Ka la hiki ola: It’s a brand new day for Managing with Aloha

Aloha friends, I have an exciting announcement to share with you!

We’ve been working on a brand new site platform for ManagingWithAloha.com and you are invited to join us there! Click in to take a look, and select your new subscription preference: RSS or Email, for all my new articles will be posted there.

Why the change?

There are a couple of reasons. Some are due to technology: In recent years ManagingWithAloha.com was primarily used as a purchase page for the book, and as private portal for clients I was working with directly, and Talking Story became the beneficiary of my publicly published writing. Our m.o. at Ho‘ohana Publishing was to spin off my other projects onto separate, dedicated sites of their own (you may recall time we’ve shared on Joyful Jubilant Learning and Teaching with Aloha.)

Platform advances, and progress in my own learning about them (‘Ike loa in action!) enable me to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time now: Consolidate my online efforts into the one place it’s always radiated from, and always will — Managing with Aloha as our philosophical rootstock and fertile ground; our Mālamalama.

The biggest reason I’ve wanted to consolidate AT Managing with Aloha is that it’s my full-time “sensibility” and most passionate work: It’s my Ho‘ohana, that sweet spot I will constantly encourage you to grab for yourself too. When I practice Nānā i ke kumu, and “look to [my] source” I always find MWA there to guide me. Talking Story is there too, but within the much larger whole, for Talking Story is essentially our “Language of We.”

My strategic planning had to catch up with my learning, and I feel it has, thus my excitement! Upcoming plans for ManagingWithAloha.com include bringing back our Value of the Month program (a brand new version!) and Ruzuku Coaching for The Daily 5 Minutes (and other Say Leadership Coaching programs) before the year is over.

Remember An Aloha Business for 2012?

All of this has to do with mine, and my own workplace ‘Ohana in Business:

  • STEP 1: Allow your people to design their own work schedules, both where and when, and how much.
  • STEP 2: Value-align your Customer Service with a value-mapping 12×12.
  • STEP 3: Realign your own Ho‘ohana as an Alaka‘i Manager.

I never ask you to do anything I am not doing myself.

Please update your subscription

Please take a moment to subscribe to Managing with Aloha now; I would be so honored by your decision to remain an active participant of MWA’s Ho‘ohana Community — that’s who you have always been to me here on Talking Story. Managing with Aloha will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2014, and we have already made plans for something momentous to celebrate — all of this is part of the work we’re doing to prepare well and imua; move forward with renewed energies and a compelling vision.

Here are the direct links again: Your choices are RSS (for your preferred Reader) and/or Email (my suggestion for Alaka‘i Managers who print or forward, to share my articles in their ‘Ohana in Business huddles).

You know me, I love the interwebs. However I can very confidently say that this will be the last home-base subscription bounce I ask you to make. ManagingWithAloha.com will be the parent to my business entities, and even to RosaSay.com.

I have much more work to do in populating ManagingWithAloha.com as the single-site Community Resource it will now be, but I’m confident you’ll agree we’ve made a great start in getting our primary Resource Pages in far, far better shape for you there!   The work there is my mission, however YOU are my reason: Your ‘Imi ola (best possible life within Aloha) is our shared vision.

The New Here? page I’ve included would be my first-visit recommendation: It offers defined reading pathways to help familiarize you with my sitemap design.

This site, TalkingStory.org will remain online for an indefinite time so you can find your old favorites should you wish to refer to them. I say “indefinite” because it will eventually be retired as edits of fresher relevance appear at Managing with Aloha going forward.

Mahalo nui loa

Thank you so very much for all the wonderful time we’ve shared here at Talking Story. See you at Managing with Aloha!

Ka lā hiki ola: It’s the dawning of a brand new day.

We ho‘ohana kākou: We work with Aloha together.

With my Aloha,
~ Rosa Say

An update which may interest you as well:

Talking Story is Thriving. It’s What We Do.

Managing with Aloha

Lead with Compassion, then Manage for Competence

Lead with Compassion

The message I have for those in HR and all managers who are now able to hire, is to interview with fewer shortcuts and with more compassion.

For instance, I understand how online applications save time and help in screening, but those who use them are losing sight of basic etiquette: There is a real person behind each application, and candidates are craving more Aloha in what has become a faceless process. It is appalling that the majority of those who apply online never receive any human response, not even a thank you for applying.

Then there’s all the hidden talent that slick digital screening keeps unknown: Employers are missing out too, because they aren’t looking hard enough. They make a rookie mistake, in assuming that the right info is appearing on their online application in the first place. Bad assumption: Even if you ask the right questions, there’s no guarantee that you get the right answers — even from the perfect candidate.

Leading with compassion in this process then, is about leading with empathy, with open-mindedness, and with smarts. Leading with compassion is having a positive expectancy about the innate good in all people: It’s there, waiting for you to tap into it, and place it well.

However compassion alone is never enough.

Strength and Delicacy Combined

Manage for Competence

Let’s review our basic definitions of leading and managing as verbs connected to energy. Energy is the manager’s greatest resource: It’s the fuel which powers your production capacity, and creates all other business assets.

  • LEADERSHIP is the workplace discipline of creating energy connected to a meaningful vision.
  • MANAGEMENT is the workplace discipline of channeling that mission-critical energy into optimal production and usefulness.

Leading with compassion will recruit new energy. Your Aloha has made your company attractive to the best candidates.
Managing for competence will channel the energy of that new recruit you hire every day going forward.

Before an Alaka‘i Manager makes a job offer, they must think about how a candidate will fit in with the rest of their team. They want team players, sure, but they also want every single person in their workplace to be a star, exceptional at what they do.

