Stewardship is an interesting word. My initial thoughts were that stewardship is just being in charge, but I didn’t really think about the stipulations of that role. The Merriam Webster definition of the word is “the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something.” I found that to be an interesting definition. Protecting and being responsible for something. Obviously, what we all think of the responsibility of stewardship when we think of leadership, but we forget about the job of protecting the constituents.
That made me stop to think- what leaders have we seen make protection of their constituents a priority? How exactly does one go about making that a priority, without sacrificing other important roles?
Military action could be considered a step for protection, but not everyone agrees with the actions of military bodies and officials. In fact, even leaders who assume the same role don’t have the same views. In America, we have seen increased military action, and reduction of such. After 9/11, military grew in an effort to be prepared for any actions that might be harmful to citizens of America, then President Obama was elected with the promise to bring military home.
So how does a leader assume that role of protector, if those they lead do not agree with actions that have been taken to protect them? These are the problems that face our president now, and have always faced our presidents. So how should we tackle these problems? Do we do what we think is best, regardless of the opinions of those that we lead?
I have thought about this and really, there is no clear rule. It will 100% depend on the person, the leader, and it will always come down to a choice. I do not think that I am prepared to make those kind of decisions, but maybe someday I will have to.
I may be forced to make hard decisions that might affect a crew, whether a literal crew on a ship in the arctic, or on a submarine in a high pressure situation, or even if it is just leading a news team, or acting as the leader in an entrepreneurial venture. All in all, the job of stewardship, of protector, is not easy, and I do not think it ever will be an easy task.
So now my question is, how do we prepare ourselves for these sorts of decisions?
Written By: Aimee Cash
Edited By: Wahida Ifat
One Comment on “Stewardship- are we ready to protect those we lead?”
Thanks for sharing Aimee. I had the opportunity to talk about Stewardship in a retreat we had as Fellows. I was really interested about the origin of the term and how it can be applied to different contexts including, of course, leadership.
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