Let’s talk story. Let’s talk about expertise in Living with Aloha.
(Talking Story is Thriving. It’s What We Do)
When you write for a weblog, the rule you’re advised to keep top of mind is that you must write for your readers and not yourself, keeping your ‘this is mostly about me’ thoughts reserved for your journal, morning pages, or writing practice. So who are you dear readers, and what should I be writing about, for you?
I do make one assumption, that you are managers, or are someone thinking about taking a plunge into management (or staying, or leaving…), and that you read what I may publish for you here after having sampled enough of Managing with Aloha to know that values-centered work is my vision for noble, responsible managing.
That’s a pretty loaded assumption, I know, but we must have some kind of focus and purpose, and that be it— it’s the why I’ve dubbed you Alaka‘i Managers as individuals and refer to you as our Ho‘ohana Community as a group.
What if I’m not a manager?
I would still welcome you to stay, and be part of our Ho‘ohana Community by making it personal for you.
The “personal or professional?” distinction is not one I usually make, for one of the core beliefs woven into our Managing with Aloha philosophy, is that work is both personal and professional and always will be. They coexist. Life is personal, so work is personal. Everything within our existence as human beings is quite personal to us, yet ever-reaching human beings that we are, we want life and work to be professional too.
Yes, even life can be considered professional, in that we’ve elevated life with elements of expertise at living it. It’s expertise rooted in the personal, for it is expertise attained through learning and through gaining experience with testing that learning.
It can be useful to dissect managing with Aloha at times with personal and/or professional lenses I suppose, given the context relevant to whatever conversation we’re presently having, mostly to pursue more clarity, yet there’s always another baseline assumption in play for me: With Aloha as their guiding visionary value, better managers are better people.
Learning to become a better manager must entail the willingness and desire to become a better person as well.
That means there must be a limit on tough love, when compassion steps in. That means there must be humanity (via value alignment) in every single business plan, and the justification that “it’s just business” is never said, thought, or entertained in the least. That means that as business owners we compensate well (figuring out how to do so in our business plans for humans) so we never, ever, devalue the worth of human energy devoted to our cause— the most important asset we have, and the privilege of managing others with the Aloha, dignity and respect we are responsible for. It’s a profound responsibility, and a profound honor to be held with humility.
In learning and applying Managing with Aloha we will always aspire to be a good person first; becoming a good manager arrives second as natural progression and consequence.
Indeed, there is expertise in living as a good person, to then work as a good person and better professional, is there not? Let’s value-map it:
Attaining Managing with Aloha expertise is a progression toward the value of Alaka‘i, achieved through the value of Ho‘ohanohano, wherein we “conduct ourselves with Aloha distinction.” Kuleana kicks in, as this progression carries us through “working it” to taking full responsibility for working within the Kuleana we associate with becoming the professional we call an Alaka‘i Manager, one with the expertise of Aloha in all its expressions.
Good person first, good manager as a consequence.
We self-manage our own behavior first, and manage the behaviors of others second.
We self-lead first, and step forward to lead others second, for “To be Alaka‘i is to lead and manage by merit of your own good example.”
It’s time well spent, going back to the beginning of our last twelve years together as the Ho‘ohana Community, to review our basics don’t you think? To talk story about them in our own words and with our own good intention, without having to look anything up. To Ho‘omau— to continue in an intentional and clear way. We review basics like this to recommit to them, and to remember the value convictions associated with them, values we chose, and values which have made them our truths.
For let’s also remember how we have defined integrity:
Integrity is the living of our personal truths.
Those truths, whether personal or professional or both, are certainly what we want our expertise to focus on.
Sunday Mālama has been when I will share my off-the-workplace-highway scenic route kind of posts. Not as a normal weekly feature, but whenever they seem to be writing themselves. You can access the Sunday Mālama archives via this category link, also residing on the right-hand sidebar.