You Are a Steward, Not an Owner: The Meaning of Leadership

What is the meaning of leadership? Sometimes, our leaders operate on an outdated definition of leadership. They create a dangerous cult of personality, and we put them on pedestals. When we mistakenly associate leadership with control, we risk looking at followers as a means to an end and money as the ultimate goal.

In this episode, Tim encourages you to rethink the meaning of leadership. Think of it in terms of stewardship. The moment we embrace this mindset, the more we can take care of the people and resources we have been given. As stewards of God, we look at people as unique individuals to serve and approach financial resources as gifts.

Listen to the full episode to find out how you can step into your role as a steward-leader. 

3 Reasons to Listen:

  1. Know the meaning of leadership as it relates to being a steward.
  2. Learn how to show love, compassion, and understanding to people.
  3. Discover and apply the storehouse principle for your financial blessings.


Episode Highlights

[03:53] The Meaning of Leadership

  • When we talk about leadership, we tend to focus on the hard skills that it takes to lead and, more recently, servant leadership. 
  • However, what is missing in this conversation is stewardship.   
  • A leader is a steward, caretaker, and overseer. They should treat the people under their wing and the resources under their management as gifts. 
  • All our material possessions and relationships are not ours. We are only caretakers and stewards of these blessings.   
  • Having a steward’s mindset sets you up to become a Godly and ultimate leader.  
[07:14] “A leader is a steward, or a caretaker, or an overseer of all that they had been gifted with. . . It’s people, it’s resources, it’s things, it’s possessions — all of the things that you have been blessed with. You are a steward over those things. And that, to me, is what leadership is all about. It's not ownership. It's not that you control or you have total lordship over things. You have been given a gift.”- Click Here to Tweet This

[10:20] Everyone Is a Leader

  • We are all called to do great things on this earth. 
  • Even if you don’t consider yourself a leader or you don’t see yourself embodying the meaning of leadership.
  • However, you’ve been entrusted with several gifts and blessings that you may be unknowingly taking care of.   
  • It may also be the case that you’re being groomed to take on leadership roles in the future. 

[12:41] On Better Leaders

  • We tend to rank leaders based on their influence or visibility. But being in the limelight doesn’t automatically mean you’re an effective leader.
  • If you embrace a steward’s mindset, you can still be a good leader even if you do good deeds without anyone seeing. 
  • In the Kingdom of God, the first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first.
  • A true leader has a mindset based on stewardship, not ownership. 

[15:06] The Cult of Leadership

  • Sometimes, we put leaders on pedestals more than we should. We can see this cult of personality in churches, businesses, and organizations. 
  • However, there’s a fine line between honoring a person and idolizing them.
  • Often, these types of leaders who developed a cult of personality have issues with integrity since no one is holding them accountable.  
  • If you’re a leader, you have to be mindful and remain focused on your mission. Get a team or a coach to keep you grounded.

[18:28] Treating People as Gifts

  • When you become a leader, remember that your followers are not your property. You have a responsibility to serve them. 
  • When leaders start to believe that they own their followers, this puts them on a dangerous path.  
  • The meaning of leadership is leading with love, compassion, and understanding.  
  • People are not commodities; they are unique individuals designed for greatness. 
  • You are encouraged to consider all the people that come into our lives as gifts. 
[22:32] “If you're not going to show love and compassion, you really don't have any part of leading people.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[30:51] The Storehouse Principle

  • Money is a tool, nothing more, nothing less.  
  • When we elevate money too high on a pedestal, it can mess with our heads and affect our interactions with others. 
  • When we have too much or too little money, we usually learn the truth about ourselves. That’s why it’s important to understand that money is not ours; it’s just a tool. 
  • According to the Storehouse Principle, we should set aside a portion of our financial seed in a “storehouse” to recognize that the abundance we currently enjoy is a gift.
  • Applying the Storehouse Principle sets you up to become a better leader because you acknowledge the money as gifts. 
[35:38] “If you believe that you've been given a gift of something, of financial seed, financial resources, then you should set something aside in a storehouse to recognize that you've been given that gift.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[37:40] The Leader’s Mindset 

  • A leader that uses people and money to get ahead will only achieve short-term success.
  • True leaders treat their people with compassion and handle finances prudently.
  • A true leader should think that everything that comes their way — be it people or resources — is a gift and treats them accordingly.

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About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefining Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.