Alaka‘i is the Hawaiian value of leadership, and it is a quality desired both in managing and leading. It includes coaching, guiding and mentoring others to support their growth and self-development. Those who are Alaka‘i lead with caring for others. Courage and initiative are important, yet secondary. And this is critical: To be Alaka‘i is to lead and manage with good example, for your own actions will groom your empathy.
Our oft-referred to examples in Hawaiian history were the ali‘i (ruling royalty): They fully understood that they could only guide others when they had gained their trust and respect, and they did employ key values. (Read more in this article published on Talking Story: Kamehameha’s Legacy of Values. It illustrates the MWA expectations of the Alaka‘i Manager.)
From Managing with Aloha (Chapter 14 preamble):
Alaka‘i is the value of leadership.
When you are Alaka‘i, you are one who leads with initiative, and with your good example. You are willing to shoulder the greater responsibility that comes with leading others.
As a person who is Alaka‘i, you build the strength of character found in initiative and in independence.
As a leader who is Alaka‘i, you continually seek to gain the trust and the respect of those you lead.
Those who are Alaka‘i possess a strong belief in their own capacity and in the power of possibility: They are confident optimists, filled with hope.
Those who are Alaka‘i are the managers and leaders we so greatly need.
Continue your learning!
For a brief, single-page listing of all 19 Hawaiian Values of ALOHA within the Managing with Aloha philosophy, see The 19 Values of Aloha.
For more about values and why we choose them, see Let’s Define Values.
This is the Site Index of articles which include ALAKA‘I, with comment boxes for questions, stories, and our continued learning from each other: When people speak, they give voice to values, and their personal expression of them. In Hawai‘i, we call this expression their mana‘o.
Buy the book!
Managing with Aloha is a hardcover book designed to be written in, and used as both learning resource and personal workbook. It is also available in the Kindle Store. Managing with Aloha is our philosophy bible, and this site can be thought of as the sequel to the book, where you are now the featured star.