Aloha! Welcome to Talking Story in 2006.
I love January, it has always been one of my favorite months. There is definitely a chill in the air now during our Hawaiian nights, and it lends to the overall feeling of newness and crispness that January brings the New Year in with.
However in Hawaii, without a blanket of snow to bind Christmas and New Years together their mere week apart, the two holidays do remarkably look different. Not willing to see them brown, most people are very eager to take their Christmas trees down as soon as possible, for the pines we import to decorate do not last long at all, and so all the other lights and holiday trimmings come down with them. There is this unspoken agreement that we all will clean, allowing our own authentic Hawaiian sense of place to emerge again— and soon, for we prepare for a diverse mix of ethnically rich ways to begin the year. We jump to value and appreciate those differences that make us the melting pot we are, sharing the aloha which creates our unique identity each and every day.
All that “new” we are sweeping the cobwebs away for, is mostly long-standing traditional practices, whether Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Hawaiian or something else, and not that new at all.
Yet everything seems particularly fresh, most of all the spirit with which we bounce back into our life’s work, whatever that work may be, after we’ve cocooned somewhat in the wintry ending months of the past year. As Troy Worman of Orbit Now! had shared in “Happy Tuesday” a wonderful post about his first working day of 2006, if we are honest with ourselves, and release an inner voice welling up inside us, we actually are raring to go! Discarding the old and opening our arms and minds to the new is so very appealing. Universally and globally, January always serves to bring the New Year in with a fresh clean slate, and I love that it so effectively challenges us to shape up our own attitude first and foremost so we are worthy.
However I’ve found that I still feel so much gratitude and appreciation for 2005; it was truly a wonderful year for all of us here in the Ho‘ohana Community in a number of different ways. Our theme for the entire year had been to focus on The Reinvention of the Business Community, and we turned that focus on ourselves as a virtual learning community with magnificent results. The connections which were forged between many of us resulted in new friendships which will last for quite some time to come. I’m sure of it.
Therefore, I don’t want to be discarding the old at all. Our old was so, so good! I want to perpetuate it going forward. I want to build on it, strengthen it, and do whatever else I can so it will last. Thus, our Ho‘ohana for the month of January is Ho‘omau: Cause the good to last.
Already nine days into January, my encouragement to you is to spend this shorter Ho‘ohana month thinking about exactly how you will do that. Connect together your purpose, your intention, and your strategy into the actions of your new beginnings.
A brief sidebar here for those who may be new to Talking Story, on Ho‘ohana: For the rest of us, a review on the good we shall cause to last, and Ho‘omau with:
Ho‘ohana is a Hawaiian value which means to work on-purpose, with passion and with full intention. It is also the name of our on-purpose monthly focus here on Talking Story, our theme connected to worthwhile work, a vision we all share. We begin to talk about our Ho‘ohana on the first of every month (January is an exception) with a new coaching essay I write as our fire-starter.
Hopefully, our Ho‘ohana for the month stokes a fire which burns somewhere inside you, kindling whatever passion you may have for the topic, and inspiring you to be more on-purpose and intentional about your own work, and about all your passions. Small, separately burning inner fires, fanned by the breath of aloha within us, then become our community bonfire. Our bonfire gets fueled further the more our work is meaningful for us, and the more we invest in the relationships our varied connections have been forged on. Look carefully, listen perceptively, engage with us, and voila! You will feel connectivity happen both online and off; I guarantee it.
You are now a member of the Ho‘ohana Community.
Our Ho‘ohana Community has always been defined and identified as a learning community; we are always gathering keawe wood to burn (in Hawaii, keawe is the best kindling you can use for intensely blazing beach bonfires!) Our reputation as those who continually seek to learn as we work, is one we are quite proud of. It is our distinction of both personal and professional growth. Learning energizes us. It helps us gather the best keawe on the beach and across the oceans.
So back to January ”
Ho‘omau is the Hawaiian value in Managing with Aloha of persistence and perseverance. When we think of these words in their commonplace usage, we think of never giving up, and being strong, tenacious, disciplined and focused. We embrace our mistakes as we learn. We try, try, and try again. We may fall down, and it’s okay as long as we get up again. We “Fail Forward” as John Maxwell coaches. At times we may take two steps back, but that’s okay too, when it’s just to rev up for those three or even four steps which will then propel us forward with a burst of speed. We take charge and charge in there. We’re confident and we have the right attitude, working on getting it.
Hurrah! I am excited to go back to work tomorrow. There. Now I have said it twice. 2x. Perhaps I should do it just once more. The third time is a charm, you know.
I am excited about going back to work tomorrow! I really am. (The third time is a charm.)
Now you try it.
It’s the power of positive thinking at work. Persistence. Not working? Keep trying.
Your attitude depends on it.
It is true that Ho‘omau is all these things, however Ho‘omau is a value enriched with so much more meaning. It is also about perpetuating those good things you want to maintain, fortify, and keep your momentum with. At times it is about being selective and picky, and making deliberate decisions on what is worth keeping, and what should be discarded, whether for a better replacement, or just for more breathing room for what was kept. With more room, those cherished keepers will grow and develop more fully.
