Ho‘ohana: Redefine ‘work’ to make it yours

Quick catch-up: We’ve been talking story about job creation, about how Alaka‘i Managers can affect jobs, and about gainful employment:

Important question: Why is the value of Ho‘ohana the qualifier?

There are two reasons; two big ways to expand our learning about the possibilities before us.

First, Ho‘ohana is about work. I believe that our tackling JOBS, whether to sustain, reinvent, or newly create them, is best done with an approach which explores, which questions, and which celebrates WORK.

Second, Ho‘ohana calls for personal ownership in our actions. When we think about Ho‘ohana it helps us redefine the word ‘work’ in a personal, “what’s in it for me?” way — a good, self-motivational way. We give ourselves a gift that we can soon give to others in how we serve people as Alaka‘i Managers.
[Archive Aloha: “What’s in it for me?” is a Self-Leadership Question]

Walking our own talk is always a great place to start: We need to be “Job One” in our efforts. Thereafter, you can take the approach of enhanced value alignment [MWA Key 3] when you, as the Alaka‘i Manager, bring Ho‘ohana to your company. You could choose ‘Imi ola to flesh it out with vision and mission. You could choose Mālama to weave in the initiatives of ‘Ohana and community stewardship. There is likely a connective possibility with each and every value held dear by your own organization.

HANA: The Hawaiian word for work
HO‘O: To make something happen

Ho‘ohana means to make work happen in an intentional manner, and thus, it’s a highly desirable way: It’s work that you value. Why would you work on something you don’t want?

Took this photo at the Mauna Lani resort, and I like thinking about Ho‘ohana this way: It gets you to stop, and assess which direction your work has you headed toward. Are you working to get to where you you want to go?

And why hana alone? If you’re going to devote your time and energy to the work which is job worthy, or career worthy, or legacy worthy, you can be sure there will be good times and rough times blended in that effort: that’s just how worthy achievements usually happen. To just hana is a drag, it’s that 4-letter ‘hard’—ness that working can get saddled with.

On the other hand, to ho‘o and make something happen becomes new, exploratory and creative. Ho‘ohana is thrilling. It taps into personal purpose, personal passion, and personal intention.

If we are in a time where so many are finding they must newly create the work they are doing —and we ARE in that kind of time!— let’s get it to be the work of Ho‘ohana intention. Why bother with anything else?

Aloha makes it even more personal

If I were asked to choose one and only one value that is representative of the entire Managing with Aloha mission it would be Ho‘ohana, second only to the value of Aloha itself.

MY MANA‘O (what I believe to be true) ~ ~ ~

ALOHA is about you living with authenticity in a world populated with other people. We human beings were not meant to live alone, we thrive in each other’s company. Aloha celebrates everything that makes you YOU, while you take part in our shared humanity. Aloha moves you when you give in to your in-Aloha spirit: It moves you to live from the inside out.

HO‘OHANA is about you making your living in our world in the way that gives you daily direction and intention. Ho‘ohana leaves you with a feeling of personal fulfilment every day —not just when you have accomplished large goals. You make deliberate choices happen in small ways daily that add up to bigger achievements over time while adding constant work quality to your life.

Thus Ho‘ohana is not about career in the conventional way we’ve thought about it. Ho‘ohana is about best-possible livelihood. Working with Aloha becomes Living with Aloha too.

When a person chooses to incorporate the values of Aloha and Ho‘ohana into their working lives, there is no more “going through the motions,” no more “paying my dues” or “earning my stripes,” and no more “biding my time.” There is only deliberate, intentional, purposeful work, where all your attentions are focused on that work, whatever it may be. Your ATTENTION gets connected to your work INTENTION —even if it is work which is currently temporary for you.

You no longer call it work. You call it “my Ho‘ohana.”

Would you say that about your work now?

Would you call it “my Ho‘ohana” and have those words capture your essence of intentional work well done?

If you have any hesitation at all, asking yourself, Why not? and identifying any gaps is probably a great place to start. Begin to take notice of where your attentions might be getting pulled to instead.

Redefine the word ‘work’ and make it yours. Own it in a personal way. You can give yourself no greater gift, for you are likely to be working in some shape or form for a very long time to come. To Ho‘ohana your work is to enjoy it, and then arrive at that glorious day —one of many more to come— when you celebrate it.