We usually think of stewardship as looking after property for others. While it initially meant taking care of minor tasks, the role of the steward expanded over time to include high stakes assignments such as managing and growing assets for the sake of others.
This is the definition the business world has adopted, stressing the fact that the steward’s mission is to prepare a business to be passed on to future generations in a better state. Today, far from being mere housekeeping, stewardship touches on every aspect of business performance, not only in economic and financial, but also social, societal and environmental terms, with a view to growth and sustainability.
It’s also up to the steward to prepare the person or people who will succeed them. Sourcing, training, grooming future leaders and turning them into decision- makers is one of the major dimensions of stewardship.
It i s not only about rewarding technical skills, or the most assertive management skills. Instead, stewardship means focusing on the transmission of principles and values, ensuring that the founders’ project remains at the heart of an ongoing story.