In the ancient Middle East, “steward” (oikonomos) most often applied to the position of household manager. Economics in the ancient context, such as is described in Aristotle’s Oeconomica, concerned the household, which extended beyond familial relations, as the unit of production and managed by the head of household. According to Higginson, Jesus had this role in mind. “Steward” may thus apply in a Christian sense more appropriately to managers than leaders, and more particularly to ethical leaders.
The full essay is at “Steward Leadership”
 Richard Higginson, Transforming Leadership: A Christian Approach to Management (SPEK: London, 1996), p. 50.