In his book Carpe Aqualis! Seize the Wave, Kahuna CEO Frank F. Lunn goes into depth about the stewardship pyramid.
The following an excerpt from Carpe Aqualis!
Success Through Leverage, Value, and Partnership
Make no mistake, your success in your career and in life is not you against the world…it is you against you! No matter what you do for a living or who you work for, your long-term security and the level of your rewards will depend on your ability to provide leverage, value, and partnership to those you serve.
Success is about little things providing a slight advantage over time. These little successes add up to larger successes. You are not competing with others, although you may feel like you are. What others think, say or do is irrelevant to your situation. Your only competition is with yourself and the self-imposed barriers you desire to break. When you are a surfer sitting in the lineup waiting to take on the wave, it is just between you and the wave. Develop your surfing skills and apply them to your opportunities. Your actions will separate you from the crowd over time. Leverage leads to value, which builds the basis for partnership.
Elevate Within the “Stewardship Pyramid”™
Stewardship is a word not often heard in business circles. It means taking care of the resources entrusted to you and utilizing them as if you were the “owner” of the task, project, or company. It is vital to see yourself as an owner no matter where you are or whom you work for. This ownership can be translated as, “Please don’t worry about me, I own this, you can focus your attention somewhere else.” As you rise in an organization, your level of responsibility and your resulting compensation are based on the ability to master this principle. The Stewardship Pyramid is comprised of three layers:
Each layer builds on the other to achieve maximum results and efficiency.
- Task/Project – This level requires a singular focus on an objective—a job or to-do list. At this level, you are responsible for yourself. Tasks coordinated together with a single focus build to the project level. As this process builds it expands the “job” through the coordination of multiple tasks and projects. You must not only perform and understand the job and issues but also need to have some vision beyond what is at hand.
- Responsibility – This level involves the utilization of resources to ensure that specific goals and objectives are accomplished. It is a management level requiring the coordination of Task/Project issues and opportunities along with other resources and areas of the business. The Responsibility level requires a focus outside of just “the job.” The focus is on the overall picture and the desired outcome.
- Stewardship – This is the highest level and transcends your job and/or business unit. It is about “personal ownership” relating to and affecting others. A steward is the captain of the ship ultimately responsible for reaching that goal—without excuse and without fail! If adverse conditions or roadblocks exist, the steward must take responsibility for overcoming them. Remember, you are the only one on your surfboard. “Your world. Your wave.”
Each level of the pyramid is a vital component in the entire structure. It is not possible to arrive at the Stewardship level without mastering and understanding the previous levels. Moving up the pyramid does not negate the foundation below. Quite the contrary, as you can achieve stewardship in a Task/Project level position. You can also be at a Responsibility level within a task or project. You can also get grounded in Task level duties when you are the Steward.
The Stewardship Pyramid is more than a job classification. Stewardship can be attained at any level in the pyramid. Imagine a Task/Project level restaurant worker who is not only doing his own Task/Project level duties but who is also acting at the highest capacity (the Stewardship level) for that position. He does his job, trains others, contributes more than asked, demonstrates initiative, generates ideas and is fully engaged in the business. This person would be someone to train, develop and give additional responsibilities with an eye towards promotion. Stewardship is not just the destination; it is also how well you manage the journey.
Stewardship is about meeting deadlines and producing the desired results regardless of circumstances, roadblocks or even job descriptions. The “not my job” attitude stalls many people who never realize the self-sabotage that type of outlook brings. Elevate yourself in your organization. The higher up you elevate on the pyramid you will find more freedom, opportunities, and money. Not only that, it is much less crowded. Recognize, learn and master the “stewardship pyramid” and your success will be assured. No matter what level you are currently surfing, act as a “Steward.” Remember the definition of a steward is one entrusted with resources and responsibility as if they were the owner. How do you measure up?
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