This evening, I found myself drawn back to Dr. George Kanahele’s book KÅ« Kanaka (Stand Tall), feeling the need to dip back into my own roots a bit, knowing that he had written on leadership feeling it part of our Hawaiian destiny.
Consider this passage;
“We can easily rationalize the importance of such qualities as intelligence, decisiveness, technical mastery, reputation, and goal setting, but [Hawaiian] leadership probably was more a response of the heart rather than of the mind. The leader’s enthusiasm, compassion, inspiration, energy, stamina and charisma all came from his heart. The art in leadership is not so much rational as it is emotional, or spiritual in its promptings.
When seen in this light, we can appreciate more certainly the part that aloha plays in the duties of leadership. Aloha sensitizes the leader to the desires and well-being of others, and creates in him an eagerness to help his people gain their hopes. Affection, friendliness, and compassion all combine to heighten one’s ‘empathetic impulse.’
The leader who is afraid to give affection is really afraid to lead in the true sense” If leadership means a mobilizing of emotional power and feelings, then the Hawaiian leader who marshals the force of aloha should be fully equal to any challenge from without or within.”