Ari Betof (Ed.D.) is a Boston-based consultant who has assisted numerous organizations in achieving measurable results when it comes to improving organizations. In his recent Medium article “Stewardship & Optimizing Organizational Capacity,” Dr. Ari Betof brought focus to the unique qualities that make up a good steward, including restraint and drive.
As he describes it, the steward is “relentlessly mindful of the Goldilocks principle” that the porridge should neither be too cold nor too hot, but just right. In real-world terms, this involves ensuring that the organization navigates the current fiscal year without depleting reserves in a way that also promotes long-term viability.
This involves a fundamental understanding that the leader has a temporary role relative to the entire organization, and that a key goal is to ensure that it outlasts his or her tenure. The stewardship role involves actively preparing for a future in another leader’s hands, with the understanding that organizational health takes precedence over personal plaudits.
Unfortunately, this balance eluded the leaders of the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, an international boarding school that reportedly ran in the red from 2006 to 2017 and hemorrhaged $22.7 million from 2015 to 2017 alone.