By identity on Mar 06, 2007
Steward: "a person who manages another's property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others."
Twice last Sunday, I came face to face with the term "Steward."
The first was Sunday afternoon when my good friend Mark Jones taught our men's class in church about the concept of a "wise steward" taking very seriously his duty to serve members of his family and members of the church with great care.
The second was in the book entitled "Authentic Leadership," by Bill George, a former CEO of Medtronic and current Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School. I began reading this book, which had been recommended to me by my colleague Anand Shah, Sunday evening while on the airplane travelling to my business destination. In the preface to his book, Mr. George states, "When leaders are dedicated stewards and lead in an authentic manner, they build enduring organizations that do great good for people and make an enormous differerence in the world."
Monday morning, still intrigued with the concept of stewardship, I made this topic the focus of my personal study. I learned that the word "steward" was derived from the Old English words "stig" (house or pen) and "weard" (guard) coming together as "stigweard" or literally "house guardian."
It occurs to me that if we consider ourselves to be "house guardians" over the people and affairs that have been entrusted to us by our employers and by God, we would make better decisions, act with more integrity and serve with more diligence, because we would be seeking to "guard" the virtue and value of our businesses, our families and our fellowmen.