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Help a whole group to better use their time, treasure and talent

If those around you don't use their time, treasure and talent well, there is a very good chance you will have to use more of yours. However, if you all learn to steward what you have in increasingly life-releasing ways, those in your group, and everyone around it, all benefit. The Stewardship Test makes this possible in a highly practical, simple and inexpensive way.

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If you would like to proceed with this process, you'll want to refer to this instruction page at various times along the way. So, bookmark this page in your web browser, using its bookmark icon or bookmark menu at the top of your screen.

The steps

  1. Obtain sufficient eTest tokens for your group. You will need 1 token for each person who will take the test. Significant volume discounts apply. View volume discounts and obtain tokens.

  2. Collect the names and email addresses of those who will be taking the test. If you don't already have those details, you could ask all those involved to send you an email to an email address you specify. That way you will have their email address in the "From" field of the email they send to you.

  3. Having collected a list of names and email addresses, log into the web site and invite them to take the test. The test involves them responding to a series of questions about themselves and usually takes about 15-20 minutes. While the test doesn't take long to complete, due to some people being a little slow to respond to invitations, be sure to invite people to take the test with plenty of lead time, in case you would like to have all of the results ready by a particular date.

  4. Once you have sent your invitations, you can monitor their acceptance (any tokens that are not accepted will automatically be returned to your account). You can also use that page to view each person's invitation link in case you decide it would be easier to resend their invitation to their preferred messaging app (if they are a person who requires a little more prompting to get things done :-)

  5. When each person completes their test, their result will automatically be shared back to your account and you will receive a notification (since you are the sponsor of the exercise). The initial invitation email lets people know that this will happen.

  6. Once everyone has completed their test (or as many as you expect will complete it), you can produce a Group Profile combining all the results, or specific groups of results, with the help of the Advanced Profile option. Producing Group Profiles is free.

Stewardship Test applications

“I don't have the slightest idea why you just did that!”

Couples of all ages have the wonderful opportunity to make decisions together, or sometimes on each other's behalf. And every single one of those decisions is an opportunity to ascend to new heights of love, affection and fruitfulness together... or descend into messy, confused, stinky conflict. Wouldn't it be helpful to more clearly understand your better half's approach to decision-making and how you can both more fully apply the decision-making principles that actually make life work.

If that sounds like a worthwhile use of a few hours, then follow the instructions above to produce your Personal Stewardship Profiles, then sit together and work through each page, asking the questions for discussion along the way. For fun, also look for a few higher responses in the going deeper section of the other person's results that you can affirm and celebrate. Then, also share about some lower results you can see and personally relate to in their profile (safety helmet optional :-).

“You just bought what??!!”

So, you're on a partnership adventure because there seems (or seemed) to be great synergy between your giftedness and vision. Well, everything should work out fantastically!... except when it doesn't. You may have complementary abilities and a shared goal, but that still leaves an enooooooormous space for misunderstanding and conflict if the means of you achieving your dreams—the combined everyday decision-making processes—are not well understood and tethered to some kind of unchanging principles. The Stewardship Test can act for you as a kind of partnership coach (or counselor if things have gotten wobbly), giving you each clarity about what the other brings to the decision-making table, as well as highlighting what you both need to improve upon to see things really take off.

Follow the instructions above to produce your Personal Stewardship Profiles, then meet up to work through each page together, asking the questions for discussion along the way. Optionally, you could also invite someone else to the discussion who either works with you both or knows you both well (and can put you both in timeout if you're not playing nicely together).

“Why didn't anybody tell me we ran out of toilet paper??!!”

Families are fun... or not, especially when they flush your time or treasure down the drain through procrastination or (poo)r decisions (ok, we'll stop the toilet metaphor now). But seriously, when a household runs well, it is a place of incredible flourishing and enjoyment. A veritable greenhouse of good times and growth. So wouldn't it be nice if family life was like that more (or maybe even at least some) of the time. Every household has a certain amount of time, treasure and talent available. And it's pretty clear, by looking around the world, that a happy home is not about how much of it you have, but how well you use it.

So, how can you collectively get better at using what you all have? Given the web page you are on, no prizes for guessing the answer. The Stewardship Test can be taken by early teens right through to the grey and wrinkly. And, to minimize sibling rivalry, every person is lucky enough to get a strength to celebrate and an area to grow in (hooray!) See the instructions above for how to get a Personal Profile for each family member. Once you are done, you can also produce a free Team Profile combining all of your results to see the bigger picture of family (decision-making) life (batteries and mind-numbing screens not included).

“I have to work with them??!!”

