Good Stewardship is a Win-Win
A Core Culture Characteristic at DISHER
December is our month for highlighting Stewardship at DISHER. It’s one of our 12 Culture Characteristics. Every December we talk about what it is, why we do it, and the many ways in which we can carry it out in our lives throughout the year. Our use of the word Stewardship describes any activity related to the giving of our time, talent, or money. It’s one of the bigger reasons why our employees find meaning in their work at DISHER.
Stewardship, by general definition, implies that you are managing the assets and resources that you have been given for the greater good of everyone. Assets and resources can take many forms such as: leadership skills, capital equipment, money, time, relationships, and opportunity to name a few. If we mishandle any of these, we are not being good stewards. If we handle these well, if we steward them well, we not only protect the asset or resource but we can enhance it while improving the world around us at the same time. That’s how we view Stewardship at DISHER.
There are people in this world who have been dealt a bad hand in life. It’s not their fault. They often have very little means or opportunity to work themselves out of their tough situation. They really need some help. For those who have been dealt a good hand in life (good upbringing, good opportunity, and good fruit from your efforts), the question is, “How will you play your hand?” Our belief is that there is only one good and right way to play your hand— it’s for the betterment of those in need around you. If we all can help lift our community up one person and one organization at a time from the fruits of our collective hands, then everyone benefits. It’s a win-win.
Sharing Time, Talent, and Money
Time, talent, and money are three of the biggest opportunities for a company to exercise good Stewardship. These are precious assets that we all work hard to properly manage. You use all three of these every day to get your work done and provide your customers what they want and need. From that same hand, you can also play those three cards with the non-profit world around you. Some companies have a year-end giving program through which employees get involved to choose and direct corporate donations to non-profits in need. This is a meaningful way for teammates to experience Stewardship. They learn which non-profits are filling the key gaps in our community as well as help them financially.
Specific Ways to Give Back
Another effective way for employees to experience the goodness of helping others is to volunteer at a non-profit they are passionate about. This could include building houses, stuffing food bags, or sorting donated clothing. Taking it a step further, employees can help non-profits by donating from their own professional skillset. Whether you are an accountant, an engineer, or an artist, there is a non-profit out there that could use your professional skillset. Often, this level of help is harder for non-profits to find and can make a bigger impact on their organization’s ability to serve those in need.
Play Your Part
It’s a mystery to me why I was born in the era I was, into the family I was, in the country I was, and with the opportunities I’ve had. Compared to so many others in difficult situations around the world, I’ve been dealt a pretty good hand… and so have you. It could have easily been very different. Feeling thankful that I haven’t been dealt a worse hand just doesn’t seem like the right response. Nor does wishing I was dealt a worse hand to absolve me of the guilty feeling of special privilege. I can’t change the hand I’ve been dealt, but I can decide how I will play my hand moving forward. As humans, we are wired to feel good at our core when we help others in need. Whether that is a selfish response or truly the joy of giving, it doesn’t matter because both the giver and receiver win.
Tis the Season…. This is the time of year when the differences between those who have and those who have not are most pronounced. Whether it’s the ability to buy gifts at Christmas or having friends and family around in festive celebration, how we embrace those who don’t have these things during the holidays will either further divide us or unite us in gratitude. This Christmas, think about the hand you or your company has been dealt. How can you be a responsible steward? My guess is that you have a few good plays to make that will make a positive difference in the lives of others and make this world a better place.
Written By: Jeff Disher, Founder & President | Jeff is a 26 year veteran of new product development. He has held roles in program management, product design, manufacturing, quality and training & development. He has a BS from Hope College and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He also is a certified Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan. Jeff and his family enjoy many outdoor activities.