Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) is an excellent example of a Custodian — someone who maintains routine and ensures that tangible results are delivered on time… and for a long time to come.
Epitomising the true nature of sustaining energy, Custodians have the ability to nurture ideas and bring them to life through the careful and responsible use of the assets and resources in their care. Their invaluable role ensures the fruition of even the most challenging ventures.
Honouring The Promise
While Custodians tend not to seek the limelight, they are vital team members in any company or project that wishes to achieve sustainable success.
Their responsible and nurturing qualities provide the necessary support to get the job done by maintaining routine and ensuring that tangible results are delivered on time and for a long time.
Just like the earth itself, their nourishment and support brings the ideas of others to life.
Often found in operational and customer service environments, their impeccable sense of timing and logistics, together with an inherent love of routine and service, ensures the responsible management of resources in their care. They have a grounded understanding of reality, resources, timing and practical considerations. Custodians are conscious of how critical it is for a company to deliver on its promise to clients, stakeholders and the community.
Custodians who have learnt to maximise their natural energy understand how to create value by actively supporting the long-term implementation of ideas and projects through practical approaches and realistic timelines.
They drive operational excellence with a customer-centric focus and the momentum of value-adding processes. Custodians, in their quest for a sense of belonging, also tend to create a strong family environment, be that in a community or a team.
The Custodian Contribution
A Custodian director brings to a board the ‘reality check’ when plans, ideas and projects are impractical, too hasty, not sustainable or not achievable with the resources and team available.
Their long-term perspective will carefully consider the future intended and unintended consequences of every decision. They focus on slowing processes down that are not yet ready and keeping the company in integrity with its promise on macro and micro levels.
Custodians often develop operational excellence and customer experience in their careers and can bring this perspective to the board. This is especially useful in service-based environments where customer loyalty and retention are critical success factors. Whereas Activating directors may be drawn to a company because it is innovative or exciting, a Custodian director would look for a deep sense of resonance with the promise of the company and the quality of its foundation already in place.
A Custodian director who struggles to maximise their natural energy is one who may put the brakes on change and rapid movement. They may require too much time or a full understanding in order to appreciate opportunities and make decisions, which may delay critical decisions. They may also become disengaged in environments that lack structure, change frequently, have not matured, lack resources or that risk letting the customer down.
A matured Custodian director has learnt how to push through their comfort zone to mitigate a lack of information or a dominant innovative energy on a board. They also check their natural tendency to get bogged down in reality, especially when strategic blue-sky thinking is required at a board level.
Related: How The Motivator Ignites Greatness
Responsibility And Trust
The Custodian contribution to a board or team will ensure sustainability and long-term follow-through on projects and ventures.
They excel at getting the job done when it comes to operational excellence and ensure that practical considerations are brought into the equation with the optimal use of the resources available. They hold the company accountable to deliver on its promise and lead the way in making this happen.
Staying The Course
Even innovative disruptors need some sort of stability if long-term plans are ever to come to a realisation.