Your entrepreneurial point of view: a gift for growth

What have you done with your Ho‘olaule‘a gift so far? Did you tuck it away in the back of your mind, or have you allowed it to begin its magic for you?

For many years I was content to be a very good manager for other leaders. I never thought I could be a visionary leader, or a budding entrepreneur and business owner, because I didn’t have a novel, earth-shattering mega idea.

I was wrong.

You may be too. Or you may be that person with an entrepreneurial point-of-view who still thrives in corporate business. Do you know which person you are?

You’ll never know for sure, if you don’t ask yourself the questions that will help you to find out.

Our Ho‘olaule‘a gift to you this month is a chance to find out your answer sooner versus later. It’s an invitation to your journey of self-discovery.

—Excerpt, Our August Ho‘ohana is Ho‘olaule‘a; Celebration!

If you accepted this gift of an entrepreneurial mindset which Tom and I hoped you would, I am very confident that you are viewing the job you now hold through fresh eyes, and with an embrace of new learning no matter what working environment you may be in. Despite your tenure there, you will have succeeded at banishing the passion killers of boredom, complacency, and apathy. The light at the end of your tunnel has become brighter, warmer, and more welcoming.

Readers of Managing with Aloha know there is some tough love in my book. Lisa mentioned it in her book review. My coaching clients will tell you it also emerges in my coaching if I begin to hear any traces of “oh woe is me” creep into their voices; I will not commiserate with them or accept their excuses. Instead, I will coach them to move beyond that first impulse and better consider the power they themselves have within their own circle of influence. The question becomes, Well, what are you going to do to make things better? How will you get something better to happen?

As a management philosophy, managing with Aloha actually solves problems pretty easily. The harder task is allowing it to influence greater ambition when people feel that things are okay and fine as they are; when they are willing to settle. As a coach I usually have a more optimistic view of their capacity and potential than they do; I see a brighter future for them than they see for themselves. And please understand that vision I see is not necessarily about a promotion, a better title, or a lucky leap into a lifestyle of luxury; it’s about living a happier and more fulfilling life within the passion of the work they have chosen to do. It’s about taking the strengths they have from good to great. It’s about being able to enthusiastically and confidently answering the question of what their true calling is.

And it’s about trusting in their own wild and wooly ideas and not allowing them to die.

Let’s look at some other ways in how Tom’s Startup Garden synchronizes so beautifully with Managing with Aloha.

MWA: A business must be values-centered. To thrive, so must you.

Being true to your core values, and choosing a job wherein the values of a company’s mission are in alignment with yours is the central guiding light of the MWA philosophy. If this does not serve as your fertile ground for growth, everything else proves very difficult, and you fight unnecessary battles simply because you are in a situation that does not suit you: it does not give you full credit for who you are, and who you simply can’t help being. Separating your values at work from those which nurture you at home is self-defeating.

“As you begin to formally analyze how your company will deliver on the promise you envision, it should be getting clear that you are creating one profound product: your company itself. This distinction may not feel significant, especially if you are running a one- or two-person company. If you start doing business with core values and beliefs that determine how you deal with customers, employees, and community, you must make a conscious and deliberate effort to manifest these beliefs. Otherwise, you will find yourself with policies and procedures that don’t necessarily match the business you want, nor will they prove to be particularly effective.”

—Startup Garden: What does your company stand for?

MWA: A business must be mission-driven. To keep striving, so must you.

In MWA we teach managers that the most effective way to coach well is the understanding of their employees’ professional mission statements. We teach them to coach their staff in writing them so they are aligned with the company mission. We teach them how to review these professional mission statements as often as necessary to keep dreams and convictions alive, and productivity optimal. We help them drive actions that create momentum for them, with a steady eye on the successful achievement of their goals. Successful businesses are dynamic and vibrant. They don’t stand still, and neither do the people within them.

“Figuring out what you want from your business requires you to answer one simple question first: What do you want out of life?”

—Tom Ehrenfeld in Startup Garden

After he asks this question, Tom asks a series of others that will guide you, so that coming up with your personal answer is less daunting. The Startup Garden begins, and ends, with chapters that explore how you learn and grow as you grow a business, your business. This was something I loved about Tom’s book: Throughout it is systematic clarity in helping you get the job done. However, Tom starts with growth and he ends with growth, and in doing so he illustrates how missions evolve for us, and challenge us to invest in our own perpetual learning. He illustrates in yet another way how the mission of a business is so intrinsically connected to the mission of the visionary who founds it — you.

MWA: A business must be customer-focused. To survive in business, so must you.

We focus on two kinds of customers in Managing with Aloha; internal and external ones. The internal ones are your employees and business partners; the external ones are your paying patrons and guests. Both must feel they receive aloha as the epitome of customer service and product delivery, and both must feel your business adds high value to their lives. Customers become loyal when they have trust in you, and when they perceive aloha in your character they trust more easily, more naturally. The discovery of aloha excites them, and it adds to their perception that you and your business stand for value, quality, and worth.

“Start with customers [in making the three C’s of customers, cash, and company a reality.] ” First and foremost, you will need to analyze them and their needs, and determine how you will deliver the highest value to them over time.

But there’s more—you now have customers in the larger sense: employees who buy into your vision and sign on with the company and investors who pledge their support to the business. Regardless of whether your company needs millions of dollars in venture capital or a simple psychic boost from a few enthusiastic customers, you must now learn to connect with the people who fuel your enterprise.”

—Startup Garden: Planning as Learning, Learning as Doing

How better, than to manage with aloha.

Related post:
A link index to our Ho‘ohana this month of Ho‘olaule‘a and The Startup Garden. 

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