Ho‘omaha 2006

Aloha, and thank you for clicking in to Talking Story.

As I write this I am beginning the first day of my Ho‘omaha, an annual sabbatical that I, and those in my ‘Ohana in Business take to reflect on the past year, and prepare in the best possible way (‘Imi ola) for the next one. We “nalu it,” that is, we succumb to the flow of the season, blending our business lives with our personal lives, and taking the time to savor the wonder and the joy of the holidays with family and friends.

We will return in mid-January to celebrate Kalā hiki ola with you. Kalā hiki ola translates to ‘the dawning of a new day’ and it is the Hawaiian value we associate with Makahiki, the New Year.

Since the web never sleeps, we keep the light on here at the Talking Story lanai for you. Therefore, since 2004 it has become my fortune-kissed habit to end my blogging year on Talking Story with two postings, each intended to have visitors both returning and newly arrived feel embraced by the mission of Managing with Aloha and the abundant warmth of the Ho‘ohana Community.

So pull up a chair and get comfortable; I am glad you are here.

Hō‘ike‘ike 2006


The post before this one is our annual Hō‘ike‘ike, the Hawaiian word I have chosen for a blog carnival of postings which feature many of the bloggers of Talking Story’s Ho‘ohana Community. They are asked to contribute a post they feel is one of the best they had written over the past year on managing or leading, for the mission of Managing with Aloha is to bring Aloha to workplaces everywhere through the working arts of management and leadership.

When you click to Hō‘ike‘ike twenty-seven links await you (double that with our authors’ home pages); it is a treasure. It is the tenth forum I have done on Talking Story because I so strongly believe in its value; one of the final articles I had written for 2006 was for Joyful Jubilant Learning which shares more about my belief: Learning Through Blog Forums.

Ho‘omaha 2006

This posting features The Best of Talking Story over the past year. In 2006 I had deliberately decided to ‘have less be more’ and post less often, aiming to give you higher quality per article, and tightening our focus on the month’s Ho‘ohana theme. Still, the momentum-building receptivity of this wonderful community ended up in exactly 200 more articles for our archives.

I arrive at this compilation by community choice, not mine, and two Talking Story features always grab the top spots as runaway winners; our monthly Ho‘ohana essays and our forums. So this year, I decided to separate them out, and they both are listed in their own index at the end of the year’s bests. Mahalo nui to Dwayne Melancon for the Talking Story gift card he created for my photo image!

Enjoy your reading. It is my genuine wish that what you experience here will be counted among your blessings this holiday season, and until we arrive here together again in January, I send you my warmest aloha.

Rosa Say

These are listed in chronological order, as they appeared on these pages from January through December of 2006;

  1. Ho‘omau and Your Language of Intention
  2. Ho‘omau; Reveal Strengths and Talents
  3. Aloha and Your Thought’s Fingerprints
  4. Catch a Rising Star—yours
  5. Follow up! It’s Not What You Say” It’s What You Do
  6. Read Short and Deep
  7. On the KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u warpath: The Compensation Enemy
  8. From Wordsmithing to Walking the Talk of Great Leadership
  9. Adding Value to Performance Reviews
  10. Variables of the Monday or Friday Decision
  11. To Show You Care, Show Your Respect
  12. Coffee, Ho‘ohana, and Syncopated Rhythm
  13. The Effect of a Leader, Starbucks Style
  14. Got a job to fill? Tell it like it is
  15. The Reinvention of Human Resources
  16. A Great List Every Child Should Have
  17. Joy at Work; There’s something in it for all of us
  18. Red, White and Blue Virtues
  19. The Trend of Leader Led Learning
  20. The Generosity of Listening
  21. Ask “Why?” Five Times
  22. Disciplined Goals versus BHAGs
  23. Thriving in a Structured Life
  24. Learning Needs A Cool Factor
  25. The “Good Fat” in MWA Businesses
  26. Read with the Intent to Learn: Milk It
  27. Comfy with My-Tech GTD
  28. Correcting Behavior, Preserving Self Esteem
  29. They are “Visitor Demons” NOT “Inner Demons”
  30. An Author’s Perfect Gift

These were our Forums for Talking Story in 2006, and to my great delight, they culminated with a brand new blog home for the Ho‘ohana Community called Joyful Jubilant Learning.com.

February: Our Second Annual Love Affair with Books

May: Reinventions at Work and in Business

September: Joyful Jubilant Learning 2006: 120 Ways and Counting

For your convenience, an index to our Ho‘ohana Essays of 2006:

  • January: Ho‘omau; Cause the Good to Last
  • February: Aloha; The Intent of Great Managers
  • March: KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u! The Best We Can Be
  • April: Mālama; What is Caring in business and at work?
  • May: Lōkahi; How Managers Affect Teams
  • June: Le‘ale‘a — Let’s Play!
  • July: Lokomaika‘i, Giving and Generosity
  • August: ‘Imi ola, Form and Function
  • September: LEARNING, A Place of Knowing and of Practiced Believing
  • October: Nalu it! Go With the Flow.
  • November: When Parenting Works
  • December: Nānā i ke kumu, Look to Your Source

Hō‘ike‘ike 2006

Welcome to our Hō‘ike‘ike 2006 —A Collection of Bloggers’ Bests on Management and Leadership in the spirit of Managing with Aloha.


