My best stewardship happens when I pay it forward. Just like in the movie of the same name, stewardship is best expressed in an attitude of gratitude that serves the needs of others. Those of us who have been given more than we need (or deserve) have the opportunity to give back so that others who come after us will have something significant and substantial to build on.
Becoming a great mentor is a rather long and introspective process. Over time, it gets harder and harder to live a “do as I say – not as I do” kind of lifestyle. The mentoring process often propels us to change how we live our lives as much as (or more than) those we are teaching.
Burnout occurs when we are required to remain too focused for too long.
In my experience, entrepreneurs and leaders are often the last people to make the time to take proper care of themselves. This and the natural aggressiveness required to run a company makes them primary candidates for serious burnout. Ultimately, they pay a big price for denying themselves the opportunity to get away and recharge.
I learned many lessons during a very rainy and cold sojourn out in the forest with the North Carolina Outward Bound School; the value of teamwork, the joy of overcoming real fear, the sense of accomplishment that comes with pushing past your limits. But the greatest lesson I took away is one that we learned on that first day. Keep it simple – travel light.