The fact of the matter is this: Stars want to work with other stars. People want to believe that they are working with the best people in their field, and not with others who are second best.

In essence, Alaka‘i Managers will rightfully expect that their people re-apply for their jobs each and every day, applying for them by demonstrating their competence, their passion, their strengths, and their visionary thinking in the work they do. It is that expectation they give their support to as managers.

Managing with Aloha is not “going soft” with compassion alone. KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u (chapter 5): We want to excel each and every day:

“Excellence is never an accident: It is always intentional, and it always demands more than the norm. Be your best. Don’t settle for less, for there’s no honor and no reward in aiming lower than what you are capable of achieving. Once achieved, excellence has a way of permeating every aspect of what you do, and it affects everyone you touch in an organization, infecting those around you with zest and vitality.”
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u, the value of excellence, in Managing with Aloha

Compassionate hiring is smart, but it’s only the beginning.

Unfurling Hope

In the archives:

Your Managing with Aloha self-coaching:

I have categorized this post with 2 of our 9 Key Concepts: Can you answer why?

Trump those Old Rules with Your Values

Preface: If you are an Alaka‘i Manager learning the 9 Key Concepts of Managing with Aloha, this posting deals with several of them:

  • MWA Key 3: Value Alignment
  • MWA Key 4: Role of the Manager
  • MWA Key 6: ‘Ohana in Business
  • MWA Key 7: Strengths Management
  • MWA Key 8: Sense of Place
  • MWA Key 9: Unlimited Capacity

Old Rules, your days are numbered!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of one-on-one coaching lately. People are reaching out for help as they encounter the new world of work, and I’m happy to help as I can.

We always start with them describing their ‘new world’ for me, and I’m consistently amazed by how many old rules remain in play, erecting these obstacles that people struggle to understand. Thus, most of the coaching I offer has to do with managing up, and building better relationships with the people they feel are in charge, and in control at their workplace.

Our goal is always positive movement forward: We want to forge a better workplace partnership for them, and more often than not, the boss-employee relationship is the one we address.

Old rules are dispensed by old-thinking managers. By worn out, tired managers. By lazy and careless managers, and managers who are stick-in-the-mud stuck.

Surely those managers are not you!

If you are a manager, please stop for a moment’s self-reflection: Are there any old rules you’ve allowed into your workplace culture just because they’re convenient, historical, or worse, because you haven’t updated, replacing them with one of your own value-based rules?

A healthy workplace culture isn’t created by rules. It’s fostered by the managers who map out that culture’s movement with relevant values (e-book link), and then allow common sense to rule.

An old rule is a sacred cow which keeps fattening itself up in your pasture, lazily eating your resources and tromping through your meadowland, even though it won’t reciprocate in any way, and won’t contribute to the worthy cause of your business. It’s not a dairy cow, it’s not a beef cow, it’s not the father or mother of a hopeful generation. It’s a costly, expensive drain on the character and health of a place — a scar on your sense of place.

Used Cows for Sale

Alaka‘i Managers know they simply can’t afford sacred cows. Not now, not ever.

Sometimes, old rules are self-inflicted. People assume they have to follow them, when in fact, they don’t. No one else notices (no manager cares enough), and people continue down the wrong path. It’s a path paved with frustration, and one road block after another.

Issues define problems. People define potential.

Here’s an example.

In most organizations large enough to have different divisions, there’s been a long-standing old rule that “we don’t transfer problems.” It started with good intentions (most rules do) connected to keeping buck-passing out of the workplace with the culture-driven, value-aligned encouragement to own your problems, confront them head on, and solve them in a way that completely ferreted out any deeply rooted causes. If a problem or issue started with your division, chances are you remain closest to it; your team is likely the best team to address it.

Here’s where that old rule went wrong: We didn’t keep it focused on issues. We applied it to people who didn’t fit in the team or boss-subordinate equation for some reason, and it became an unspoken HR rule everyone towed the line with: ‘Problem people’ weren’t ever transferred either — and more often than not, they can be, and should be as a strategy of optimal workforce development; abundant choice is one of the advantages of larger organizations!

Misjudged people have become our good people souring in poor places, feeling hopelessly stuck or stereotyped. They never had a chance with finding their right fit and new lease on life elsewhere in the company — they were ignored or put out to pasture with progressive discipline, and their true strengths were never revealed. Their managers were tacitly allowed to dismiss them.

It’s been tragic, and still is, the number of times someone representing a wealth of experience and future potential is named a “problem child” because their manager fails to create a powerful partnership with them, and no one else will give them a chance. We are seeing how this old rule turned assumption keeps fresh talent out of hiring as well, because of the chronic dysfunction in the referral process: We still see scarlet letters on applicant chests, and fail to question the other people who put them there.

Coaches like me do a lot of Ho‘ohanohano work with giving people their dignity back: We have to convince them they aren’t broken, that they are strong and worthy, and they do have the talent, skills, and knowledge someone in their world is just chomping at the bit for. We get them to own it and bring it as a golden partnership ready to happen, and happen quickly: We help them define these things with useful and relevant clarity, so they can apply them with a positive outlook and renewed sense of optimism.

And not just coaches like me. That’s what ALL Alaka‘i Managers do.

“People catch their own weaknesses.
Your job, is to catch and encourage their strengths,
and those strengths aren’t usually clear.”
Failure isn’t cool. Neither is weakness

What other old rules are still roaming your workplace meadowland?

Beware of Invisible Cows

Question and freshen your rules constantly.

Rules can be good. For instance, I use them to clarify our managing and leading verbs, but if you use them, honor them in a Language of Intention. Be sure they’re YOUR rules and not assumptions you’ve allowed into the culture which were actually inherited from someone else’s intentions and values.