January: Day and time for the Ho‘ohana Community.

Hauoli Makahiki Hou: Happy New Year!

My December Ho‘omaha (rest and replenishment) was glorious and joyful: a bit more than a week to celebrate the holiday season with my ‘ohana (family), and a bit less than a second week to invest in my own ‘ike loa (personal learning) and malama (health and exercise). I’ve emerged feeling I can tackle anything and everything!

Yet sincerely, during this time I have also missed all of you, my Ho‘ohana Community. (Mahalo to Bren, David, Toni, Doug, Yvonne and Dave for keeping things lively here!) It is just as joyful to be back at Talking Story, knowing it is January 2005, and the time meant for Ka la hiki ola, “the dawning of a new day.” It is very exciting, for Ka la hiki ola is the Hawaiian value of hope and promise.

Ka la hiki ola encourages us to make pono (rightness and balance) today. Let go of yesterday. Give yourself hope for tomorrow. Live again, and live better ”“ start a new chapter going forward. — Managing with Aloha, page 225.

Here at Talking Story, you’ll likely find I am eager to embrace new chapters: watch for the new to make itself known in the months to come. And expect that I will ask you to participate: I believe in embracing Ka la hiki ola as the community we have become.

“Community is incredibly equalizing and incredibly empowering.”
George C. Wolfe

As of today, Talking Story is a mere 4 months and 13 days old. As our headline banner still proclaims, Talking Story was born to be the discussion pages of Say Leadership Coaching, the company I started and dedicated to the ho‘ohana (passionate, intention-filled work) of those who manage, and the people they work with. My hope was that it would evolve to be the collective voice of an entire community, and thus Ho‘ohana Community is the name that came to be for you, those who read these pages and choose to talk story with us, sharing our mana‘o (deeply held thoughts and beliefs) as an ‘ohana in business, a community of like-minded people.

What does “like-minded” mean for us? It means we are intent upon managing our work, ourselves, and our lives with aloha. When we work, we ho‘ohana: we work with purpose and intent. These are the two things the “discussions” of Say Leadership Coaching largely revolve around. If you are new to SLC and Talking Story, Managing with Aloha is the name of our core coaching philosophy, and it has now been published as a book, just recently released in November of 2004. Ho‘ohana is our mantra, and Managing with Aloha is the way we hope to make a meaningful contribution to our world.

And we have always been a Learning Community – in fact, that was our first name. Managing well means we adapt to change and we initiate it ourselves, we question, we respond, we grow, and we learn to be proactive. As the collective voice of our community evolves, so must Talking Story evolve with us.

When I reflect on the past few months, I see many indicators which lead me to fervently believe that this new time is indeed a time for our community, one that has come together invested in the core values of Ho‘ohana and Aloha.

I believe that 2005 will be about championing a much-needed reinvention of work, and this is task for a community: no matter their passion, mavericks and revolutionaries cannot do it alone. What we need to achieve is too far-reaching: our workforce is dwindling and aging, while simultaneously our needs for a dynamic, vibrant workforce are growing. In addition, we are more sophisticated than we ever have been before; people everywhere are looking for fulfillment and a deeper sense of satisfaction. We want meaningful, significant, legacy-building work for ourselves, and for all those we care about.

So what are the answers? I don’t have them all, but I do believe that Managing with Aloha is a work philosophy that can help us find them. What am I proposing? That we find our answers as a strong and vibrant community of collective thought and inclusive learning.

We can be a community brave enough to challenge each other, and tenacious enough to draw out the best in each individual, empowering them.

We can be a community which is forthright and honest, yet kind and respectful, professional and self-governing in our respect for each other’s spirit and dignity.

We can be a community which is inquisitive, intuitive, innovative, and resilient, seeking the knowledge – and reaffirming camaraderie – that will propel us forward. We can leap toward initiative and enlarge our capacity.

We can be a community of aloha, freely sharing our spirit with each other, secure in the unconditional support we are certain we will receive. We can relish the abundance found in our connectivity.

Talking Story is here to be our forum, and it is my fervent wish that you will participate.

For many, Managing with Aloha itself is something new. As we welcome them into our Ho‘ohana Community, some things will remain familiar to you, such as the constancy of our cultural values, and introducing discussion themes with our monthly Ho‘ohana e-letters.

Therefore, in our Ho‘ohana this month of January, we will start with this theme of community – and with ourselves as the Ho‘ohana Community. We will celebrate and explore our notions of community, and we will challenge our older paradigms of what community is and can be. We will learn to recognize the good we have in each other, and in being able to forge connections with each other. We will define ourselves, and articulate what we stand for.

