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 18, 2008, so we will be able to reference it in the future when the original url it had been published on is no more…
What is “Say Alaka‘i” all about?
Aloha mai kākou! I am happy to be here, joining the Honolulu Advertiser’s hui of bloggers to write for you twice each week on management and leadership, the action-packed disciplines which we in Hawai‘i collectively know as Alaka‘i. To start us off today, a bit about why I write and do the work I do, and why I am hoping you will read, talk story with me, and begin to Say “Alaka‘i”
Work and Energy: Learn more, get more
The good-to-great practices of management and leadership combine into the intentional work I love; I refer to them as my Ho‘ohana (purposeful work). It is an honor to be sharing what I know about these noble and empowering efforts with you, so that we can learn even more about them together. We can BE even more: Our professional work can become what we think of as our personal worth in serving others well, for these are service disciplines, services we give our fellow human beings.
You’ll discover that ‘Ike loa (the Hawaiian value of seeking knowledge and wisdom) is a core value for me, one I will often rely on to help us. Our continuous learning is important so we can achieve the greatness we are capable of:
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.
This creation and channeling of work-connected energy is something you can do for yourself; management and leadership isn’t only imposed upon you —unless that’s all you choose.
You’re the manager, and you’re the leader. Yes, you
Whatever job you now are in, whether you have an employer or are self-employed, work for hire or volunteer, chances are that you are managing and leading to some degree every day. We must self-manage our behavior, and we self-lead well first, for doing so best comes before we can have any degree of credibility or success with these disciplines managing and leading others. Further, I want to help you learn to do so eagerly recognizing the rewards that managing and leading deliver: I believe we need more management and leadership, and not less.
My approach here will be to treat management and leadership as specific actions and energy creators, not jobs, titles or positions on an organizational chart, for I think to do so would be far too boring and limiting — we can have more than that. We need more than that.
For those who may already be familiar with my writing, the workplace philosophy I call Managing with Aloha presents the case of management as a calling and a profound responsibility. However we’ll challenge my own MWA insistence about that within this blog, for I do believe that everyone can be a manager and everyone can be a leader IF they choose to be, and IF they have good intentions within their motivations.
The beliefs of a calling can be learned, accepted and internalized; we do so by aligning them with our values. The resulting opportunity appears everywhere, and it can be seized. Yet make no mistake about it; the responsibilities of the management and leadership callings remain profound ones. We’ll talk about that too.
I have a mission with writing here. What is yours in the reading?
My personal mission is to reinvent the very nature of work as we know it, for our time devoted to work (hana) consumes so much of our lives. To simply punch a clock and go through the motions of a routine day is such a waste; far better to make every effort an intentional and purposeful effort. Apathy, boredom and mediocrity have no place in a fulfilling and energetic life. You were meant for better.
Now I’m no Pollyanna; there are two sides to this picture aren’t there. We know that management and leadership can be really good, or they can be really bad. I’ll bet you have personal experiences to offer up in evidence of either case. Unfortunately, the bad and downright ugly can tip the balance scales way too often. Say “Alaka‘i” will seek to change that, tipping them the other way of the good.
Management and leadership are disciplines: Like so much else in life, the critical variable is the human element— it’s us. We’re both the good news and the bad news, for the disciplines of management and leadership are like lumps of clay in our hands: What will we shape them to be, and why?
And what about that thing we call ‘worth?’ Will our results simply be documented and archived away in a binder on a shelf, or will they become part of our ongoing work culture, banishing mediocrity forever? Will they be our history, or will they be our ever-evolving story, with the greatest chapters still to be written, and the book a resource never closed? Can our worthwhile work today become our greatest legacy tomorrow? Where does the ‘in-service’ part come in?
Say “Alaka‘i” and talk to me!
Exploring those questions will be what I write about here, and I will be asking you to talk back and not just read. I am hoping that Say “Alaka‘i” will become a dialogue between us; a place we talk story about what management and leadership can deliver to us in Hawai‘i when they are done right. I am exceptionally grateful to the Honolulu Advertiser for giving us this forum of positive expectancy.
We have incredible sense of place to draw from. As I wrote in my book, and speak about constantly to spread the message best I can, I believe that Hawai‘i is optimally suited to lead the world in modeling values-centered work, I truly do, for we live with something good and right by its very nature: Aloha. How incredibly blessed we are to have Aloha as the rootstock of all our values, all our strengths, and all our collective mana‘o (beliefs and convictions). Aloha constantly challenges us to be better.
Ho‘ohana Kākou: It takes all of us to reap the good and make it better; will you join me?
There may be a third day of posting for Say “Alaka‘i”
I say there may be because a third day, Sunday, will depend on you.
I will blog here each Tuesday and Thursday. We will add Sunday as the day I respond in more detail to any dialogue we’ve started in the comment boxes, or I can answer specific questions you write in about, so email me at any time. BE Alaka‘i to start, by leading me to the writing you feel you will benefit from the most.
Mahalo for reading today, and I hope to welcome you here often.
Say “Alaka‘i” and we will Ho‘ohana together.
Start our talk-story today!
Leave me a comment and share your aloha, would you? What are your questions about management and leadership? Give me your expectations; what are you hoping I will write about?