And that, is how I feel about our Ho‘ohana Community. We’ve discovered how to virtually come together so well in the way we have chosen to learn together. We feed off each other, nourishing and supporting each other. We value the differences among us, and we thrive in the common values we share. We have learned that we are much stronger together; we are better.
We have become a very cherished keeper.
And of this I am sure: There is much more in store for us.
In 2006, as your Mea Ho‘okipa, your hostess here on Talking Story, my intention is to strengthen our Ho‘ohana Community all year long with a monthly Ho‘ohana which returns to further exploration of the values of Managing with Aloha. Watch for more short book excerpts which have been expanded into longer coaching essays, for using them as our water wings, we are going to swim into deeper waters of clarity with new coaching essays which extend our study. Throughout it all, our words will be important, and I will speak often of our Language of Intention, and how we communicate with each other in ways which lead us to positive and proactive actions.
The way in which we communicate, via a shared vocabulary and language of intention, gives us even greater confidence as an ever-strengthened learning community. And let me clarify that my goal is not to teach you more Hawaiian, though you will probably learn more along the way —as most of you now know, I can’t help but use it in explaining my mana‘o (my deeply held beliefs and convictions) to you.
However in our Language of Intention, the language I am referring to is the language of work, and that language can be as universal as our values. For instance we will clarify our vocabulary between words like management and leadership, values and virtues, objectives and goals. As another great example of the importance of language chosen, consider how Dick Richards has recently taught us to understand the word genius as something we all have; something unique to us and quite extraordinary. Consider how helpful first Bren, and then Dwayne were with bringing mastery into our community vocabulary.
Those are my reflections on Ho‘omau. Now let’s turn back a moment to yours.
You may be among the many who have spent the first few days of this month making New Year’s Resolutions. If so, pull your list out again, and look at it through this lens of Ho‘omau:
What on that list helps you continue your journey with full appreciation of the steps you’ve already taken?
Which things will bring you joy, causing the good things in your life to last, and knowing that in your heart and soul, just the reading of them gives you a burst of energy or flash of inspiration?
What on your list may be new, but you had instinctively written it on your list because it is in fact a way for you to add and build on an innate strength you already have?
How will you Ho‘omau? It is about perpetuating the strengths and good things you want to maintain, fortify, and keep your momentum with.
I had noticed something in the later months of 2005. Despite our best efforts to come to Sweet Closure with our projects in October, many in our community still struggled with overload, bombarded by information we thought we wanted. After all, there is so much out there in cyberspace just free for the taking. We found we were torn between discernment and our natural zeal to learn, learn, learn. Some driftwood with shorter burning lives got mixed in with our keawe.
Yes, I collected some of it too. I was not immune from the overload either. It is definitely time to Ho‘omau.
This year, I will be calling upon our community to help us all focus back on core values and clarifying vision as our directional maps of inner-character discernment. Like this January edition of our Ho‘ohana, you will find my posts in 2006 are fewer but more focused, and they likely will be longer in the style of my coaching essays. I have resolved to not be part of the noise and clutter, and instead, to Ho‘omau in a way which will identify the good and cause it to last.
And remember, Kākou: we are all better and stronger together, and we need not do it alone. Great managers and leaders don’t do everything themselves. The prized gem of a like-minded community is that we can trust in each other. Therefore, to help stem the overwhelm we can divide and conquer effectively in our knowledge quests. Our Ho‘ohana Community forums were very popular in 2005 and for good reason: Synergy. This year I have five different forums planned; The three best are repeats, two are brand new, but they have a definite Ho‘omau connection to other past goods, so they can also go from good to great. Watch out for them and a forthcoming post about how you can participate, and invest in your own learning.
This is going to be a magnificent year of growth for us.
For now, I have one more announcement of a way I intend to help us all Ho‘omau as our cherished Ho‘ohana Community keeper.
This Wednesday, January 11th, I will unveil a new program for www.managingwithaloha.com which synchronizes with our monthly Ho‘ohana in a proactive way; Once the first of the following month arrives, those who have decided to enroll themselves in this new program will already have two weeks momentum to propel them forward. It will be called the MWA Jumpstart.
Like Ho‘ohana for Talking Story, MWA Jumpstart will be a complimentary online coaching program, a new one I write for ManagingWithAloha.com. If you want to participate, be sure to pick up a feed below, for unlike Ho‘ohana, this program will purely be done on the blog and not via email.
And this is just the beginning. Ka lā hiki ola; it is the dawning of a brand new day, and 2006 stretches ahead with bountiful promise, its arms opened wide to welcome us in. We will seize our opportunity, however we will also be selective and deliberate. We will cherish our keepers, Ho‘omau, and cause the good in our lives to last.
Let’s share our aloha and talk story.
Mahalo Bren, for your inspiration on the program name for MWA Jumpstart!
Looking back to find the good: Our Talking Story Recaps of 2005
Looking forward: I predict these things will happen in 2006
Click here to Subscribe for Ho‘ohana „¢ and to become part of the Ho‘ohana Community.
Click here to Pick up your feed for the new MWA Jumpstart „¢ coming to ManagingWithAloha.com January 11th.
Click here to Pick up a feed for Talking Story if you don’t have one yet, for you’ll want it in your MWA Jumpstart program if you decide to do it. In 2006 the blogs will synchronize.
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