A short follow-up post. Within this conversation about useful skills, Shannon asked me another question:
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment up to now?
Unlike her other questions, this one was easy to respond to quickly, for I’ve often marveled at it with immense pleasure and gratitude. I answered her without hesitation:
“That my two children grew up to be such good people, and optimistic adults. They’re not perfect, but neither am I or their dad, and neither was ‘the village’ it took to raise them, but it still happened, and wow, they’re amazing.”
It’s an answer that is easily duplicated into what I consider my second greatest accomplishment: Choosing to be a manager, and treating it as a calling, so that I could be honored with serving employees too, and not just my children.
I like holding onto the thought of management as a profound responsibility, and I like feeling that managers raise employees within their OIB [‘Ohana in Business] for they do: Whether they realize it or not, bosses take over where parents and teachers have released their children into the world. Released them with great expectations, entrusting them with the rest of us, and with as much faith as they can muster.
And then the magic: Your profound responsibility turns into an extraordinary gift, because employees become your teachers.
This has long been a favorite quote, for I agree with him completely. Emerson is talking about ALL of us, kākou:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’d count Managing with Aloha as my third amazingly sweet accomplishment (for all accomplishments worth listing should be crazy amazing), and I’m still working on the accomplishments I’ll one day say are my fourth, and fifth… I consider myself still learning within the ebooks I’ve begun to publish.
Thankfully, none of us need stop at just one accomplishment or two. We can satisfy our Ho‘ohana urges and callings comprehensively: I don’t think we ever reach ‘completely.’
And then there’s that concept of ‘it takes a village.’ So true, and a good thing it is, because villages encourage both sustenance and synergy. Accomplishments needn’t be solitary ones, and you can share the credit in your admiration and gratitude for the others who are involved, whether deeply, or in fleeting yet important distinctions.
Life is pretty sweet that way. I think it’s a very good way to describe one’s lifestyle, to be able to say, I’m a maker of accomplishments in concert because that is what you intend.