If you are a leader at any level in any organization, you are a steward— of careers, capabilities, resources, the environment, and organizational values. Unfortunately, not every manager is a wise steward. Some behave like mercenaries—by mortgaging the future to inflate short–term earnings, by putting career ahead of company, by exploiting vulnerable employees, by preying on customer ignorance, or by manipulating the political system in ways that reduce competition. What matters now, more than ever, is that managers embrace the responsibilities of stewardship.

To my mind, stewardship implies five things:

  1. Fealty: A propensity to view the talents and treasure at one's command as a trust rather than as the means for ...

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