leadership, a kind of servant leader who is able to build a leadership team, which can carry on long after the primary leader is gone. Bill realized, that even though Stewardship Properties was a going concern, if he was removed, the company would flat line and merely survive at best. There was no one in the organization capable of doing what he had and was doing—being a real estate investor.
Added to this thinking came the book Built To Last, where Collins encourages his readers to consider building what he calls an “enduringly great company.” Along the way, a leader will need to make, what Collins refers to as, BHAG’s—Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (along the lines of Boeing betting the company on the 747 in the 1970’s).
These thoughts came together for Bill—being a leader who could multiply himself, enlarging his vision to building an “enduringly great company” and making a BHAG for Stewardship’s second 15 years. The way to multiply himself seemed clear—find young, energetic students who had the potential of becoming skilled real estate investors, train them and cut them in on a piece of the action over the long haul. This is the perspective that led to creating the first summer internship.
Given the potential of multiplying himself, Bill staked out a 15-Year BHAG for Stewardship—to grow ten times larger than its present size as of Jan. 1, 2005.
He realizes the company cannot sustain such grow by operating under the same paradigm he used for the first 15 years—with only himself looking for properties. Consequently, Bill has started a new division—Stewardship’s Investment Team. This division will focus on finding sellers—“We Buy Houses”—and help launch a diverse means of marketing.
What interns learn this summer will equip them to become real estate investors in their own right. Some will likely find themselves working with Stewardship in the future to meet their mutual goals. Bill looks forward to what that future holds and is excited about mentoring this second class of real estate interns.
It was not quite as clear back in 1989, but even when the business consisted of me and one house I wanted to see something larger happen than just myself making a lot of money and that’s why I chose the name Stewardship Properties. Being a steward reminds me that I’m “just passing through” this life and consequently I don’t really own anything—I just manage things. There is a passage in Scripture that says, “The Lord owns a thousand cattle on a thousand hills.” This also identifies who owns the real estate as well! Being a good steward is a high calling. I’m thankful to God for his grace in growing this company as well as for having such a quality group of fellow managers involved with me. –Bill
For further information on the company see: