Be a good one

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Abraham Lincoln, (1809-1865); 16th U.S. President

In looking for inspiration for this blog, I searched the internet for quotes on stewardship. This one by President Lincoln was included, and I really liked it. At first I wondered how it represented stewardship, but on reflection I think that if someone was trying to boil the concept down to its basic core, this might be the key.

I was reminded recently that the vast majority of spending in higher education goes to pay for faculty and staff – much more than any other expense, including buildings, technology, and other kinds of educational resources.  That means that as leaders in higher education, our greatest responsibility for stewardship is to help our people be at their best.

As Anita has already mentioned, investing in our own and others’ strengths is an important aspect of stewardship. That means I need to be sure I am well informed about my field and have the tools I need to be an effective leader. I need to understand the strengths of the people I work with and know how to help them use those strengths to contribute to our mutual goals. I need to be intentional about helping them to be good at their individual responsibilities.

Viewed in this light, professional development goes from “nice to do” to “essential” if I am going to be an effective steward of my institution’s resources.

Dee Anne Bonebright


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