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Maestro-level Leaders as Steward Leaders
Episode #27 of the Third Turn Podcast with guest Scott Rodin.
There’s absolutely no shortage of theories, types, traits, tips, and techniques when it comes to what makes an effective leader. In fact, a Google search yields over 5 billion (5,140,000,000 to be exact) articles, books, research studies, and resources on the subject:
- Are good leaders born with inherent skills or are they developed?
- What type of leader are you--situational? servant? transformational? transactional?
- What are [7, 10, or 12] key techniques of good leaders?
- What are the  essential leadership skills and practices?
And yet despite the myriad studies and strategies, we continue to bear witness to a myriad of painful and embarrassing leadership debacles--non-discriminating across faith, politics, business, and nonprofit sectors.
Today’s guest, Dr. R. Scott Rodin, is a well-recognized author, advocate, consultant, and executive coach who has a burden for leaders ‘struggling under the weight of ownership in their approach to work.’ And he recognizes it because he’s lived it. Scott shares about his own personal and paradigm-shifting journey from leading others with a sense of ownership to leading others with a sense of stewardship, and the freedom and joy that were byproducts of this shift.
What does it mean to lead as a steward versus an owner? It takes the pressure and sense of performance off. ‘As a servant leader I don’t have to be in control, I don’t have to have all the great ideas, I don’t have to get all the accolades, and I thankfully don’t have to believe that the success of this organization is on my shoulders. Now I have the opportunity to live into other people and lift them up, celebrate them, watch them rise…’
It sounds simple, good, right, and true--especially for those of us living and leading from a deep-rooted faith. But the reality is that temptation to the contrary is subtle, strong, and insidious. Think again of all the focus we place on leadership and the corresponding pressures and expectations we place on leaders. Scott’s work with leaders confirms again and again that there was often one moment when the pressures, expectations, and success metrics from boards and donors and even a leader’s own team, started them on a course-shift toward self-sufficiency.
‘…they responded so much to those pressures that what they gave up were all the disciplines in their lives that kept them in this deep intimate relationship with Christ; and what happens is if we stop relying completely and totally on God for our provision, we will fill that vacuum with our own skills, experiences, and abilities.’
Scott’s mission is to walk people through the journey of becoming steward leaders; back to the center of understanding that all we really are called to do as leaders is to know God’s will and do it obediently. As a result, freedom becomes their lived experience, and faithfulness their greatest goal.
Additional resources from Scott:
- Scott’s books:
- Set Free to Lead (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2021)
- The Greater Mission (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2021)
- Steward Leader Meditations (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2016)
- The Seventh Key (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2015)
- Christ Centered Generosity (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2015)
- Development 101 (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2015)
- The Choice (ECFA Press, 2014)
- The Million-Dollar Dime (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2012)
- The Third Conversion (Kingdom Life Publishing, 2011)
- The Steward Leader (InterVarsity Press, 2010)
- The Sower (ECFA, 2009)
- Stewards in the Kingdom (InterVarsity Press, 2000)
With each episode of the Third Turn Podcast we host a conversation among leaders who want the world to flourish for generations beyond their lifetimes.
Listening with others in some way and enjoying in-depth conversations of your own as you reflect and choose what you would do the same or differently is a plus!
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