Who leads? You do. In the Sweet Spot

The trouble with “all or nothing” is that it is often too intimidating to choose all, making it much too easy to choose nothing.

Reality is, most of our naturally occurring choices fall in between the two, and their outcome would significantly improve if they became choices which were more conscious and intentional. ‘In between’ all or nothing can be a very good place to be.

In fact, ‘in between’ is where you find the Sweet Spot.

Leadership is a perfect example.

We get too awestruck when we think about leaders. It’s another reason I prefer saying we’re all managers seeking to both manage and lead.

Say “Leader” and most of us think about charismatic dynamos who are a bit larger than life, giving speeches and leading hordes of people, and we don’t relate to them that well, thinking, “Well, all the power to ‘em, but that’s just not me.”

Sweet Spot

You’re wrong. Leading is you.

When you really think about it, there is a tenacious degree of self-leadership required in just getting out of bed each morning and intentionally making your way through your day.

There is a influential degree of leadership at play, when you state an opinion about something or take a stand, and lo and behold, another person agrees with you. You’ve opened their eyes to something they did not see, you’ve helped them hear about something which had previously escaped them, or you made them feel a stirring which ended up moving them to action.

That’s huge.

And you know what? You may have achieved that magnificent feat in something as simple as a good conversation. You did all that without the extra baggage that comes with being up on the top in Charismatic Leader Land, being politically correct for mobs of people (and wasting an awful lot of time in the process).

Today, and for the rest of this week, look for your Sweet Spot.

Identify it (‘Imi ola: Seek your best possible life).
Appreciate it (live within the value of Mahalo).
Get comfortable with it (Nānā i ke kumu, look to your source).
Then get more intentional about it (Attach it to your Ho‘ohana).

Here is a reminder to save you a click:

Ho‘ohana is Your Intentional Work

From: I want a Labor Day about Ho‘ohana.

To the Alaka‘i manager, Ho‘ohana is why managers matter, and both managing and leading matters.

Work can and should be a time where you are working to bring meaning, fulfillment and fun to the life you lead.
Ho‘ohana. Work with intent, work with purpose.
Managers do this for themselves, and they do this for those they manage.
When managers pair employees with meaningful and worthwhile work that is satisfying for them, they will find these employees work with true intention, in sync with the goals of the business.
Be one of those managers.

~ From Chapter Two in Managing with Aloha,
Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

You can read the full chapter here, a page on our dedicated site for the Ho‘ohana Community.

No doubt about it. Ho‘ohana happens best in sweet spots, the ones between all or nothing.

(I didn’t talk much about nothing because it isn’t an option worth the consideration” Nothing has nothing to do with Alaka‘i, whereas having it all just might… “What’s in it for me?” is a Self-Leadership Question.)

Here is another one from the archives, one of my most popular e.v.e.r.:
Twelve Rules for Self-Leadership with a LOT of Sweet Spot possibilities and in-between places.

Welcome to the Ho‘ohana CommunityMy mana‘o [The Backstory of this posting]
Each Tuesday I write a leadership posting for Say “Alaka‘i” at The Honolulu Advertiser. The edition here on Talking Story is revised with internally directed links, and I can take a few more editorial liberties. What will not change? That we talk story! Self-leadership is very much on my mind these days due to these Alaka‘i initiatives:

  1. October’s Ho‘ohana: Sweet Closure, and
  2. I can’t let this one go: A Sense of Workplace Call to Action


  1. Guilt-Free Self-Leadership: 12 Possibilities…

    Had a conversation yesterday with a work team who had tackled the Sweet Closure initiative with us in October. Not only did they tackle it, they nailed it.
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