once a student doesn’t achieve the score, the world falls on you.

That’s basically someone with a hidden agenda. Winners period? Politicians, obviously. Look at America’s 260-year history of presidency. It was all about “them” and never about “the people.” Thailand…most people set up karaoke bars (which are brothels) and other forms of business to get quick money. That only creates suspicion and distrust. I can pick out those types of characters from a mile away.

For those who actually commit these crimes against people, you will pay an extremely high task…which is often imprisonment, exile or other forms of governmental backlash.


  • Only 29% of employees believe that management cares about them developing their skills.
  • Only 42% believe that management cares about them at all.

An appalling statistics. I worked for a language center called New Education World, and for three years, there were only two workshops, both being held by pompous know-it-all Gen B’s that were the worst possible definition of a teacher trainer. I remember the first one was held in 2015, and there was a cancerous human being named Paul who took leadership of it. For one hour, he didn’t establish ANY sort of skill, insight or revelation that we could take with us home that evening. He literally talked bad about the students and talked about scanning, a technique that could be picked up easily in books.

In the next workshop, a guy from Alabama taught us about SAT, and again, another completely misguided workshop that didn’t make any sense, nor did it help teachers gain knowledge and position themselves to start teaching these particular subjects.

I had to learn on my own. More importantly, I got extremely lucky working at a very-tense language center last year (for a couple months), and while I was there, I was able to ask several teachers the ins and outs of specific things (which I do believe I’ve already forgotten).

I learned more in those two months than I learned in 3.5 years at my previous job.

As a manager or anyone of power, you need to learn how to train your employees and especially treat them.

A wonderful company that I teach at in the heart of the CBD informed me that they will be going on a trip to Japan (Hokkaido) in a couple of weeks. All paid for by the company….and get this, no meetings or anything. A pure holiday.

That’s how team-building works. I’m not saying send your employees overseas, but show them that you do care about the development of their skills.

Actionable Steps

  • As an employee, what skills can you further develop to put you in a greater position in the next few months?
  • As an employer, what can you implement now that will better your employees and benefit them going ahead in the future?


Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 13 – Agenda & Behavior” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 12 – What is Intent?

Motive. Motive is your reason for doing something. It’s the “why” that motivates “what.”

The motive that inspires the greatest trust is genuine caring — caring about people, caring about purposes, caring about the quality of what you do, caring about society as a whole. Think about it: Are you going to trust someone who could really care less about you? Or about work or about principles, or values, or anyone or anything else?


Stephen Covey

This is a very interesting story I’m going to tell you about the above statement. I have a friend, who I’m “KINDA” seeing, but when things go south, she disappears. There’s no communication, she simply ignores — just like my ex for like 11 years ago.

One of the darkest times in my life was when I constantly tried calling my ex to see if she’s ok, and she never picked up my phone. I knew she was around my phone 24/7, but she just didn’t want to pick it up. I finally talked to her and after she mocked me on the phone, I got so angry and began weeping out loud. My mother came upstairs, grabbed the phone and said, “Arsenio will talk to you later.” And my mom then left the room. It was the perfect mother moment…..but these are the glimpses of what this particular individual is showing.

After a complete lapse of judgement, I messaged her on a few occasions. Now, you guys know me well enough that I’m not a chaser. I don’t chase a soul. I sent maybe 3-5 messages throughout the day, and she didn’t read them. At night I sent a message saying, “good night…I know you’re ignoring me.”

Reply: “yes, good night.”

That reminded me of December 2008. The fact that the other person is so selfish to the point that they know what they’re doing and it’s wrong on the party, yet they’re doing it anyways, is completely unfair, childish, and ignorant. Not only that, but that was the second time.

So, what will I do? Taste of her own medicine? Or just move on?

Doesn’t really matter at this point. I’ve accepted fate….

Clearly, motive matters, and the motive of caring will do more than anything else to build credibility and trust. But what if you genuinely don’t care? What if your real motive is profit or accumulation or recognition — period? What if you really don’t care about customers or employees, family or friends, people on the streets and things around you?

If you really don’t care — and you don’t want to care — that’s fine. But you need to understand that you will pay a tax because of it.

You may think you’re already getting good results, but you need to ask yourself a bigger question: what am I leaving on the table?

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

So, if you really don’t care — and you have no intent to change — you’re generally much better off being transparent about it and simply recognizing that you’re paying a tax because of it.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 12 – What is Intent?” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 10 – Be Open! – Old Job Mayhem

We’re back with some more Stephen Covey! I’ve been off for a couple of weeks because of the crazy schedule, but I’m back and on fire as always. In today’s blog and podcast episode, it’s time to talk about being open.

You’ve probably been around people you consider close-minded or arrogant – people who don’t really listen to you because they think there’s nothing you could say they don’t already know; people who refuse to consider new ways of looking at things because they are convinced that theirs is the only accurate way of thinking; people who will star truth in the face and reject it because they’re not willing to accept the possibility that there is some reality, some principle out there, they weren’t even aware of. How does that ego-invested attitude affect your ability to relate to these people? How does it affect your perception of their credibility? How does it affect your willingness to extend trust?

