Musical Managemeant: Adele 101 for Managers

[Not a typo. Read about managemeant here: What’s the meant in Management?]

“I don’t think anybody who’s vaguely conscious has not heard Adele’s songs.”
— Anderson Cooper (Video Clip)

Well Mr. Cooper, that would be me!

I’m what my family calls musically challenged. I appreciate good music when I happen to hear it, and I love to dance, but my music interests aren’t really enough to articulate; they’re sort of a mild, disengaged background awareness at best. I don’t have any playlists in my iTunes library; just podcasts and audio books. I played the piano when I was younger, and I can still do so by reading sheet music, but I never had an ear for it; there didn’t seem to be any talent inside me to uncover and develop. What I’ve always loved and preferred, is soothing quiet, and the natural sounds of my Hawaiian outdoors. Luckily for me, I’ve had other talents which thrive in the quiet.

So as unbelievable as it may sound to some of you, I just learned about Adele Adkins’ story this past Sunday. And not from watching the Grammy Awards, but by catching a commercial about her 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, and then Googling “Rolling in the Deep” on YouTube for the aha moment of recognition; “Oh yeah, okay, I think I’ve heard this somewhere before””

I caught up quickly, for much has been in the media about her winning that prestigious Grammy trifecta of record, song and album of the year, and of 2012’s Grammy night as her comeback arrival from vocal cord surgery. What I’m mostly hearing, is about her story, and how her music poured out of the heartbreak of a failed relationship, one she can now look back on and be happy that it wasn’t meant to be; she has a new love, and she says it’s a much, much better one for her.

And Adele is extremely likeable, relatable. As Anderson Cooper gushed;

“What makes Adele’s success so extraordinary is that she’s unlike most other contemporary female pop singers. She doesn’t have runway model looks, doesn’t dress provocatively, and has no gimmicks added to her music.”

It’s all about her story is something I keep hearing about her, over and over again, and that her songs are so intensely personal to her. It’s easy for her fans to make those songs personal to them too.

That’s always the ‘it factor’ isn’t it. Whether for music or for science, for most anything work-worthy and meaningful, it has to be intensely personal. I doubt that Adele Adkins would call her writing, her music, and her singing her ‘job.’ We don’t hear her music as much as we receive it, and make it our own.

This goes for management too. Especially for managemeant. Pretty simple, really. If you want to manage better, you’ve got to make it personal.

Do you know what truly defines an Alaka‘i Manager? Not knowing everything or most everything about Managing with Aloha, but standing for something in the workplace culture you want to Mālama, and be a fiercely courageous steward of. Value alignment and Ho‘ohana managemeant has got to be intensely personal for you.

Like Adele, standing for the good-health breakthroughs in your workplace culture will make you different, and very, very likeable. It will make you successful. You will be a manager like no other. You will be the boss everyone wants to work for.

Adele isn’t the only one with a self-management story, you have one too. Call it your own Adele-ity if you want to, but do identify your own calling. Be willing to shout it from the rooftops, and sing about it in your own way, and like Adele, know that no gimmicks are necessary. You’ve got your Aloha.

Aloha! Just joining us?

Talking Story is the blog home of those who are learning to be Alaka‘i Managers — those committed to managing and leading with Aloha. Read a preview of the book which inspired this movement, and visit our About Page.

Talking Story with Rosa Say