“Leadership is a stewardship and you are accountable.”
- Andy Stanley
Sometimes we work directly with leaders on an owner’s team, but we are always working with the owner (partners or sole proprietor). Virtually all of the leaders we work with operate within a Judeo/Christian worldview. So, given those foundational beliefs, what does ownership really mean?
We use terms like:
Stewardship - being a caretaker for the resources of another
Kingdom - transcending the order and culture of this world for a more God-ordered way of viewing things
Generative Governance - literally, “life-giving leadership”
There is a nobility in those terms. A sense of honor with an incredible implied sense of responsibility. And many of us were infatuated with the authority (and privilege) that came with leadership long before we ever got comfortable with the burden of responsibility that came as well.
We feel like we have to spend a lot of time with our leaders reminding them of the nobility and honor that comes with their leadership. They are all painfully aware of their own challenges as leaders, and they lead in a culture that is working overtime to focus on the frailty and failing of business leaders. We are fighting for them to retain the picture of the glory intended in their leadership.
I am a recovering legalist. I used to traffic in the currency of shame and retribution, reminding everyone (including myself) of failure, mistake, sin, and shame. In my experience, most of us, especially leaders, have a firm grasp on all of that. Most of us wear it like a shroud.
And our enemy is working overtime with a very attentive audience.
One of the fantastic leaders we are working with to start the year seems to be working hard to manage the balance of privilege and responsibility well. She has created a truly unique business model that is growing exponentially and is working on structuring it to take the concept nationwide. She will. She has an inspired vision, the capability, and I believe we have the roadmap to mature her business and help her get there.
She said one of her mentors told her that there are three things that an owner cannot outsource:
We couldn’t agree more, but we would likely add a fourth thing to the list.
Her sense of doing the right things, work ethic, creative problem solving, entrepreneurialism, customer focus, and caring for others, is being modeled and felt by all her employees. Or it is not. She is defining the culture through the way she operates.
That can’t be sourced to someone else.
Whether or not the culture has been defined well through values, purpose, and future vision (we definitely believe it should be), the way she operates is setting the tone for company culture. While it is really helpful to have others help you define it, only she can truly own that responsibility.
We all know how daunting, challenging, and discouraging being an owner or senior leader can be. It is our mission to help restore the nobility of that leadership and help keep both those tensions in balance.
How aware are you of the weight, responsibility, and challenges you carry in your leadership role?
How aware are you of the glory and privilege of your leadership?
Are you managing the tension of those two things well?
Do you have others around you reminding you of the honor and privilege of leadership?