This is a forum in which I ask for contributions that are a blogger’s best from the past year. Emails are often traded behind the scenes, for picking just one is difficult. I will coach my fellow authors to be bravely confident, believe in what they have written, and resurrect something they feel worthy of more attention. In the nature of blogging, where posting a day or several times weekly helps you rise like cream to the top, and RSS “saving for later” doesn’t always happen, many golden nuggets can disappear in the buried tunnels of blog archives.

For instance, this would be my pick from Managing with Aloha Online, as I force myself to choose ‘just one’ too so I may empathize with the difficulty! (Talking Story’s Best of 2006 will be presented with Ho‘omaha on Monday.)

Labor Day 2006: Bring Back Work Ethic

It was especially hard to choose this one, for 2006 was a year I more than quadrupled the articles I had written for www.managingwithaloha.com, primarily due to my experimental online coaching program, MWA Jumpstart. Yet while I am very proud of my first foray into systematic online coaching, this article was not one within the Jumpstart program.

It IS one I do hope we talk about more,
for it was influenced by the alarming trends I see emerging in our workforce demographics. Two books in particular contributed to it this year, for I have studied them both with thoroughness and near obsession: Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat (the oh no! we need to wake up part) and Dennis Bakke’s Joy At Work (the we can fix this, hopeful part).

A big thank you to Anita Campbell for the sole trackback sent to me for it;
On the Lessening of the American Work Ethic

Which in turn introduced me to Dawn Rivers Baker, who added;
Provoked thoughts on work in America. Mahalo Dawn for adding to the discussion!

Call them renegade citizen publishers if you wish to (the rebel in me kinda likes that), I believe that bloggers have important things to say, and I have the highest degree of respect for the thoughtful writing of these authors within our Ho‘ohana Community. I am sure you will agree.

My short excerpts simply give you a preview; Click to each blog for both the complete posting (remember how rich the comments can be!) and for the full blog’s design and archives —treat yourself to the full experience!

Grab pen and paper, or open a new Word doc for notes as you read these gems. Trust me, you will want to be prepared. Shall we begin?

Continue Reading

2006 Talking Story Countdown!

I am two days away from hiatus! —remember Our Talking Story Ho Ho Ho is coming! ???


So at this very posting moment, I’m working on preparing tomorrow’s Hō‘ike‘ike!

As we have come to expect from our Ho‘ohana Community, the contributions are fantastic ”“ wait ‘til you see!

Meanwhile, here are some other things you can click in to today;

My Thursday article for Lifehack.org is about how you influence the customer service you receive; The Smiling Customer is You!

The story I tell there is very fresh; another connection was successfully made on my flight yesterday from the Big Island to O‘ahu. Felt so great :-)

Dwayne Melancon had written a terrific article about preparing well when we have negotiations to do: Prepare to negotiate. I’d commented for him;

This is a terrific post Dwayne, thank you for the thought you put into it for us. We offer some pointers on negotiating for win-win agreements within our Managing with Aloha class on Lōkahi, (harmony and unity, and considered the Hawaiian value of teamwork) and what you’ve offered here will help me polish up my coaching notes!
Do you have any specific advice to offer after the fact, i.e. with follow-up?

Dwayne answered my comment with a whole ‘nother post today, called When the dealin’s done, and the combination of his two articles are definitely keepers you should be tagging.

Another kind of tagging; the most recent responses to our game of blog tag this month has come from Wayne Turmel ”“ and it is pure Wayne! Read it and chuckle along as I did: Ouch, I’ve been tagged.

Did you miss any of our other taggee delights? I’ll keep updating the list here: Sunday Review 2: Trackbacks Rule.

By the way, you have all taken the hint very graciously … mahalo for all the trackbacks which have come in since then!

How is your gift shopping coming along? If you are preparing for another trip to the mall, Karen Wallace has wonderfully beefed up some advice I’d offered from my own experience with gift selection in Victim to the Gift Scramble ”“ again!

Karen has written, Finding meaning in giving gifts, and I would venture to guess that those who get a gift from Karen this holiday will be very pleased indeed.

1. Then, I’ll see you back here tomorrow for Hō‘ike‘ike ”“ don’t forget!

An Author’s Perfect Gift

Yesterday I promised to tell you the story of Traveling MWA.

Ever since my book, Managing with Aloha was published in November of 2004, there has been one gift which delights me like no other, and it has been my enormous blessing to receive it several times since then.

My gift is to see my dog-eared book in the hands of a reader who has tabbed it, highlighted it, and marked it up in the way I intended it to be used. I want MWA to be that friendly reference a manager can turn to in the times they need to trust in themselves, and their capacity for being ever better. When they open it up ”“ yet again ”“ I hope that they see my words happily mingled with their own, our thinking blended into mana‘o kākou, collaborative thought.

