Leadership is Stewardship

A friend and client asked me what I’ve learned about stewardship. I wish there was more interest in stewardship because leaders are stewards.

I shifted the language from ‘learned’ to ‘learning’ when I texted back. People who think they’ve learned haven’t. We’re always learning and relearning.

Leadership quote; Leadership is stewardship. Image of a person pruing a plant.

Stewardship and the merger:

A leader in the financial sector told me she knew the merger was benefiting a few. The few receiving benefit are jerk-holes, not stewards. Self-interest is secondary to stewards.

5 things I’m learning about stewardship:

#1. Care.

Exploitation, short-term advantage, and abusing people are repulsive to stewards. Sustainable advantage takes priority over short-term personal advantage.

Self-care is the means to caring for others.

#2. Entrusted.

People aren’t tools. Stewards are entrusted with people. Steward-leaders obsess about maximizing talent. You can’t control results but you can control how you treat people.

#3. Trust.

At the least, you keep learning to trust people. When you trust people, they dare to trust you. In a deeper sense, you learn to trust God with yourself and others. When you don’t believe in God, you still learn to trust people.

#4. Behaviors.

Identity determines behavior. Define stewardship and you discover the way ethical leaders act.

#5. Honor.

The success of others is the steward’s honor. The light shines on others.

Stewardship and confidence:

This post is longer than the text I sent my friend, but my text included another item. I told him I’m learning, “My way of seeing is relevant. I have a place.”

Stewards come to believe in their own relevance. A steward’s place in the world is helping others see their place. You don’t need glory. You show up to serve.

What are you learning about stewardship?

Still curious:

The 12 Assets That Elevate and Expand Every Leader’s Influence – This post explains 12 assets stewards manage.

Stewardship Definition & Meaning