Some thoughts to get us started:

“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, and voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” Starhawk

“The first duty of a human being is to assume the right functional relationship to society — more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.” Charlotte Gilman

“[To] feel like true community, people are welcomed, supported and honored, and participants share very generously of their knowledge and experience.  The most experienced share with humility and honor the newcomers in their journey” participants work out conflicts within the values of the community in a truly beautiful way.” — Beth Robinson

“We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.” — Cicero

“The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong ” It should be a place where each individual’s dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today.” Lyndon B. Johnson

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

“A business cannot be all things to all people, and community is there to fill the pukas (the holes, the opportunity) and bridge the gaps. Community involvement promotes inclusiveness, open-mindedness and the willingness to seek a better way to live with each other harmoniously.” — Managing with Aloha, page 100.

Weigh in, and let your voice be heard.

Ka la hiki ola, it is the dawning of a new day.

Make this day your own. Participate. Explore what this community can mean for you.

Let’s talk story.


  1. says

    A community is like a database that has been souped up with emotion. The database provides information. Add emotion and it turns to wisdom and knowledge.
    Imagine the ability to draw upon people from different walks of life who simultaneously pursue “work with intent and purpose.” The opportunity and diversity of learning is incredible!
    Because I forever think of myself as a student, I forget I have the ability to teach as well. I hope we have the opportunity in this community to touch and help the young professionals of today.
    Thanks for building this community Rosa!

  2. Doug says

    Just leave it to me to find the one quote from your January theme that is connected to my passion:
    Margaret Mead – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    I know, I know, the talking story about change is pau…but I have so much fun talking about it.
    Seriously, though, I sometimes wonder how we of the Baby Boomer generation can ever come together as a community. We were and still are all so independent and rebellious..anti-establishment, anti-rules, anti-everything.
    But think of the good that can be done if the Boomers can come together in the style of Margaret Mead…such a rich community of thought and action. The world would not be enough…think of the universe as the target of our change.

  3. says

    Aloha Dave and Doug, my mahalo for your thoughts on community. I for one believe we can never have enough optimism about our prospects, and when I read comments like the ones shared by both of you, I again think of the Ho’ohana Community as this petri dish of abundance. You both have an incredible amount to share, and I’m honored that you choose to do so here.
    Community is not, and never will be a singular concept: there is a multiplier effect – much like the blogging network! – wherein coaching, mentoring, teaching, and the simple arms-open sharing of conversation can touch other lives profoundly. My vow with Talking Story is that an environment is created here for the learning exchange to happen freely, in an atmosphere of aloha, dignity, and respect.
    Dave, I love love love the picture you paint in your comment. I can see it, feel it, taste it. We can learn as much – if not more – from the younger generation as we can from each other: my own kids remind me of that daily! I’m relying on our youth to help us shatter the old paradigms we have of work so the reinvention we need can begin in earnest.

  4. says

    I feel honored to have Rosa introduce me to the community by quoting me in the company of Starhawk, Cicero and LBJ. I’m having an identity crisis! What she didn’t yet mention is that I wrote those words to her by way of compliment, adding this online community to my list of only two others that feel like real community to me. I have so much to say on THAT subject that I’ve taken off on it as my first set of postings to the weblog that Rosa inspired me to begin.
    So I’m here to learn, to offer whatever stories will help others and whatever questions come up in my own exploration of the concepts Rosa has laid out in Managing With Aloha. I’m planning to move physically to Hawai’i in 2005, so this community is a great gift, for me to learn more about the values and practices and how they translate to a better way to work, manage and lead.

  5. says

    Welcome Beth!
    Imagine, Ho‘ohana Community, the ability and capacity you have, to reach out and help someone feather their nest with aloha before they take a trans-Pacific flight … community is a beautiful thing.
    On her new blog, Beth has offered her own thoughtful criteria for online communities: visit her post at this url: http://execukos.blogspot.com/2004/12/appreciative-inquiry-and-parelli.html
    I couldn’t agree more with what she has written in her bullet points as “what feels to be genuine community.”

  6. Kevin says

    I am so excited to find not only Rosa’s book but even more excited with the idea of the Ho’ohana community. Although this isn’t my first round at the managers table it is the first time I’ve been one of a team of managers/supervisors and one of the first times I’ve had to work with those who don’t easily embrace Aloha in the workplace. As long as I can remember values similar to Rosa’s were apart of my life at work and at home. I look forward to sharing as well as learning from all of you. Thank you Rosa for this great forum.

  7. says

    Welcome Kevin, and thank you so much for joining our Ho’ohana Community with such an open, heartfelt statement of your mana’o.
    I have a feeling you are alaka’i, having the capacity to weave the aloha you seek into your management team with your own initiative and leadership by example: we will all look forward to hearing more from you, and giving you whatever support we can here, and in the reach of our ho’ohana.