“Stewardship” is one of those words that’s easy to talk about but much harder to live out. One of the most difficult things a leader must steward is his or her own standards.
When we accept a position of leadership, we also accept that we must address the bad with the good. Stewardship isn’t just about keeping standards high and taking care of what’s going well. It’s also about dealing with what isn’t right.
Like when a teammate is underperforming. All too often, leaders have high personal standards, but they tolerate a teammate’s underperformance because they don’t want to initiate an uncomfortable critical conversation. Or because they genuinely like the person. Or because they don’t want to be the “bad guy.”
However, when we avoid addressing a teammate’s performance, our inaction demonstrates that we’re not willing to bear the very burden that we’ve been asked to steward as a leader.
When people and emotions are involved, stewarding our standards becomes difficult. When we don’t steward our standards, the standard drops, establishing a newer and lower level at which to aim for and achieve. If we aren’t stewarding our standards, we aren’t doing our jobs as leaders.
Are you stewarding your standards?