Steward Leaders by Kenneth Moten

leader-1The leadership at every organizational level is a steward of the resources entrusted them. They are responsible for the nurturing and care of the people they serve, development and execution of strategy as well as stakeholder investment and value.  To be an effective steward leader you have to engage your team in the following 5 areas:

Employees – Take the time necessary to recruit and hire the best possible talent and invest in their continued training and development.  Create a climate of candor were employees have a clear understanding of how well they are performing against their goals.  Reward employees in relationship to their performance.  Move under-performing employees to positions where they can be successful if possible or release them to pursue opportunities were they can be successful.

Strategy – At an executive level the steward leadership team develops the strategic directions and objectives of the organization.  All other leadership levels waterfalls the top level goal implications relative to their responsibilities and set goals in support of the top level organizational goals.

Team Review – Steward Leaders have to ensure their teams meet commitments through a process of teaming, project or program reviews of milestones regularly.  Those reviews will have pre-agreed metrics to measure the health of the project, program or organization.  Corrective actions are put in place if there are identified issues.  This process provides a laser focus on goal achievement.

Stakeholder Investment – Steward Leaders considers financial expenditures in relationship to support of Strategic Objectives. An example in a broad sense might mean that in order to hire the best talent you have to compete with market compensation rates and competitive benefits plans.  Regardless of the issues they all need to be thoroughly discussed and prioritized.

Communicate Simply – Steward Leaders can take complex strategies and communicate to employees, customers and investors in easy understandable terms.

Steward leaders are only focused on the success of the enterprise they serve not their next career opportunities or the politics of the day. They have a genuine concern for their employees and will invest in their development, opportunities, performance management, communications and reward systems.

Developing the Collaborative Culture

By Kenneth Moten

CollaborationIn our pay for individual performance the world makes it challenging to build a culture of collaboration. Collaborative cultures encourage innovation, team and organizational performance over the individual. This requires a major paradigm shift for both leadership and pay-for-performance systems.  It requires moving from a hierarchical organizational model to a more horizontal team oriented model. This shift also requires collaborative integration throughout organizational disciplines.

Although collaborative leadership styles are on the increase they are still rare. Leaders are faced with the dilemma of how they are rewarded for performance so they’re not encouraged to collaborate. Much of the struggle is around the issue of accountability.

In today’s connected economy organization leaders need to decide that collaboration is a vital part of the business. This means tailoring the organization into integrated work teams with processes and systems that support the collaborative culture. This requires an organization that is anchored in candor and encouraged to seek and  embrace the best ideas regardless of who or where they are generated.

In Keith McFarland’s book, The Breakthrough Company. One of thecharacteristics that he sees in these breakthrough companies is buildingscaffolding, in other words, reaching out –– outside of your company ––to develop these trusted relationships in order to support the companyfrom the inside.

In order for organizations to be effective they should consider the following four steps:

  • Create a team-based organization structure
  • Create diverse integrated functionally supported teams
  • Develop a rewards and performance management system that support the collaborative culture
  • Empower the teams and remove barriers