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust book

By me typing that and speaking it in my podcast, what came to mind? Just write down a list of names that popped up in your mind. The shaking of your head while saying “tsk! That’s him/her!”

As a 26-year-old, I sat in a room with one of the heads of the company called New Education World, my previous employer. The lady, who has once said racist remarks in regards to a colleague of mine, was accompanied by four other women who were apparent “department managers.”

As I explained my new course, which was due to make a debut at this particular branch, she sat there, closed and uninterested.

However, towards the end, she asked some very good questions and then asked me, “where do we get the teachers to teach that?”

“Ummm, if teachers can’t teach conversation, they’re not teachers,” I replied.


She was convinced that it was impossible to teach conversation. The marketing executive, who once said to me, “to be honest, it’s hard to market a black guy to these companies,” laughed in my bosses face saying, “this is an academic language institute. Creating a conversation course is ridiculous.”

In the following year, the conversation course was number one for total revenue — all created by me.

He wasn’t willing to accept the possibility that it was REAL.

Others would be diametrically opposed to it.

A new coordinator came in around April of 2017, and his goal was to reduce the amount of courses and classes — all while making the sizes of the class bigger.

This was completely illogical because if you reduce th enumber of classes, you reduce the amount of work for teachers.

His #1 goal was to get rid of my conversation course, the course that was the number 1 marketing tool for 18 months because he was romanticizing with the past thought of the school “being academic.”

How does that ego-invested attitude affect your ability on how to relate to these people?

I stopped talking to everyone. I stopped talking to him, most notably, because he was a “stats” man that was completely blinded by the real reality. I felt there there was nothing else left for me there, so I decided to bite the bullet and leap into the unknown. The trust was so….odd. At times I would think this particular individual was wonderful, but other times I felt like he had an insidiously hidden agenda. Sometimes it felt like he was supportive, but then he would say things that were completely out-of-line, even for a 70-year-old wife tourist.

Openness is vital to integrity. It takes both humility and courage — humility to acknowledge that there are principles out there you may not currently be aware of, and courage to follow them once you discover them. Throughout history, most paradigm shifts in science have been shifts from traditional thinking — shifts that took this kind of humility and courage.

  • Do I believe that the way I see the world is totally accurate and complete — or am I honestly willing to listen to and consider new viewpoints and ideas?
  • Do I seriously consider different points of view (from a boss, direct report, team member, spouse, brother/sister, child), and am I willing to be influenced by them?
  • Do I believe there may be principles that I have not yet discovered? Am I determined to live in harmony with them, even if it means developing new thinking patterns and habits?
  • Do I value — and am I involved in — continual learning?

These three accelerators — make and keep commitments, stand for something, and being open, will help you increase your integrity.


Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 10 – Be Open! – Old Job Mayhem” on Spreaker.


Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 6 – The Four Cores

Guys welcome back to another Stephen Covey blog/podcast, and today is a follow up from what we’ve already done with the questionnaire (last week). 

So, each part in the questionnaire corresponds to one of the “4 Cores of Credibility.”  These are the foundational elements that make you believable, both ot yourself and to others. 

So, when it comes to integrity, it basically means honesty.  It’s walking your talk.  Do you live up to your values and beliefs? Or do you do opposite of what you say. 

Core 2: Intent

The second core deals with issues of intent.  This has to do with our motives, our agendas, and our resulting behavior.  Trust grows when our motives are straightforward and based on mutual benefit — in other words, when we genuinely care not only for ourselves, but also for the people we interact with, lead, or serve.  When we suspect a hidden agenda from someone or we don’t believe they are acting in our best interests, we are suspicious about everything they say and do. 

Both integrity and intent are matters of character.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

This happens a lot in my life because I have a tendency of always saying to myself, “is this real?”  Came across a lady on the street last night and she was super friendly.  It didn’t make any sense, and I truly believed that she had a hidden agenda. She was trying to exploit me somehow, someway, and I was right. 

Core 3: Capabilities

The third core deals with issues of capabilities.  These are the abilities that have inspire confidence — our talens, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and style.  They are the means we use to produce results.  A family doctor might have integrity and his motives might be good, but unless he’s trained and skilled to perform the task at hand (brain surgery, for example) he’ll be lacking in credibility in that area.  Capabilities also deal with our ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust. 

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

Core 4: Results

The fourth core deals with issues around results.  This refers to our track record, our performance, our getting the right things done.  If we don’t accomplish what we are expected to do, it diminishes our credibility.  On the other hand, when we achieve the results we promised, we establish a positive reputation of performing, of being a produce, and our reputation precedes us. 

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

And these are the cores.  Remember, everyone, each area is of equal importance.  Example, someone who has great integrity, good intent and a great track record my lack capabilities.  Another person who has great integrity, capable and produces excellent results may have selfishness and doesn’t care about you.  

In any case, you won’t fully trust that person in any situation. So, in order to visualize the importance of all cores is by through the metaphor of a tree.  Integrity is the root of the tree which everything else grows.  Intent becomes more visible after you establish the character, which is just below the soil.  It’s essentially the big trunk the pokes its head out.  The capabilities are the branches and the capacities that enable us to produce.  Results are the fruits.  

So, with the being said, we’re going to have to start going through the cores