Leadership as Stewardship, Part Two
- Monday, April 15, 2013
We are the stewards of reputation and legacy. Just about everyone seems obsessed with branding these days, and brand consciousness is driven deeply into our entire culture. There is good reason for much of this obsession – we live and lead on the strength of our reputations. Organizations rise or fall on the strength of reputation. Leaders bear the stewardship of protecting and enhancing reputation and legacy, but those concerns loom far larger than mere branding. A product might be rebranded, but an injury to the reputation of a leader or an organization is rarely fixed by rebranding. Faithful leaders know that our legacy rides on our reputation and the reputation of those we lead.
We are the stewards of truth and teaching. This is the essence of convictional leadership. Leaders are entrusted with truth, with deep beliefs and framing convictions. Those convictions must be taught and retaught, affirmed and reaffirmed, protected and cherished. Otherwise, everything we believe can be lost into confusion, corruption, and worse. As the stewards of truth and teaching, we hold a sacred accountability to perpetuate the very convictions that give life meaning, secure our hope, and summon us and those we lead to concerted action.
It is Required of Stewards That They Be Found Faithful
Leadership is a trust, and we will answer to God for that trust. There will be many standards and structures of necessary accountability along the way, and leaders answer to an array of judges ranging from shareholders and stakeholders to the press and public opinion. In the end, all that really matters is the verdict we will receive from the one who invested us with this trust.
The requirement of stewards is that they be found faithful. That’s why leadership is only for the brave.
This essay is an excerpt from my recent book, The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters. It is available at Amazon.com,barnesandnoble.com, and your local bookseller.
See also Leadership as Stewardship: Part One, published Monday, April 8, 2013.
Publication date: April 16, 2013
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