By Howard Rich
As much as we want to believe we are irreplaceable, that we are the glue holding our organizations together, the reality is we are replaceable. The day after we leave our organization, the sun will rise, the earth will continue to spin, and God’s Kingdom will flourish. Jesus entrusted His Kingdom expansion into the hands of His inner circle, knowing that He had educated, equipped, and empowered them. He did not control them, watch over their shoulders, or dictate their moves; He launched them as His stewards. Understanding leadership in terms of stewardship, as Christ did, allows us to hold power loosely and sets us free to trust others.
People want to be valued as competent, responsible, and trusted contributors to the success of their organization. An effective steward leader will set guidelines, assign tasks, and define roles which distribute authority among followers, creating an environment of empowerment. Steward leaders must provide a safe work environment where employees feel free to challenge systems and processes in an effort to complete the tasks given them. Leaders who desire to empower employees to make decisions, develop talent, and contribute to the vision of an organization must avoid micromanaging. Leaders who micromanage employees cripple an organization, diminish trust, and guarantee the departure of talent.
- Distribute Authority
- Provide Safety
- Maintain Trust
Stewards Must Not:
- Believe They are Irreplaceable
The principle of empowerment can never be overstated. Leaders are not leading if they do not empower those under their stewardship to accomplish their common mission. Your ability to empower leaders is dependent upon your willingness to walk with them through the process of personal development as well as organizational development. You can contribute to the empowerment of your people by encouraging them and listening to their concerns and frustrations in a way that will ensure them that conversations with you will remain confidential. Maintaining trust and confidence is crucial to your ability to continue to influence leaders in a way that will encourage them to develop a stewardship mentality.
Are you empowering others to steward your organization?
Monday, March 30, 2015 is the last day to register for the CLA Online Academy. If you want to learn more about becoming a Steward Leader, CLA highly recommends the module, The Steward Leader, facilitated by Mark L. Vincent. This course module is designed to provide participants with following outcomes:
- The ability to articulate the key question a Steward Leader seeks to answer.
- An understanding of the Foundation of the Steward Leader.
- Insight into where the Steward Leader model fits with other leadership theory and leadership models.
- Substantial reflection on where the student is in the journey of becoming and acting as a Steward Leader.
- Understanding the practice of Steward Leadership and being introduced to an accompanying set of tools.