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Steward Leadership Authors Explain Why a New Leadership Model is Needed

Steward LeadershipThe latest issue of The Ashridge Journal features an article by the Steward Leadership: A Maturational Perspective co-authors Kurt April and Kai Peters on why a new leadership model is needed: “The global financial crisis and the rapid pace of globalisation are radically changing the definition of what makes a good business, civic and community leader.”

April and Peters explain what steward leadership is and discuss the nine dimensions that are key to it. They also write about how steward leaders can be developed, saying that ensuring that managers review their personal development plans is crucial.

Competition is intense, economic times are difficult and organisations need leaders who can both deliver results for shareholders and also ensure a sustainable future for the business. At the same time, we are operating in an age of total transparency where unscrupulous behaviour cannot be swept under the carpet and consumers are increasingly vocal about their desire for companies to demonstrate social conscience as well as pursuit of profit.

These changing times call for a radical departure from the leadership styles of the past. We need to break away from the high achieving ‘hero’ leader and move instead towards a model of ‘steward’ leadership. The focus of leadership development needs to shift so that it is not simply about making a difference to an organisation’s economic performance – but also about helping organisations to become sustainable in every sense of the word.

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