Stewardship and Subordinates

By: Gail Cardwell

Matthew 6: 31-33

So do not worry saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


We all have experienced adversity in the workforce. We face many challenges, including “turf” issues and hidden agendas among peers. These obstacles demoralize staff and adversely impact productivity.  As an element of the human condition, workers tolerate inequities because they need to support their families. This is our instinctive nature. But God tells us not to be afraid and to trust in his providence.  Managers are responsible to serve as stewards to those placed under their dominion by the Lord. 

I manage a small unit that represents only 7% of the staff, but contributes 16% of the organization’s revenues. I rely on shared support services from others to achieve results. For a long time, however, given our unit’s size, these “shared” resources often become depleted before my unit could access them. As a result, we were accountable for customer satisfaction, but had no control over the resources needed to deliver results. Despite my unit’s profitability, additional allocations usually flowed to another department more adept at internal politics. Although we were being charged an internal cost allocation to pay this department, we received no service. Despite repeated attempts to directly address the injustice, our pleas were ignored. To compensate for the shortfall, my team devoted long hours to ensuring customer satisfaction. I approached my boss repeatedly, but to no avail. 

Last year, I contemplated my options going forward. If I were to remain silent, my staff would suffer. If I were to speak up, I could be considered a malcontent. After lengthy prayer, I approached my boss again. I reiterated the inherent inequities in the staff model - I could not continue to perform under these circumstances. Trusting in the Lord, I respectfully made specific demands. In lieu of rejection, my boss gave me everything I requested. The Lord fulfilled his promise and responded to all of my needs!


TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Do I act responsibly on behalf of those under my care?