Owning a business can be a way to make more money than working for someone else. But this also comes with additional stress and responsibility. Making more money is not a good enough reason to own a business. This means ownership and prosperity are not automatically linked.
MLA understands ownership and abundance. We can help you develop both in the organization you lead. We use a process called Business Redeemed to guide you through answering the key questions that will help your business fulfill its promise.
Ownership may be a financial status, but stewardship is a state of mind and reflects what is in your heart. Stewardship can be defined as the work of leading and caring for an organization and those it serves. But what is stewardship, and how does it relate to ownership?
Every organization makes a promise to improve the lives of those it serves. Responsibility for fulfilling that promise is a burden that rests on business owners. That burden cannot be delegated, but it can be shared. How that burden rests in your organization defines the difference between stewardship and ownership.
A common misperception sees business as a zero-sum game. Someone else’s loss is your gain and vice versa. This can be effective to a point, and in some cases is actually the case. However, if the only way to get ahead is by taking from someone else, you quickly find yourself facing moral and ethical dilemmas that are not easily resolved.
Thankfully, this history of a growing economy is evidence that new sources of wealth can be discovered and created. By pursuing our self-interest, we create greater prosperity for everyone. This concept, first stated in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, is foundational to how we understand business and finance today.
Stewardship understands prosperity but challenges us to take a larger view. That view is the understanding you are caring for that prosperity on behalf of others. Caring for something on behalf of someone else may sound contradictory to the concept of ownership. But that tension is at the heart of stewardship. Managing that tension well requires a bigger perspective than just what happens inside your organization.
At MLA, we believe that business is a means of good in the world. That excludes the view that business is a zero-sum game because God’s creative energy is behind our efforts. But this is a more nuanced point of view. And it requires broader experience and a wider perspective on ownership and prosperity.
We believe we are called not just to be owners, but stewards of the growth potential God has made part of creation. And that belief guides not just what we do but how we do it.
We call our approach Business Redeemed. This is our commitment to helping business owners become more effective stewards. Contact us to learn more.