What is Stewardship?
One of our core values at Firmatek is Stewardship. First, what is stewardship? Merriam-Webster defines stewardship like this: “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” Stewards take care of that which is entrusted to them. When we were defining our core values, we made a conscious choice to choose Stewardship, and not something like profitability. Does this tie into profitability? Absolutely. But being a good steward is about more than profitability and making sure that the bottom line is as big as it can be. It’s about acting in the best interest of the company as a whole: the people, the clients, the community, the bottom line.
What Does Stewardship Look Like?
As President, it’s my job to do my best to take care of the company – to provide for the employees, to grow the business, and to make decisions that are not the easiest, but what I believe are in the best interest of the company. Of course, part of that is using our investments well, getting strong returns, and increasing revenue and profitability. Part of it is also hiring the best people and building a community. Another aspect of it is taking care of our clients and giving them our best. For the time that I am entrusted with this role, I seek to take care of the company and make the decisions that are in the company’s best interest.
Each member of the Firmatek team also has a responsibility to be a steward of the resources in his or her control. Sometimes that is expensive equipment setups, and sometimes that is his or her own time or the time of others on the team. Each member of the Firmatek team is entrusted with their own piece of the company, and it is his or her job to take care of it. I am so thankful to have a team of people who embrace and understand stewardship. In order to truly take care of the company, everyone needs to be involved. And this team truly is.
At Firmatek, our field team has a setup of trucks, laser scanners, drones, and other equipment. This is an expensive setup. Some of the great examples of stewardship from our field team come from the way they take care of their equipment.
Josh, a team leader, is consistently keeping things in tip-top shape. When we finally retired his old truck, which had over 250,000 miles on it, everyone wanted it. It was clean and in great working order. Josh takes great care of the truck and all of his equipment. It’s easy to let things lapse because we are busy and there is so much to get done. We are very thankful that Josh always takes that little bit of extra time to make sure what is entrusted to him is taken care of.
Another example of our field team living stewardship is when they choose to stay with family and friends in the areas where they travel. I know employees enjoy spending time with friends and family, but it is also a very cost conscious thing for them to do for Firmatek.
It’s not just the field team members that are good stewards of the company. An example of the Firmatek office crew living our stewardship value comes from our annual meetings. We had just moved into our new office space and there was so much to get done before everyone arrived on Monday. So they spent the weekend, some with their families, in the office helping put furniture together, hanging shelves and pictures, unpacking, and cleaning up. They knew we needed the space put together for the meetings on Monday, and they sacrificed their weekends for the good of company and the important time we were spending together that week. Time is often a very valuable resource that we take care of, and that we give to the company. They truly were acting in the best interest of the company and helping to take care of it.
There are tough choices to be made every day for each one of us. I may wrestle with decisions about employees, clients, partnerships, or finances. Others wrestle with decisions about time, serving clients, maintaining equipment, or helping colleagues, to name a few. Whether it is my decision or someone else’s, the hard decisions are the ones where living the value of Stewardship really comes through. I am thankful to have a team of people who are willing to make the hard choice and be stewards. Having one person steward a company is not enough. Each one of us needs to be conscious of our role in stewarding our piece of the company. I’m thankful our team understands what that means.
Contributed by Lauren Elmore, President of Firmatek