I am proud of you and honored by you, our Ho‘ohana Community. From now on, you will see this HC badge pop up to the right, to let you know when I am writing to you as the community we have become here, and not specifically in regard to my normal subject matter of Aloha-inspired management and leadership in values-based workplace cultures and personal behaviors.
Before I launch into the rest of this posting, I want to say that I do intend to have my Talking Story articles evolve to a much shorter form from now on. This will not be a short one today, but I feel it is extremely important, as it is foundational to what is yet to come.
It is about our intentions and our attentions. A powerful match-up we have spoken about both here in regard to Ho‘ohana and at Joyful Jubilant Learning. You’ve called me on them, and that is just the very latest reason why I am proud of you and why you inspire me!
I am going to pull a comment from our conversations here over the weekend by way of introducing this post:
As a recipient of your newsletter announcing these changes it is really interesting to see the story of the decisions behind these changes from your perspective… I can really empathise with your decision to make this change. To me it signifies a couple of things: The first is your ability to exhibit leadership not just as a coach but in the way you live & lead your own work & life. The second is your willingness to embrace the new, new media that many of us are still feeling our way with and take the kind of steps that confirm the closeness and interaction you want with this community.
And I responded:
funny Paul, I pride myself on my independence (rebellion at times!) and
on my quick decision-making, but I also know my growth has come during
those times I open myself up to being wrong. I am still not there with
everyone I encounter, but being wrong when someone in our Ho‘ohana
Community is willing to tell me so? Wrong doesn’t get any better than
that! So I open up and go with the learning that sometimes, keeping the
can-be-ugly process all to yourself is foolish. This is one, very smart
As for embracing the new media, that is actually the easy part, for I
really, truly love it, and I think we should all have a) free medical
care and b) free internet access! When I think of what we human beings
could achieve by being fully healthy and fully connected… wow.
Meant every word. Mahalo Paul, for giving me the opening to express that.
I did deliberate for a long time, and I wrung my hands over my decision to indefinitely retire our Ho‘ohana ‘ÅŒlelo newsletter. That final issue I sent last week suffered through draft after draft – Exactly what do I say? – until I finally said to myself, Enough already! You know them, they know you, just send it!
And you did know. You knew more. You knew about what I did not say too.
To paraphrase your messages very succinctly (for they too were very generous and supportive), over the last week you have asked me
Rosa, what is your underlying objective in what you do today?
How much has this recession changed your attentions and your business?
Exactly what is it that you want, or expect from us as the Ho‘ohana
And you deserve an answer. Let’s talk story about where our canoe will paddle to next.
My focus has not shifted, but it has become more precisely targeted. I will explain. Let’s start with the second question first.
Has the recession changed your attentions and your business?
The recession was not a trigger – the experiences which made up the whole of my business over the last 6 years combined into the powerful, and not-to-be-ignored trigger. The recession has actually been a gift of sorts for me, as it was an accelerant: I am now working on a reinvention of my business model that I had projected for 2010 through 2012, and instead I am doing it right now, convinced I need not, and should not wait.
Yes, the recession has been a big hit to the cash flow of my coaching business, however it has also given me more time to work on strategic pursuits and entrepreneurial development of my other ideas versus the gig-after-gig, trip-after-trip delivery of product and service that I already have. I now have time to innovate and invent, and not just duplicate.
What is the underlying objective in what you do today?
In brief, less individual coaching, and more team coaching and workplace culture design. Less personal service delivery, and more product development that will better scale the Managing with Aloha movement. And my dream is just that: To have movements tip with working with aloha, managing with aloha, leading with aloha, and teaching with aloha.
At this very moment, to be brutally honest (with myself) Managing with Aloha is merely interesting to people as opposed to a true movement. In the last five years since my book was published (and the philosophy thus shared) I do feel I have made great strides with bringing MWA to individuals, but not enough progress has been made with organizational culture.
I believe the secret sauce to be in enabling powerful teams versus individual mavericks. Thus my objective is to shift my focus to teams and to communities, the more globally inclusive they are the better.
Hence my decision was a first step in that shift: No more email broadcasting to individuals who are not connecting with each other by merit of that newsletter alone.
Exactly what is it that you want, or expect from us as the Ho‘ohana Community?
Okay. Deep breath.
You have told me that you were connecting, you were using my value of the month program with each other and within your own teams, and I just did not see or hear about it personally. Great! Keep it going!
If that is what you have been doing, you don’t need me to nag you about it anymore, and I need to devote my Ho‘ohana attentions to a more publicly staged movement. Some of you have expressed guilt about not saying thank you to me enough, and sure, appreciation for what I freely publish is great, recognition is wonderful, but that’s not it – you have no reason to feel guilty. We are growing – I am growing too, and if I do not lead new initiatives, how can I ask you to do so?
I want and will now expect bravery and transparency on web-based spaces we will develop and brand with our Ho‘ohana Community name. I want inclusive collaboration between teams of people who are ready to be leaders in their chosen communities.
I want those things in public, and not anonymously or privately, and not just behind closed doors and too-safe havens, and I am deliriously excited that today’s social web is helping us make that happen. I have been frustrated with lurkers and silent readers who take, take, take, and do not give back in the way that will allow our community movements to grow in larger expressions of aloha management and Alaka‘i leadership and I realize I cannot be all things to all people. Said another way, in the jargon of the day, I hereby choose my next tribe, and they will be the movers and shakers, the creators of vital movements.
I want to give my attentions to the courageous, self-motivated and energetic person to says “Can do” instead of meaning “Won’t try” and who thinks “Why not?” instead of saying “Yeah but”” I am not giving up on individuals completely, not at all. However the individual who will now get my attention, and my coaching and mentoring intentions is the emerging leader who clearly understands something:
- He or she must be effective individually, walking the talk of self-management and self-leadership and relentlessly pursuing the lifelong learning of personal growth.
- The Ho‘ohana [intentional work] of Aloha management and Alaka‘i leadership is about teams, tribes, and creating powerful community movements. There is a lot of need in our world, and we have to answer a higher calling with serving our fellow human beings.
And please understand that MWA is just one expression of a possible movement.
Over the past few years I have learned something about myself: I love being a community organizer. I think of Joyful Jubilant Learning as the pioneer community of incredible people who have helped me shape my thinking. We have accomplished so much there, and now I want to step it up, both there and in other forums.
As of this writing, Talking Story is one, and our new MWA-HC Group on LinkedIn is another. I am writing for Say “Alaka‘i” at The Honolulu Advertiser to offer up my continued coaching in our learning of Alaka‘i-aligned management and leadership, and to give back to my own local community.
So why didn’t you just say this in your last newsletter?
I did not feel it was the right venue, and when the right time came, I strongly suspected that Talking Story would be. I did not anticipate it would be so soon, but I underestimated you and your readiness, and I promise, I will not do that again.
So let’s talk story.
What else would you like to know? I will answer you honestly and transparently here: I fully intend to commit Talking Story to the sense of place I described above. A place of Aloha, of Alaka‘i, and in support of courageous, publicly transparent web-based learning and collaboration.
Ho‘ole‘ale‘a: Time to come out and play. Sure, I am very serious about what I have said here, but no one said we wouldn’t have a great time in our doing of it!