What pops into your head when I say “Steward”? Perhaps you think of a memorable wine steward (sommelier) at a fine restaurant. Or, you might think Stewardess, the outdated term for a flight attendant. In this context, a steward is person who serves.
Stewardship goes a little further than “hold my beer and watch this.”
There is, however, a higher meaning relating to stewardship. It is caring for what someone else owns, but has entrusted to us.
Those of us who own a business or have people report to us have a very important question to wrestle with:
Do I have stewardship responsibilities for the people on my team?
Stewardship goes a little further than “hold my beer and watch this.” If I take a sip while my friend rides a toboggan off his roof I may break trust. If I dump the beer while doubled over with laughter after he does a header into a tree, I have failed to safeguard or properly care for his assets. And my friend may hold me accountable when he gets out of ICU.
Am I a caring steward at work? Are you?
If you and I hire another human being do we have responsibilities beyond paying a fair (or mandated) wage and providing a safe environment so he or she doesn’t get poked in the eye while preparing a tax return?
If we see ourselves as a steward then we agree to hold that person’s precious, unique potential in our hands. We will feel accountable for how we detect, develop, and deploy his or her God-given talents. And we will take on the never-ending challenge to create a place of realized potential.
In short, a steward at work helps other people grow. It is a sacred trust. The reward is ageless.