Faithful in All Things By R. Scott Rodin
Becoming Faithful Steward Leaders
We are called first to be faithful stewards in every area of our lives. As we walk that journey and are called to leadership positions, our steward’s worldview will carry over and impact every aspect of our leadership role. In this blog, I want to focus on how we, as steward leaders, manage our people to be balanced in their self-image and specific in their identity.
One aspect of being a faithful steward is the freedom we have in our self-understanding. As stewards of our self-image, we fend off the sin of pride on one side and the sin of self-deprecation on the other.
Eyes on Jesus
Faithful, godly stewards keep their eyes focused on Jesus and secure their identity solely in his love for them. In the same way, steward leaders are intentional about maintaining a godly balance and singular focus in their leadership role. As a result, they experience the freedom that comes from this balance and focus.
From this place of balance and freedom, steward leaders will intentionally seek the same for their people. God can use Steward leaders to set their people free to see themselves as God sees them and love themselves as God loves them.
What impact would it have on your organizational culture, morale, and productivity if every member saw themselves in a balanced way, not thinking any better or worse of themselves than they ought? For most organizations I know, the impact would be immense!
Steward leaders will give their people confidence in their identity as a child of God. The steward leader’s goal for his or her people can be described as unfolding.
That is, steward leaders seek to help their people unfold the talents and character God gifted them with. Think of a flower in the spring or a piece of ornate origami. The more it is unfolded, the more beautiful it becomes. Every small movement unveils another hidden treasure. So it is with our people. As they are freed to see themselves as God sees them and find that sweet spot of balance in their self-awareness, they begin to unfold before us. They become more useful to the master and respond with joyful obedience.
This distinguishes owner-leaders who seek to mold their people into shapes and sizes that best serve the organization in achieving its goals. Because the owner-leader is in bondage to an identity that must be propped up and protected at all costs, they must maintain control over their people. That includes the manipulation required to get them to do what the leader wants.
The most savvy owner-leaders will play on the imbalance in people to their ends, molding them into compliant followers who will do the boss’ bidding without protest. Leaders who are not free will have no other option but to mold people into shapes and roles that will not threaten them. They will seek to bring down confident colleagues due to envy or fear and keep those with low self-esteem exactly where they are. Owner-leaders are power brokers. This may seem extreme, but the temptation to use our positions to rise above the people we lead is a constant reality for every leader.
This is where our freedom as stewards is most critical to our calling as steward leaders. We treasure this freedom for ourselves, and we must, in turn, yearn for that same freedom for those we lead. We must be so free in ourselves that we will lift everyone around us. As steward leaders, we will look for the signs and behaviors that belie an unhealthy imbalance in our people. We will lift up those whose self-images are battered, help restore perspective, and instill Christ-centered confidence in those who struggle with self-doubt.
Freedom for All
In the same way, we must be so passionate about this balance for our people that we will take the risk of challenging the prideful in our ranks. They, too, are in bondage, and setting them free requires we approach them with the heartfelt desire to see them unfold under the influence of the Spirit of God. It means we are willing to absorb criticism to see our people prosper, even if it means making hard decisions for them. How would you answer these three questions:
- Is your identity as a leader secured solely in Christ?
- Have you been set free to lead from a position of certainty and humility?
- And if so, are you committed to seeing your employees, colleagues, friends, and family unfold in God’s loving hands?
R. Scott Rodin is the Senior Consultant/Chief Strategy Officer for The Focus Group. Over the past thirty-eight years, Scott Rodin has helped hundreds of organizations improve their effectiveness in leadership, fund development, strategic planning, and board development. His books and articles have been translated into over twenty languages, and he has taught and consulted with ministries across five continents. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and as board chair for ChinaSource.
What is Christian Leadership Alliance?
Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.