It’s advice you’re likely to hear several times in your lifetime, and read in countless books, essays and articles: “Be true to your values.”
What does it mean?
Looking at it through the lens of ALOHA, it means,
“Manifest your spirit: Be you.”
Still a big phrase though, isn’t it.
To “Be you.” is to make several key choices, and then decide to live your life by those choices:
You choose the company of others you keep close, knowing that they will either encourage you, or challenge you with the honesty of love. This includes family, kept close (or not) for ‘OHANA is the ‘human circle of Aloha’.
Those are big choices. Sometimes they’re clear, and we are tasked with keeping them clear. More often, they’re muddled and we need to sort through them. Yet whether clear or muddled, they amount to choices and decisions in just three things:
Thus, those are the foci at the epicenter of a Managing with Aloha practice: Values. Relationships. Intentional work. We make a big deal about values most of all, because values drive the other two as well.
Values, relationships, and intentional work. Is that where you devote your efforts, or are they in some periphery?
“Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in. Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.”
~ Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, in his 1990 commencement address at Kenyon College
The reason to bother with all of this is clear. “All of this” equates to wonderful self discovery.
Discovering who you are meant to be in this lifetime, is discovering the relevant answer to nearly every other question you’ll wonder about, because you now know how you fit in, and how you’re part of the whole we call our humanity. You have your sense of belonging. You feel PONO.
And the really great thing? As serious as this all sounds in its life-defining gravity, once you make those key choices, and commit to living your life by those choices purposefully, they bring pleasure, satisfaction, and true joy to your life — your efforts become fun, even playful.
Imagine how much simpler navigating our increasingly complex world would be, if everyone was true to their values. We could get on with our greater possibilities so much quicker than we now do.
This is a great way to think about the HO‘OKIPA service of servant leadership as well: We serve others best, by providing them with values clarity when they deal with us: We’re authentic. What they see, what they hear, what they feel radiating from us, is truly what they get. It becomes clear to them, how they fit in too, and fit in with us.
We seek to be what ALOHA is all about. We’re true to our values.
ethos |ˈē θ äs|
the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from modern Latin, from Greek ēthos ‘nature, disposition,’ (plural) ‘customs.’
Related reading at RosaSay.com: Values in Healthy Work.
A place to begin: Start with two words: “with Aloha”
Value Alignment is the subject of my third book, Value Your Month to Value Your Life: I wrote it to guide Alaka‘i Managers through the what, how, and why of Value of the Month programs conducted in the workplace. In my view, these programs are pure gold as a Managing with Aloha jumpstart, for you choose your own values and begin your culture-building in a personalized way as you learn more about the MWA philosophy as a whole.
From the book’s synopsis: “Value mapping is a way that good begets good, beginning with the good which already resides within you in the form of your personal values. To illustrate, we’ll cover two workplace how-to’s: The Value of the Month program, and Value Steering for Projects, both which help foster healthy business cultures.”