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To the eight of us in that room at West Point, it seemed that effective leadership always involved some level of stewardship.
They recognized the brevity of their time as university students, and took seriously the positive impact their actions could have upon individuals around them.
However, preparing for the prolonged vitality of an organization does begin with a focus on individuals, but leaders should continue their stewardship approach by taking action at the team level.
The act of stewardship by leaders in an organization can be invaluable.
Truly, achieving relevance and in a globalizing world, ensuring that individuals work well in effective teams, and establishing environments where individuals can improve their sense of well-being are all good acts of stewardship.
Leaders are stewards at the team level whenever they work to ensure individuals within the organization interact well with each other.
A great example of team stewardship comes from the experience of the Swiss group member who had done peacekeeping tours in Kosovo.For our Swiss group member, this involved setting agreed-upon codes of conduct, periodically explaining the “why” of their missions, and ensuring equal working hours.These actions improved team effectiveness and avoided future misunderstandings.At an individual level, stewardship focuses on promoting well-being for each person within an organization.One of the many ways to promote this well being is to ensure that each individual is generally happy in his or her working environment.This suggests a need for a culturally competent set of organizational values that is adjusted to the globalizing world.Implementing them as an institution throughout their organization is the final challenge which becomes easier if teams and individuals are working well within the organization.They dispatched club members to go open doors for students as they entered major buildings around campus.After piloting this initiative at various locations, they discovered that their dedicated focus on individuals had a profound effect.We certainly brought to bear a diverse set of perspectives on leadership.Yet from each of our personal experiences we derived a common sentiment regarding the act of stewardship.