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Models of Stewardship


Introduction: The primary purpose of the paper is to review the model of stewardship presented by Wilson (2016). It will explain the characteristic of the stewardship model based on the viewpoint of Kent Wilson.It will also discuss the significant elements of the stewardship model that must be followed by a steward leader within an organization. The paper will help in discussing the benefits and challenges posed by employing the model in United Way which is a nonprofit organization. Thus, it will analyze the features of the stewardship model where the job of a leader is to supervise or take care of the organizational resources.

Question 1: Explain the selected model and critique it to justify your choice.

Answer: Explanation of the stewardship model presented by Wilson (2016)

Researcher and nonprofit consultant Kent Wilson presents aninclusive model of steward leadership, where leaders act as trustees or stewards. According to Wilson steward leadership offers hope for the effectiveness or transformation of nonprofit leadership for staff members, executive directors, board members, and stakeholders. This particular model is designed by a nonprofit leader Kent Wilson for nonprofit leaders (Baptista, Wilson, Galliers & Bynghall, 2017). This is determined to be a fresh approach that facilitates a new focus to build an excellent organization. Wilson provides an appropriate framework for nonprofit management based on nonprofit context. He applies the traditional understanding of the steward to modern organizational management by developing and defining steward leadership as a substitute for servant leadership. He states that stewardship is not just for organizational executives or leaders but also to manage the resources to gain the objectives of the owners to develop and sustain an organization. This involves volunteers and staff who works for an organization. Wilson believes that the job of a steward leader is easier when the people around him share similar beliefs regarding stewardship.

There consist of various practical approaches that guide executive leaders to help employees to have the mindset of stewards. It begins by sharing the perspective with other co-workers, embracing the mindset and role of a steward and take advantage of several opportunities to demonstrate the implications of stewardship to influence the employees. It is the responsibility of a leader to look for opportunities to talk with staff members regarding various features of stewardship that was never thought by the employees before (Baptista, Wilson, Galliers & Bynghall, 2017). Wilson states that a leader must lead its team members with the help of following an approach where each struggles with the meaning of stewardship and their stewardship role within the organization. According to Wilson, the basic elements of steward leadership that make it unique are as follows:

Steward leadership is identity-based: No other leadership approach or model except servant leadership derives his or her understanding of self and defines how the leaders view herself or himself. A steward leader is a servant and steward at heart (Krasny & Delia, 2015).

Steward leaders build a strong relationship with the owner: Steward leaders develop an ongoing relationship with stakeholders and God as they acknowledge that they are carrying out the resources on behalf of their owner. This helps in identifying the objectives and goals for the resources. This particular relationship makes a steward leader unique as compared to owner leaders (Martin, 2016).

Steward leaders hold responsibility: Steward leaders embrace themselves as a responsible person who manages the resources to build a strong relationship with the owner. They interact with humility, frequency, and openness regarding the state of their stewardship.

Steward leaders effectively manage all types of resources: The resources that are kept under the management and care of a steward leader go away beyond the treasure, talent and time. They may involve power, relationship, and organizational competencies, human and spiritual resources (Morris, Wilson & Kelly, 2016). Steward leaders are continuously learning how to optimize better, grow or sustain the resources as they follow the goals and cues of the owner.

Steward leaders understand his or her position: Ownership is determined to be appropriate in western culture, but a steward leader knows that the resources kept under his or her stewardship are the blessing of God.

The most appreciated aspect of Wilson's explanation regarding the stewardship model is his motivation that seems to be grounded authentically in biblical principles. He carefully and wisely warns leaders about the regardless of role or position, an appeal that leaders in Jesus Church and the downturn of an ownership mentality (Jordan, Sorensen, Biehler, Wilson & LaDeau, 2019). As a result, he serves a fresh look at stewardship leadership based on the lens of a biblical worldview and opinion of an experienced CEO of the nonprofit organization. Thus, a steward leader is determined to be an exclusive leader who follows the intended approach of God.


