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One of the most frequently asked leadership questions I receive is how can I be hard-nosed about results, hold my people accountable while also maintaining a commitment to putting people first?

The problem with this question is that it is being asked as an “either or” question. The asker is presuming that the answer will be one or the other.

In truth, the answer is a leader can be BOTH rigorous about results and passionate about putting people first.

One of the first steps in this journey to the “both, and” is stewardship.
Stewardship is the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.

As a servant leader, you are a steward in the purest sense of the word.

You are a steward of the people you lead AND your responsibility in the organization. Whether that be a small project or a multi-national operation, you are responsible to oversee and protect it because it’s worth caring for and preserving (i.e. ensuring its success).

In this landscape of your stewardship, you can’t be a good steward of your people (i.e. provide an engaging work environment, a paycheck every month, etc…) if the wheels fall off the project or business.

The ideal intersection of these two comes when “the what,” a culture intently focused on results, is guided by a “how” of serving people.

What and How of SL

What situation in your leadership right now requires stewardship over the “what” and “how”?



Jeff HarmonJeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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