At Brian-Kyles, stewardship is more than a buzz word and more than a core value. Stewardship is a defining principle, a key tenant of what we do, and a governing philosophy that is rooted firmly into our culture. Stewardship means many different things to many different people. What does it mean to Brian-Kyles? More importantly, what does it mean to you, as a client of Brian-Kyles? The simple answer to these questions is everything.
Stewardship is nothing new. In biblical times, stewardship was personified by the shepherds as they watched over the flock. Then servants became stewards, as they cared for the estates of the wealthy during the Gilded Age. Today, stewards oversee corporations, the environment, properties, financials, the nation, and so on. At the heart, stewards oversee anything of value.
From a historical sense to a literal one, stewardship defined as a noun is the responsibility for overseeing and protecting something considered worth caring for and preserving. On an individual basis, it is a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others. Stewards are entrusted to preserve and manage a valuable asset and are thus accountable for even the smallest of actions.
In this light we begin to view stewardship as service exemplified. As a service provider, it goes without saying that Brian-Kyles places a premium on service. Yet service is merely an act, whereas stewardship is an ethic. Service is an objective; stewardship is a paradigm. Service is a thought; stewardship is a mindset. Thus, stewardship is the habit, adherence, and practice of the highest levels of customer service.
Stewardship defines our outlook so much so that it governs the way we view ourselves on a daily basis. What that means is the difference between maintenance and management. Again, maintenance is a simple act, management is a governing strategy. We don’t just want to maintain, we aim to manage. If you entrust us with a dollar, you want us to manage it, not maintain it. In the same respect, we manage landscapes, not maintain them.
It is through the lens of stewardship that what we do as landscape property managers comes in greater focus. Yet so too does the manner in which we perform our work. Since we have been given something of value to care for, stewardship implies an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We understand the weight of accountability to manage the property investment of others. We appreciate relationships as equity and work as servant leaders to build trust with each act, regardless of how small. The more we give as stewards, the more we receive. For as the apostle Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthians: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”