Become a People-Steward over a People-Manager

As the world grows increasingly interconnected, the importance of leadership that prioritizes the well-being of individuals and communities cannot be overstated. Being a people-steward is not just about managing individuals, but about developing and nourishing them in a way that is mindful and compassionate. In contrast to a people-manager who may focus more on controlling and directing their team, a people-steward strives to cultivate an inclusive and diverse culture that values the unique strengths and contributions of each individual. 

There has been a shift in the approach of management from being task-oriented to being people-oriented. The conventional method of managing people and resources no longer resonates in contemporary workplaces. There is a need to transition from being a traditional manager to becoming a people-steward. A people-steward is an individual who values diversity, experiences different cultures, and stretches their mindsets to improve themselves and others. This essay will examine how one can become a people-steward by growing themselves, valuing diversity, experiencing different cultures, and stretching their mindsets.

The path to becoming a people-steward is not an easy one, but following guiding principles will help individuals develop the necessary skills and mindset to lead with empathy and purpose. 

The first step in becoming a people-steward is personal growth. Leaders who are self-aware of their own biases, strengths, and weaknesses are better-equipped to empathize with and lead their teams. Self-reflection, feedback, and continual learning are essential for personal growth. Leaders should regularly examine their own decision-making processes, consider their team's feedback and actively seek out new information and perspectives.

To become a people-steward, it is crucial to develop oneself. People-stewards prioritize their personal growth because they understand that they must first take care of themselves to care for others. To become a people-steward, one must endeavor to learn new skills, acquire knowledge and broaden their outlook. Gaining new expertise will give one a better understanding of the challenges facing the business and their teams, and equip them with the necessary tools to tackle these challenges. Personal development also involves taking responsibility for one's actions and being accountable for the outcomes of one's decisions. By taking responsibility, one can learn from their mistakes and apply the lessons learned from their failures. A people-steward recognizes that personal growth is a lifelong process requiring dedication, an open-minded approach, and a willingness to learn.

One key characteristic of a people-steward is a focus on supporting others' growth and development. This means creating opportunities for team members to learn and develop their skills while also supporting them in achieving their goals. Coaching and mentoring are great ways to help team members identify their strengths and weaknesses, provide guidance, and encourage their personal and professional growth.

Another way to become a people-steward is to Value diversity. Valuing diversity is essential in the modern workplace since teams are comprised of people have different minds and ways they think, I.e. inverse thinking or visual-spatial vs auditory-sequential. Understanding and appreciating diversity within a team will lead to enhanced communication, teamwork, and productivity. To value diversity, one must recognize and respect other people's differences. A people-steward recognizes that everyone brings a unique perspective and Experiences to the team, and valuing diversity creates an environment where everyone will be asked and thanked for their diverse mindset.

Leaders who prioritize diversity recognize the unique strengths and perspectives that come from individuals with different mindsets, hard and soft skill use, or international experience. A people-steward cultivates a culture that celebrates and values these differences. This requires understanding and acknowledging biases and actively working to create a safe and inclusive environment for all team members minds, tool suggestions, and Nation-based Experiences.

Experiencing different nations is another way to become a people-steward. The world is full of diverse nations which are also multi-cultural with different customs, beliefs, and languages. To become an effective people-steward, it is essential to experience different Nations first-hand. This will involve traveling, interacting with people from different Nations, and learning about their customs, laws, regulations, and traditions. Experiencing different Nations will help people-stewards gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of how a Nation and its multiple cultures will shape people's behaviors and beliefs. Cultivating global leadership skills is important for becoming a people-steward. Experiencing different cultures, languages, and ways of thinking enable leaders to broaden their perspectives, connect with others, and empathize within their communities. Understanding how Nations and cultures influence people's behavior will ensure people-stewards build stronger relationships with their team and create a fabric for them to Be the team that GIVES(™).

A people-steward will Stretch their team and themselves. A Stretch mindset is a core component of being a people-steward. The Leader who GIVES(™) encourages their team members to create results with calculated risks and stop-losses, learn from failures to shed failure-anxiety and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Leaders will focus on results-thinking that breaks the mold of domain-expertise to explore a range of approaches to solve complex problems required by people and business. 


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