Learning and Weaving: The absorption benefit of your Personal Philosophy


You see, hear, and read a lot each day.
You discover goodness, and learn all sorts of things.
And if that’s not enough, you share in what I write about here, or find and clip on Ho‘ohana Aloha.
How do you apply what’s most useful to you and retain it?

I’ll ask the question in another way: What is the Personal Philosophy you weave it into?


As a Talking Story reader, you know that my weave is Managing with Aloha, the value-verbing philosophy I’ve based on 19 values and 9 key concepts. Managing with Aloha has been an extraordinary gift in my life, serving me in several ways. I don’t pretend nor profess it to be the ‘be-all and end-all‘ — in fact, it’s somewhat the opposite: What it does for me, is absorb additional learning so I can quickly use it and retain it.

Here is an example of how I did this yesterday, as my commentary on The Five Universal Themes of Business as compiled by Todd Sattersten:

1. Clarity of Purpose:
MWA Key 3 – Value Alignment, and
Key 8 – Sense of Place

2. Wisdom in Decision Making:
MWA ӬKey 3 РValue Alignment, and
Key 9 – Palena ‘ole (Growing within your full capacity)

3. Bias for Action:
MWA Key 2 – Ho‘ohana (worthwhile, intentional work), and
Key 7 – Strengths Management

4. Openness to Change:
MWA Key 4 – Role of the Manager, reconstructed, and
Key 6 – ‘Ohana in Business (strategic form/function)

5. Giving and Getting Feedback:
MWA ӬKey 1 РAloha (as the foundational rootstock it is), and
Key 5 – Language of Intention (our communication key)

Creating a culture is creative, romantic, dreamy. But then you’ve got to give it teeth, and get it to actually happen. Third, you have to Ho‘omau, and persist in stewarding that culture so it will sustain itself and live beyond you or any single manager.

You can use MWA in this way too if you wish, or you could use another philosophy: Before Managing with Aloha came together for me, I used Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for nearly a decade, a philosophy which I would discover he’d based on the timeless principle called the Law of the Harvest:

We tend to reap what we sow.   “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes.

Scout Orchid

Usefulness is about Fit

When you learn something new, and you want to keep it close, and make it optimally useful to you, ask yourself, “Where does this fit in my personal philosophy?”

Ask, “How could this grow me?”

Push your thinking toward the value alignment (or concept alignment) that is evolving into what you truly believe, and increasingly will stand for.

Focus on your Deliberate Inputs. Don’t be too quick to move on and gather more. Dwell on what you just learned, and take more time to savor it. Think on it more deeply, and question it. Discard the clutter, and weave in the keepers. Take action in some way to satisfy your sense of urgency. (This is a good suggestion: Recreate whatever inspires you.)

One glorious day you’ll have Ka lā hiki ola, that ‘dawning of a new day’ where you realize you have your very own version of Living, Working, Managing, and Leading with Aloha. It’s your brand and your Personal Philosophy. It’s become your weave, for you’ll never stop learning, and that’s a good thing.

Palena ‘ole

You have way more capacity than you’re aware of at this moment, whether physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. Weave it into tangible being.

Learning (the value of ‘Ike loa) is a fabulous thing; weave in your ‘loose ends’ and see what you can create.

Tab it and mark it up!

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. Purchase Managing with Aloha at Amazon.com in hardcover, or in the Kindle Store.

Talking Story with Rosa Say

Our Ka‘ana Like Law of the Harvest

Autumn is here, and October is a good month for reflecting on the Law of the Harvest: We tend to reap what we sow. “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes.

2009 has been a tough year for many. There is an opportunity for us with character-building this autumn. When we reflect on the Law of the Harvest, what is the habit we choose? Is our focus on the ‘reaping’ of what we have sown, or is it on the sharing?

Bitter Melon and Green Beans

When we think of harvest, most of us will imagine that Horn of Plenty: We think of abundance, and crops which a single family cannot possibly consume on their own. In old Hawai‘i the ahupua‘a system of land management (covering the island reach from land to sea) promoted sharing in a very common sense way: When fishermen and farmers combined their efforts everyone ate more variety and were better nourished.

But what happens when there has been a year where crops do not thrive as well, or the nets do not fill as they used to?

People get resourceful; that’s what happens.

We think about what we have, and not what we don’t.
(Here is a beautiful example, written by Joanna Young.)

Just as a fisherman will find a new place to cast his net, or a farmer will begin to rotate his crops, we of today’s Hawai‘i will find those ways in which we can try something new. We will reinvent. We will open our arms wider and invite others to join our teams (including those in our global neighborhoods). We will open our minds more, and consider possibilities we haven’t thought of before.

I know you will be creative and resourceful. My urging to you this month is this: Do not stop at the inventories you take, and at the reaping you do within your own backyard, or within the confines of your own family.

Challenge yourself to share the way that the best harvests are always shared: throughout community.

The harvests of autumn always lead to Thanksgiving; to Mahalo, and being grateful for all the elements which make our lives so precious to us. Count your ability to share whatever you have among the blessings you will be grateful for.

Kalo $2 - $7

Our sharing is the true worth of the harvest

Though they did not refer to the phrase by its English conventions, our kÅ«puna (elders) taught the Law of the Harvest to me as “Ka‘ana like.” [like is pronounced lee-kay]. The phrase means to share or to divide if you try to translate it literally, but in their kaona, or hidden meaning, they meant, “we have shared in the work, now let us share in the joy it gives us.” It is less than joyful to reap without sharing: Otherwise, “Why bother?” they would ask.

Imagine the way this can come full circle: Sowing crops happens in a continuous cycle. We can sow our sharing as seeds of good intention we plant within our families, our teams, and our communities no matter how tough times have been. Fertile soil and ample fishing grounds can always be discovered when we look for them. Find them in the sharing you do this October; you will reap the joy.

Let’s try to reword that maxim a bit: This can be our Ka‘ana Like Law of the Harvest, knowing that yes, we do tend to reap what we sow. How does this sound?

“Sow a thought to share, reap an action by giving;
sow that action, reap a habit of ‘Ohana, community;
sow that habit, reap a character of abundance;
sow that character of plenty, reap a destiny of joy.”

Organically Grown

My mana‘o [The Backstory of this posting]
This is the need for our Ka‘ana Like sharing which weighs most heavily on my mind right now: Share your Sense of [Work] Place. It is where we must “open our minds more, and consider possibilities we haven’t thought of before.”

Here are two stories of how the need plays out each day, and they are magnifying in a looming crisis: Hibernation 2009. What can you do to help?

I know you have the answers we need, and I am ever-confident that We Learn Best from Other People. Speak up, (Don’t get New Ideas caught in the ASA Trap!) for It is Time for Your Alaka‘i Abundance.