Powerful words, accountability and transparency. Add them to stewardship and you have a recipe for strong leadership. Marc Effron, co-author of One Page Talent Management, encourages us in the HR field to design our processes with accountability and transparency. I believe that that accountability and transparency can be a guide for all leaders in higher education for both the tactical and strategic aspects of stewardship.
At a basic level, leaders are accountable for developing a functional level of competency in finance and budgeting to ensure they are not misusing fiscal resources. In addition, leaders are accountable for prioritizing objectives and making the tough decisions that are required to allocate resources in alignment with the organizational mission and vision.
Transparency and communication comes into play on the people side of your leadership role. How you communicate your decisions ultimately determines how they work out! The priorities you set and the decisions you make have a direct impact on your people. On the resources they have available, the projects they are working on, their job or their colleague’s jobs, their work roles, or the equipment they have. Their lives are changes and for them to rally around the changes and continue to perform they need clarity and transparency from you. Information on how decisions were made, what information was used, who was involved and, most importantly, how you will be supporting their success moving forward.
True stewardship as a leader requires transparent communication. Not only does it build strong relationships with your team, transparency will reinforce the mission of the organization, demonstrate priorities and help your team navigate the changes they are facing.