2010 Update: I made the decision to bring Say “Alaka‘i” here to Talking Story in late May of 2010 when the Honolulu Advertiser, where the blog previously appeared, was merged with the Star Bulletin (Read more at Say “Alaka‘i” is Returning to the Mothership).
Therefore, the post appearing below is a copy of the one which had originally appeared there on November 27, 2008, so we will be able to reference it in the future when the original url it had been published on is no more…
Our Thanksgiving Day Management Mahalo
It could not be any more perfect than this: My first post here intended to begin populating the category we will call “Alaka‘i Management” is on Thanksgiving Day. Wonderful!
I made this statement a few posts back:
My Mana‘o (what I believe to be true)
I believe that great leadership creates positive energy, and that great management channels that energy into the best possible results, delivering healthy, meaningful and fulfilling work to people in the process.
Then I explained that one of my reasons for writing Say “Alaka‘i,” is that I want to help you learn more about the rewards both managing and leading deliver: I believe we need more management and leadership, and not less.
So let’s make this about YOU today, and about the people who are YOUR rewards.
What do you appreciate? Who are you grateful for?
If someone else considers you to be their manager in any way, this is a day to ask yourself if your delivery of “healthy, meaningful and fulfilling work” is being made in matters large and small; baby steps and big shifts.
No workplace is perfect, but today, reflect on anything and everything which is going right and not what might be going wrong —we’ll deal with that another time.
Today, think about what is good and right, and why. Think about what you are grateful for, and then think about the people who help you make work happen in wonderful ways. Think about WHO you are grateful for.
It could be they show up with complete dependability.
It could be they are responsibility-driven, meticulous and thorough.
It could be they listen well, intently even, asking questions.
It could be they smile constantly, and laugh easily.
It could be they volunteer their ideas, and quite courageously.
It could be they are resilient and patient, and don’t get discouraged easily.
It could be they are tenacious, and try harder when a mistake trips them up the first time.
It could be they are insatiably curious, seeking to learn and improve continually.
It could be they are great ambassadors, speaking well of everyone in your company, and everything about it.
It could be they have no entitlement mentality whatsoever; frankly, they earn their keep.
It could be they respect the customer and consistently treat them like royalty.
It could be they believe in you, and trust you. They put their faith in you.
I could add dozens more “it could be” possibilities to my list, but what is on yours? Your work is probably different than mine in significant ways: What are the characteristics of good work done in great ways that you genuinely are thankful for?
Then, ask yourself this question:
“When did I last say thank you to those who do even one of these things for me, where they knew the words weren’t just polite, but I really meant it?”
We managers need to sincerely say “thank you” often. Speak of your appreciation and it will soften the tone of your voice, giving it richness, yet humility and integrity.
People need to hear it from you: Say, “Mahalo nui loa,” and add why you are saying it. What happened? What did you notice? What blew you away with how fantastic it was, how creative it turned out to be, or how perfectly timed?
Thanksgiving is the perfect time for Management Mahalo Day.
Beyond a beautifully compact word for “thank you,” Mahalo is the value of appreciation, of gratitude, and of thankfulness.
Mahalo means “thank you” and as a value Mahalo is appreciation and gratitude as a way of living. We live in thankfulness for the richness that makes life so precious at work and at home. Mahalo is the opposite of indifference and apathy, for it is the life perspective of giving thanks for what you have by using your gifts — and all of your gifts — in the best possible way.
—About Mahalo at Managing with Aloha
Living Mahalo is a life of living within awareness of our gifts. We relish those gifts. We celebrate them joyously. Mahalo is the value that gives us an attitude of gratitude, and the pleasure of awe and wonder.
When you are a manager, you get your best work done through other people; it’s as simple as that. Great management is about optimizing resources, and there may be no truer statement than that “our people are our greatest asset.” Any gratuitous lip service that statement ever gets is horribly unfortunate. It IS true as humanity-guaranteed potential; great managers who matter in a workplace make it a true statement in everyday occurrence.
This is a day to ask yourself just how true a statement “our people are our greatest asset” is in the way people feel about working together. Are they thankful they are able to work with you? Are they thankful for your company? Do they enjoy a sense of gratitude for each other while in your workplace? Do they feel their work is valued and appreciated?
Help me fill up these comment boxes today!
So let’s say a Thanksgiving Day Mahalo, shall we?
There are a lot of great relationships out there in our Hawai‘i nei, and beyond to wherever the internet helps us reach: There are working relationships where managers are immensely grateful for those who work with them, and where people are just as grateful for the person they are able to call their manager. Are you in one of those working relationships? Will you let us know about it?
Today, let’s use the comments of Say “Alaka‘i” to say mahalo to each other: How great would that be if your manager’s name shows up here, or if yours does!
Who are you thanking, and why do you appreciate what they do for you, or with you? Write them a note and let them know; for as I asked before; When did you last say mahalo to someone, and really mean it?
Now remember: Please don’t just go through the motions. People feel we mean it when they feel they have earned it. They did something good; something worth your noticing; something they understand to be valuable to you. You didn’t say “mahalo” or “thank you” just to say it, or because they had a turn come up, or to make yourself look like the bigger person; they caused your gratitude to happen.
Gratitude never disappoints. Gratitude graces; it can change everything.
Mahalo nui loa; thank you to all of you who now read Say “Alaka‘i.”
You make my work of writing here joyful; for you give me my hope and positive expectancy that these good works of management and leadership I call service disciplines are fully worth all the attention I give them. You make this worth every moment I invest in my own work; I write knowing you are there, and that we are in some way connected.
Me ke aloha e Thanksgiving maika‘i nui,
~ Rosa Say
First time here? You may want to visit, What is Say “Alaka‘i” all about?
Believe in the magic of gratitude: Gratitude never disappoints. Gratitude graces; it can change everything.