Teamwork is an excellent idea. Just don't try to do it. Trying to smile, or at least not groan, when people make dumb suggestions is not easy, and you could tear a facial muscle. Far better to work on your own! After all, given enough time, money... and everyone else's gifts, you could save the world! Alright, if I must, I'll give this "team" thing a go. That's the spirit! Sure, there are a lot of challenges in working as a team. Even if you get a great blend of giftedness and a common vision, you can still go home underwhelmed by your collective progress or dreaming about a workmate's redeployment. The critical moments when teams either bond together or drift apart is when decisions are made (or are inexplicably put off). So how do you make decisions that bring your team closer together and make them more useful as a little clump of humanity. Well, it helps to start with principles of decision-making that each person would find hard to argue with. Say, principles that have shaped the teams from the best bits of human history so far. The Stewardship Test will help each of your team members better understand these principles (drawn from nature, the biggest team the world has ever seen), and which ones each person applies well and which ones they can grow in.

See the instructions above for how each team member can get their own Personal Stewardship Profile. Once you are done, you can also produce a free Team Profile combining all of your results to see the bigger picture of what needs to be grown so that those served by your team can get a better taste of what life could be. Who knows. You might end up surprised at how relatively painless and free of physiotherapy teamwork smiling can actually be.

“...so the board has been advised to restructure... (here we go again)”

Heading up an organization is relatively easy. You need only navigate, steer and oversee millions of interdependent decisions per year by those working under you and those your organization serves, then enjoy the praise from all concerned when you do the aforementioned task perfectly. Though, to be fair, if your organization has, say, more than five people in it, it can be a bit harder than that :-) Of course, you can put some policies in place to help direct the decision-making traffic, but often you're not completely convinced by those "pre-made" decisions yourself. So, good luck trying to convince everybody else they are a good idea. Time rolls along and the machine starts squeaking a bit, and eventually someone says the "r" word (restructure if you're lucky enough to never have heard it before). Of course! Yes! We should restructure. Can't be that hard to do without upsetting everyone...

Ok, enough painful memories. What if, starting right now, we ran our organization less like a machine and more like a living thing. You know, like those people things who work in it. What if we could train them to make decisions that were good for them, good for the organization, and good for the people we serve. What if there were live-giving principles (perhaps found in nature, the largest, most enduring, most complex and fruitful organization ever seen), that we could all use in our daily decision-making. What would happen? Who knows! But there is a pretty good chance that things wouldn't get worse and wouldn't stay the same, and that the structure would look less like a steel sculpture after a hurricane, and more like a pleasant fruitful forest (where even the whoopsies the animals leave behind are recycled for good). If making better use of the time, treasure and talent of your organization seems like a good idea, then using the Stewardship Test as a team-building exercise, as part of your review processes, or as a standalone initiative to realign your people around an everyday, principle-based, decision-making language, would probably make sense. By all means, start with one or two teams to pilot the idea so you can grow your confidence in the process and results as you go. But make sure you start! Every day you wait is more time, treasure and talent drifting out the door, or not making it into your organization in the first place.

To get started, follow the "Teams" instructions above and preferably have one person in your organization sending the test invitations, so you will then have all the results in one place in order to produce team level profiles and a whole organization profile.

“We need to support the "tree" of society with an appropriate "stake" of government!”

All of the applications of the Stewardship Test suggested above reach their logical conclusion in the reformation of government throughout society. Government is intended to be the process of stewarding time, treasure and talent. It is noteworthy that the word economics, one of the major focal points of government, comes from the ancient Greek word oikonomia, which means to manage the oikos (i.e. extended household). This oikos is also at the root of two other areas within the realm of government—oikologia (ecology), which means study the oikos (think of government concerns like health, the environment, etc.) and oikodome which means develop the oikos (think of concerns like education, correctional services, etc.) So, it can be said that the oikos or extended household is the fundamental unit of government. But why does this matter?

The billions of people around the world who manage their extended households are oikonomoi or stewards. As the plentiful and essential governers within society, they manage the time, treasure and talent of the extended households that make up the world. While there are institutions of government at many levels around the globe, from a quantitiative perspective, the vast majority of governance across the planet (humanly speaking) is done by average people, stewarding or governing their little part of the world quite apart from large-scale institutions and those in elected office.

Imagine this. A reformation in political government and a more effective approach to its major concerns (e.g. economics, health, education, etc.) begins with each person within that realm becoming a better steward. That is, learning to make life-releasing decisions in all aspects of their interconnected extended households.

Living in a particular period of time, we can fall into the trap of assuming that the form of political government that currently envelopes us was here before we were born and will be much the same until the end of our lives and beyond. Of course, this is not (and certainly should not be) true. We only have the forms of political government we have today because those before us fought and struggled for a better way to help society flourish. Just like a stake put in next to a tree to support its growth, any form of humanly devised government will necessarily need to be superceded, either because it has failed, or because it has helped the tree of society so well that a new stake is now needed for the tree's next stage of development. An increasing number of voices around the world are suggesting it is time for a new stake. Growth in stewardship within your extended household and ones around the world just like it is the key.

Pick one of the applications above and get started.

Vive la oikolution!

The tree of society and the stake of government