Question 2: Analyse the potential benefits and challenges that might occur upon employing either the Wilson or Block model (your choice) to your organizational setting.

Answer: Analysis of the benefits and challenges for employing the model in United Way

United Way is determined to be a leading network of individuals, nonprofits, agencies, government and corporations in the USA which is working hard for more than 125 years to meet the needs of the times. By bringing together organizations and people around creative solutions, they create lasting change in societies. The organization creates an opportunity for everyone by focusing upon health-the building block, income and education for providing good quality of life. It is uniquely positioned to motivate and mobilize every organization of the community to eliminate the cycle of poverty (Varuzzo & Harvey, 2017). United Way is looking forward to using stewardship leadership model to reimagine and strengthen its work at different levels to provide better opportunities to people. However, there possess some benefits and challenges of using stewardship leadership model presented by Wilson.

Benefits: Presently United Way is looking forward to appointing a Development Associate- Operations and Stewardship to administer the process of gift acknowledgment for all donors. The leader will directly facilitate and steward staff members. He will engage and manage corporate accounts and provide other operational support. This stewardship leadership will enhance workplace employees in creating campaigns, special events, donor services, direct mail, institutional funding, major gifts, corporate grants, and sponsorship.This is the best way to support team members to serve their community in a better way (Cagdas, Jeffrey, Smith& Boxall, 2016). As a result, steward leader in United Way could provide opportunities to the employees to gain leadership experience and develop various organizational skills. It will be beneficial for the team members to deliver greater values for society by making efficient use of professional skills. Thus, employees of United Way will learn to work with individuals coming from different backgrounds. This will create a prosperous community by transforming people into healthier and safer lives.

On the other hand, a steward leader may create strategies to build cooperation with objectives, measurable goals, and management to fulfill the organizational goals. It builds an ability to interact with people in high-level executive positions effectively. The benefit of stewardship is to provide a better experience to the employees by enabling them to explore their horizons professionally and personally (Moritzet al.,2018). They could assign activities and tasks to the employees to manage the event successfully and bring positive change within the organization. This will be beneficial for the steward leader of United Way to improve and develop its leadership skills efficiently and effectively.

Challenges: The steward leader of United Way may face various challenges while employing a stewardship model within the organization. The challenges will be based on leadership training and development. The leadership challenges involve distinctive performance criteria, social objectives, multiple stakeholders, fundraising and missional focus (Atlaset al., 2017). They face difficulty in understanding the difference between profit and nonprofit organizational leadership, the relationship of an executive leader with the stakeholders and board of directors and nonprofit management skills (Wilsonet al., 2018). The steward leader of United Way also deals with various challenges related to nonprofit governance and leadership, trends in the development of a nonprofit leader, growing policies for accountability and social pressures from the United Way. Most of the time the leader face tremendous pressure in developing the characteristics of a steward to influence customers, volunteers and employees.

Thus, the leaders in United Way needs to understand their roles and motives as a steward. On the other hand, unless and until adequate governance structures are adopted the managers of United Way will not increase returns to owners due to their divergent interests. Whereas, understanding the unique features of the organization is challenging for the steward leader. The shortage of direct ownership creates significant challenges for the leaders (Guerrero, Mcallister & Wilson, 2015). Another significant challenge is that the United Way is governed by non-executive directors of the independent board who separately manages their activities from government intrusion.Stakeholder ambiguity is a unique challenge for the leader that needs to be considered.

Conclusion: The paper helped in demonstrating the aspects of stewardship model presented by Wilson. It discussed the elements of stewardship model that could be implemented within the organization United Bay. It has been observed that the job of a steward leader is to manage the team members and take special care of the organizational resources. A steward could benefit by understanding their role and the role entrusted by the staff, executive leaders and directors of the United Way. This will help achieve the organizational goals and change the lives of the community. It also discussed the challenges faced by the leader to understand the features of non-profit organizational leadership.


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