So deep was this wish of mine for marked up books that I incorporated it into the design. I insisted on a hardcover that would stand the test of time, and three printings later I still resist the cost engineering of a soft-cover edition. The paper binding inside may give way, but those hardcovers will sandwich the insides no matter what shape they turn to, with a nice thick rubber band or length of ribbon keeping it all together. I chose the paper specifically from samples I had riddled with all variety of pens to find the one type that would bleed ink the least and dry the fastest. I instructed my copysetter to be sure that the outer margins were twice as wide as the inner ones to increase the reader’s blank canvas even more. Then, I wasn’t shy about stating my hopes outright in a section of Managing with Aloha’s Introduction called, “How to read this book;”

“There is usually a blank space at the end of each chapter to entice you to write down your thoughts, and more blank pages at the back. I strongly encourage you to mark up this book, allowing it to be a canvas for your own self-expression. In so many ways, management is a hands-on, personal love affair. My suggestion is that you write your first reactions in the margins of the text itself as different values and their concepts speak to you. Use the blank page to write down what you will do; spell out the action steps you will take to put the lessons of Managing with Aloha into practice. It’s an unlined page so you can draw pictures, design whiteboard lessons of your own, or log promises you’ve made to yourself. Pencil in a windowpane grid and design a storyboard for the future you will create. If you are one of those people who has never marked up a book and just can’t bring yourself to do it, that blank page is a terrific slate for post-it notes. Whatever style you choose to write down your thoughts, Ho‘ohiki: keep those promises you make to yourself, for everything will start or end with you.”

All of this careful planning was about a year before I discovered my first blog, Scott Hodge’s .:WeEbleLaNd:. Little did I know, or barely even imagine, that these online wonder people called bloggers would one day send a copy of Managing with Aloha back into my hands that took my version of “marking up” to a heavenly state of nirvana.

They called it The Traveling MWA

Early in 2005 I sent Dave Rothacker, author of Rothacker Reviews, a copy of Managing with Aloha as a gift, for he had become a cherished friend to me as blog comments grew into email conversations and then into phone calls. Dave bought more copies for friends, and as I packed his box I could see that one more book would fit inside perfectly, keeping the whole from moving too much in shipping, so I added it in as another gift he could give.

That was only the first 4,600+ miles the book would travel.

As I sealed the box, the book would begin the first of thirty one trips to nineteen different states across the USA. In between were stops in Canada, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Those were the homes of the first thirty-four bloggers of the Ho‘ohana Community. Dave, with Stacy Brice of Virtualosophy & AssistU as his very willing accomplice, had decided that a properly marked up MWA at the hands of the Ho‘ohana Community would be a good Christmas gift for me. A private Google Group was started to track the book’s progress, password protected so that any ego-surfing I’d do wouldn’t allow me in, and the surprise would be kept intact.

At one point, I discovered a Flickr page of Todd and Terry Storch, but knowing that Todd had my book I didn’t think too much of it.


“Picture of me (Todd is on the left) and my brother Terry (on the right) holding Rosa Say’s book, Managing with Aloha. You can check out Rosa’s blog at www.sayleadershipcoaching.com/talkingstory/”

But poor Dave! I later read this on the Google Group:

“I almost choked when I saw the picture of Terry and Todd at Talking
Story…holding Rosa’s book!   I thought Rosa had infiltrated our
project.   LOL!!
The pressure and anticipation is driving me nuts.   It is all good!”

Traveling MWA didn’t make it back to Hawaii for Christmas, but it was far better than Christmas for me when it did, lovingly wrapped and hand-delivered by Dr. Beth Robinson of the Malihini Journal. It had fallen apart at the binding, but I cannot imagine owning a more perfect book. I open it up often, and I lightly touch my fingers to the words my HOC ‘Ohana had written for me with the most profound outpouring of aloha one can experience, and I think to myself that an author couldn’t possibly be more fortunate, or a person more loved. As I first wrote in part, when finally let into the Google Group back in January;

There is something extraordinary about seeing everyone’s
handwriting after all the conversing we do via our keyboards. Your
personalities truly do come through in your penmanship! Every time I
pick the book up -which has been near constantly today- I cannot
resist running my fingers over the ink, as if I were touching your
faces, your hearts.

—Then there’s the way in which you contained your thoughts so
neatly, to keep enough room for everyone within the front and back
covers; you had such respect for each other!

—I have been so moved by the bookmarkers you included, and the
passages within the book you took care to mark, letting me know they
were your favorites or meant something to you. No author could possibly
ask for more acknowledgement that their final draft somehow was good

—I look at your pictures on frappr, I go back to hugging the book
against my heart, and I long to hug you all.

And what you have all gone through to coordinate this! The
turn-arounds, the concern and worry, those dollars lovingly spent at
the post office and in global mail … 178 emails Adrian? Auwe! I have
imagined the meet-ups that happened and smile, and I promise you: more
will come.

This is a story of aloha that will go in my next book.

But more importantly, it is a story of aloha that will influence my
life forevermore” the aloha spirit you had captured for me within these covers keeps radiating and inspiring me to be better than I am, for you.

It was, and still is, the perfect gift.

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