EXCELLENCE is a beginning point
INTEGRITY is at the core of our decision making and actions
EMPOWERMENT with accountability makes better decisions
COLLABORATION leverages the best in everyone
BALANCE gives us fuel to do our best
STEWARDSHIP ensures a future
CARING for each other is what holds us together

The word “stewardship” carries a lot of weight. Stewardship is defined as “the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving;”[1] a steward, then, is charged with managing resources on behalf of another. In the context of the business world, stewardship includes both practical analysis and service to others, both finances and people. True stewardship means not only providing leadership, but also upholding the shared values of the team.

We can think of stewardship in terms of four key principles: ownership, responsibility, accountability, and reward. Stewards don’t own what they manage, whether it’s money or people, but they exercise the same care as if they did. Stewards are responsible for doing their best on behalf of all stakeholders, and are accountable for following through to get the job done. Rewards aren’t just financial, and include the satisfaction of a job well done or positive feedback from others.

LS3P’s Operations and Finance Managers (OFMs) serve each of our offices in a role that blends business and practice. Stewardship is both our role and our responsibility to the company and to our staff.  In my case, it means the careful and responsible management of clients, their projects, our staff, our office environment, and our company’s overall success. We are charged with delivering measurable results, managing both the human and financial resources of our offices, and upholding the highest ethical standards in pursuit of our mission and vision.

Tending Deep Roots as Well as New Growth

Our firm has a very strong culture dating back almost sixty years, and we are deliberate about values-driven decision making. We strive to put our people first, and we strive to do that with actions as well as talk. During the COVID crisis, we were able to keep our entire staff employed even as project finances and schedules changed unexpectedly in some cases. We leaned on our cross-office network to keep everyone busy and engaged, from admins to project teams to support staff. Whether in easy times or in eras of challenge and change, how do we ensure that we’re efficiently using all our human and financial resources? How do we practice our values and make every decision with integrity? When we are guided by our values and our responsibility to do what’s best for each other, our clients, our communities, and our firm, we are well-positioned to continue to thrive and grow.

Taking Care of Our People and Doing Great Work

Each person who works at LS3P is our most valuable resource. Our people provide the talent that elevates our work, serves our clients and communities, and drives our business. Beyond the timesheet hours and project successes, of course, each of our team members is a colleague and friend. We want to succeed as an architecture firm while making sure that our employees get to do all of the parts of their lives, from family time to travel to caregiving to hobbies. We understand that no two days are the same, and no two people are the same, and the OFMs are charged with helping each individual come up with a plan that works. Doing that effectively requires listening, and we have to prioritize the conversations that help our colleagues find balance and achieve success. When someone asks, “Do you have a minute to talk?” the answer is always “yes.” This level of care extends to all of our loved ones outside of the office; when our families need us, someone will step in to help us be there for them as well as for each other. We value them as our own.

Taking Care of Business (Which Starts with Taking Care of People)

Running a successful business- particularly one that has been successful over many decades – requires the right blend of strategy and stewardship. In a world where a lot of “shiny objects” demand our attention, LS3P’s mission and values help to keep us balanced and focused. Our culture is central to our identity and drives our decision making, and encourages us to be proactive, not just reactive. We know that our productivity comes from our people, and we believe that balance and wellness are essential to focus and creativity.  We try to make sure people aren’t spreading themselves too thin, or overcommitting in terms of travel or workload. We try to help people pull back before they approach the burnout stage.

The soft skills of mindfulness and empathy are essential in a stewardship role; many people can tackle timesheets and budgets, but we also need our leaders to be people-centric. True stewardship means taking on other people’s problems in order to find solutions that advance the firm while taking care of the team. None of the financial successes happen without people- whole people, who are able to participate fully in their lives outside of work.

Ultimately, stewardship is about caring deeply for the resources we tend, from finances to people. When we manage them wisely, everyone involved has the opportunity to thrive.

[1] Dictionary.com

About Lisa

Principal Lisa Pinyan serves as Operations and Finance Manager in LS3P’s Savannah office. Lisa brings over twenty years of interior design experience to the team, and she is highly skilled at translating each client’s design intent into a successfully completed project. Her diverse portfolio includes designs for corporate, hospitality, educational, and institutional clients across the region. Lisa is well-versed in the project management skills required to navigate a project from conceptual design through construction administration, working closely with clients to prioritize collaboration and real-time communication throughout the process.

Beyond her professional commitments, her community engagement is extensive She currently serves as a board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire as well as America’s Second Harvest of the Coastal Empire. She also formerly served on Telfair Museums Board of Directors and served as the President of Junior League of Savannah.