The next two qualities of servant leadership are Foresight and Stewardship. The neat thing about all of the 10 qualities of servant leadership is the fact that they are so closely related—they complement and build upon one another. These next two qualities go hand-in-hand and help promote effective servant leadership that builds the trust of others.
According to Spears (2002), foresight is defined as:
“A characteristic that enables the servant leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future.”
Wow! How important this quality is for leaders today. Think about how this one quality can prevent really bad decisions from being made, as well as ensuring that really good ones are made. Servant leaders take the time to not only reflect, but also to understand the current situation and foresee what is on the horizon. If only our public officials could possess such a quality.
Stewardship really flows out of foresight, because being a good steward is all about effective management of the resources and people a leader has been entrusted with for a period of time. Servant leaders recognize that they are stewards over money, physical resources, people, and time, and they understand that this responsibility is finite. Their decisions, based on foresight, will impact those leaders that follow them after they have moved on from the organization. Are they leaving the organization in better shape than when they arrived? If not, then they are abdicating their responsibility to be a good steward.
Can you see how these two qualities are related and how they work together to impact an organization and its people? Servant leaders have the foresight needed to make wise choices for their organization, and they take very seriously the responsibility of being a steward of all that has been entrusted to them.
Think about these two qualities today. Do you have foresight? Do you understand the responsibility of stewardship?
Spears, L. C., & Lawrence, M. (2002). Focus on Leadership: Servant-leadership for the Twenty-first Century. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.