Leader Wellbeing and Leader Stewarsdhip

The Intersection of Leadership + Spirituality: Wellbeing and Stewardship

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash


With the rise of evangelical American Christianity during the late 1900s, the term stewardship in religious settings customary encompasses financial decisions. Over the decades in American Christianity, stewardship heavily focused on an individual/family giving, pledging, or committing to make financial contributions to a local church or religious organization. Within this context, stewardship is often associated with terms such as wisdom, judiciousness, longevity, importance, essential, necessary, sustainable, growth, foundation, and potential.

But, what if…

What if contemporary leaders embraced a more robust understanding of stewardship? What if contemporary leaders removed the box that the stewardship has been placed in over the years? What if stewardship was readily associated with all aspects of wellbeing as opposed to merely financial decisions? What if stewardship became a way of living — encompassing all areas of life? What if leaders took stewardship out of the financial box it too frequency finds comfort and home?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Shared Understanding

Depending on the wellbeing research a leader references, there are 4 areas, 5 dimensions, 6 aspects, 7 facets, 8 parts, 9 zones — you get the point! For example, in Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements(2014), Rath & Harter present five dimensions essential to wellbeing to include career, social, financial, physical, and community.

“Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities. Most importantly, it’s about how these five elements interact.” — Rather & Harter

For a leader and specific context there may be greater value in ascribing to a single model and seeking to fully embrace the awareness and embodiment of that model than scoffing back-and-forth about which model holds the ‘perfect’ combination of elements. There is great value in a leader influencing a team to embrace a shared model of wellbeing in order to cultivate a shared language and understanding of how to embody wellbeing within the context. Sound familiar? Think of some of the greatest challenges facing leaders, teams, and organizations — a shared vision, a shared understanding, a shared purpose.

Photo by Chris Lee on Unsplash

A Stewardly Approach to Wellbeing

Wisdom, judiciousness, longevity, importance, essential, necessary, sustainable, growth, foundation, and potential. What might it look like if leaders applied these attributions to all aspects of their wellbeing? What might teams look like if leaders expand the concept of stewardship to include all five of Rath & Harter’s dimensions of wellbeing? What might it look like if leaders took a…

  • Stewardly approach to our careers
  • Stewardly approach to social connections
  • Stewardly approach to our finances
  • Stewardly approach to our physical health
  • Stewardly approach to our community

How might practicing a stewardly approach to wellbeing allow leaders to thrive in unforeseen ways? How might leaders unlock potential never known before? How might leaders better serve our teams, organizations, and communities? How might leaders be better equipped to fulfill their purpose and calling by embracing a stewardly approach to wellbeing?

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

What about your organization?