Peter Block defines leadership as an act of stewardship where an individual commits to doing good for the sake of the community. This symbolic idea redefines the term leadership by ensuring that leadership is a form of partnership and commitment to improving a greater society and calls this act stewardship. In addition, leaders can be involved in building the economy by seeking teamwork from the people surrounding. This act is contrary to the mainstream idea of a leadership that defines it as singular and one with power and authority over the people. Thus, Peter Block asserts that leadership should be grounded to team-work unlike the conventional way where leadership is singular and autocratic. This paper will examine the importance of teamwork in an organization through analyzing Peter Block’s ideas in his book Stewardship.
Managers are responsible in ensuring that the employees are both efficient and effective in their line of work. This means that managers have to encourage teamwork among workers as a way of being efficient. As the manager, one is responsible in ensuring ethical and moral standard in the organization. In addition, a manager ought to ensure that all employees are productive and supportive of each other as a way of being effective through specialization in their line of work or using teamwork. Thus, a good manager is a steward/stewardess by involving the whole team to share the workload. Block writes that “Stewardship is the exercise of accountability as an act of service (Block 28)” This indicates that managers should work with the other workers to create a conducive environment to work.
According to Block, a good stewardship works with the whole community to give better results than working alone. Given that leadership tends to be singular and hierarchical, stewardship refutes this idea by redistributing power to the organization. This means that employees will feel comfortable and feel a sense of togetherness when the power is perfectly distributed among the employees. In addition, it gives the employees responsibility in that there are certain roles that one has to accomplish in order to support the team or the group (Block 64). An individual should choose service that will benefit people in the long run because it promotes togetherness in the community and brings positivity to the greater society.
The term leadership or leader gives an individual a sense of superiority over the others unlike the term stewardship where an individual redistributes their power to the other members of the organizations. This means that leaders control those who are below the occupational structure. Block believes that parenting should be linked to parenting (Block 38). This means that a leader is someone that controls one’s life and behavior which should not be the case among stewardships. However, stewardship offers a model of partnership through team work. This alternative approach that is used by Block is important because it builds bridges among employees because they all have to help each other so that they can be effective and productive. Stewardship means that employees give moral support to each other. Thus, stewardship is better than leadership because power should be distributed in an organization.
Block writes, “Stewardship is personal. If we are not transformed, institutional change will have no impact (Block 77). This emphasizes Block’s thesis that stewardship morally and ethically contribute positivity to the greater community. It also implies that change has to start with an individual as a way of transforming the greater work organization. Thus, for the good and sense of community to blossom, employees have to be willing to redistribute the power because stewardship is a characteristic of an individual. Block believes that leadership brings about manipulation and inferiority, which affects the employees performance. In contrary to this, stewardship exhibits a communion among employees that builds trust among the employees that is a helpful characteristic (Block 192).
Block recognizes the importance of recreation among employees because it not only shows trust but also builds on individuals passions as employees can reconnect during this time. In addition, employees should learn to respect and listen to the other members of the team so that the organization can form strong ties. Managers have to have the ability to make employees feel comfortable and respected in the company. Thus, employees should have freedom to air their thoughts and views to the manager in order to improve the organization in terms of its productivity. However, Block ensures that responsible freedom is needed in an organization such that people do not take care of the passes they have because of the power given by the firm. Responsible freedom is important because certain employees abuse the freedoms that they have been given because it is disruptive to the team work that has been built by other employees. Thus, all workers need to exhibit good values so as to promote trust, respect, and unity.
Block outlines a stewardship contract that strategizes how people make connections and strategies to be successful at managing an organization (Block 75). One of the ways of creating a stewardship in an organization is examining any social problems that may be integrated within different departments or units in an organization. Through creating oneness and a sense of community within the organization, it is easy for the employees to serve the customers. A good work atmosphere improves the worker’s morale to be productivity and serve other customers. Block outlines some of the ethics that the employees should show in order to be effective and also make healthy relationships. In addition, the workers should commit to certain principles and ethics that will improve team work (Block 75).
It is evident that the author preferred stewardship to leadership because stewardship brings responsibility and partnership. Stewardship is good to an organization because it morally and ethically contributes positivity to the greater community unlike leadership where there is an hierarchical ladder and a sense of control. One of the ways of creating a stewardship in an organization is examining any social problems that may be integrated within different departments or units in an organization. Peter Block asserts that leadership should be grounded to team-work unlike the conventional way where leadership is singular and autocratic. Block also points out that Responsible freedom is important because certain employees abuse the freedoms that they have been given because it is disruptive to the team work that has been built by other employees.
Block, Peter. Stewardship choosing service over self-interest. 2nd ed. San Francisco, Calif.: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013. Print.