Reprise: The 10 Beliefs of Alaka‘i Managers

The following list of 10 Beliefs was shared as one of my earliest articles for online publishing: It was originally titled The Calling of Management: The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers. I decided to revisit it recently, intending to bring the list to a new home on Talking Story. As I did so, I added a few links to postings done over recent months as a self-testing exercise, curious about my own consistency. They were very easy to match up, for these beliefs have not changed in their importance and relevance, not at all. If anything, they have gotten stronger for me.

It is extremely exciting to see a light of renewal go on in managers’ eyes when they realize that the hard work of management can evolve into the gift of a calling in your life. Catching glimpse of that bright light is one of the best things I experience in my work as a coach. Answer these vitally important questions for me:

What is your intention as an Alaka‘i Manager? Did you choose to be a manager, or did you just find your way to being one? Whatever the history of your journey, do you love being a manager today? If not, why do you persist in being one?

Working within belief is a good place to be

You can’t be an Alaka‘i Manager striving for greatness if you do not intentionally choose to be one, and then make a passionate commitment to management consciously and with full on-purpose determination.

To “get started” with Managing with Aloha, you must be able to honestly say being a manager is your deliberate choice, and that your passion lies in the joys which come from being a great manager: “Good” is not good enough, for as a manager you directly affect the quality of people’s lives. That is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.

You must take stock of where your own convictions are when it comes to certain critically important beliefs about the people you will work with, manage and lead. People will factor into just about everything you do; everything.

When it comes to your own learning and growth, people are the ones who will teach you the most.

What do the truly great managers of our world believe in?

1. Great managers  believe that people are innately good; they must. Without this core belief and faith in people, great management is not possible.
For more: Unconditional Acceptance, Nature and Nurture

2. Great managers believe they do not work on their people, they work with them; they enable and empower them.
For more: You’ll Be the Company you Keep

3. Great managers believe that “empowerment” comes from within, and has more to do with self-motivation and innate talent than with the acceptance of authority. They get their cues from the person, not from the task or process.
For more: If you Ask for Initiative, Grant it

4. Great managers believe that all people have strengths which can be made stronger, and that their weaknesses can be compensated for, so they become unimportant to the work at hand.
For more: Job Creation Employs Strengths, Then People

5. When it comes to training, great managers do not believe they train people per se, they believe they train skills and offer additional knowledge.
For more: They like you. But do they perform for you?

6. Great managers believe they coach and mentor people as their best contribution to a community and sense of place, and they love doing so — not “like,” love.
For more: 3 Ways Managers Create Energetic Workplaces

7. Great managers believe that the people they manage are more than capable of creating a better future. They hold great faith and trust in the four-fold human capacities of physical ability, intellect, emotion, and spirit.
For more: Is it Time for Your Alaka‘i Abundance?

8. Great managers believe in the power of positive, affirmative thinking, and they have a low tolerance for negativity. They are confident and eternal optimists.
For more: The 3 Secrets of Being Positive

9. Great managers believe it is their job to remove barriers and obstacles so people can attain the level of greatness they are destined for. They believe that “can’t” is a temporary state of affairs, and that everything is only impossible until the first person does it.
For more: When Learning Gets Overwhelming

10. Great managers believe that their legacy will be in the other people they have helped achieve worthwhile and meaningful goals. They believe that success is measured in people who thrive and prosper.
For more: Helping Without Hurting

These beliefs may not sit well with everyone, but they are essential for Alaka‘i Managers as the people who make a difference in the lives of others.  These beliefs are the reasons why managers matter, and why management is vitally important. These are the challenges you must be eager to tackle, as in,  Let-me-at-‘em, I’m-perfect-for-this-job! eager.

If you do not share these beliefs, management will be possible by some standards (though not those of Managing with Aloha), however both my managing and coaching experiences have consistently demonstrated how it will prove to be much harder for you. Management will become the work of routine task and process, devoid of those rewards which stem from relationship-building and developing collaborative partnerships.

So what, pray tell, will you choose?

There IS a light inside everyone, I just know it!

Footnote: There is more backstory to MWA Mondays here if you are interested, including an index of relevant resource pages: Monday is for Managing with Aloha. My Book Page is here.


  1. says

    Hi Rosa,
    This is a really great summary, with handy extra detail where I wanted it too.
    Beliefs like these may not sit well with everyone as you rightly say but anyone who wants to be mindful of their behaviour as a manager and the power it has to affect people positively can and will be interested. IMHO of course ;)
    All the best, Paul
    .-= Paul ´s last blog ..Warm, Soft Facts about Your Career =-.

    • Rosa Say says

      Your opinion counts for a lot with me Paul! Mahalo for your visit and comment for me today.

  2. says

    Hi Rosa,
    First I just have to “say” that I am becoming a fan, in the real, none Facebook sense of the word fan. Really appreciate your work. Already RT’d your Belief# 1 earlier – Managers must believe that people are innately good. Without this core belief and faith in people, great management is not possible.
    This is a guiding principle in our work – and I really do not believe you can be even a good manager without it.
    Unfortunately, we’re finding a significant increase in the amount of managers who (even though they are anxiously searching for “strategies”) simply say they don’t care about many of the people who work for them! It’s always amazing to us that managers can believe people are lazy, dumb slackers and at the same time – expect positive change.
    On a deeper note, I think that this belief is basically fundamental to who we are in the world. It is essentially a statement of our worldview – which is why it is so powerful.
    Everything is driven by our beliefs. Managing others is not an exception.
    Thx again for a great post!

    • Rosa Say says

      Thank you for being a real fan Louise! You’ve given me the biggest smile.

      As for this other part of your comment, that you are “finding a significant increase in the amount of managers who simply say they don’t care about many of the people who work for them” I have to wonder if there is something else at play there… that they can’t find the time to care, or risk the added involvement, or something. These are challenging times with so many “rules of the old game” changing… managers have become people in survival mode too… well, at least I hope there is another root cause, for to have managers not care for their people is unthinkable to me — and to you I’m sure, seeing how we share that first belief so strongly. #1 really does drive the entire list, and if I had to ruthlessly edit, that would be the last one standing.