With each New Year, I think about how our 19 Values of Aloha have evolved as timeless, yet newly-freshened themes because of our past year’s influences. What has strengthened about each one, and where has new complexion been gathered up, pū‘olo mea maika‘i, in that “bundle of good things you return home with.”
Theme is a great companion to value. Where value is driver, borne from passion, conviction and belief, insistent and sure, theme becomes value’s melody, musically sweet, varied and open to interpretation, pleasing and gentle in its own kind of insistence and certainty.
I rose early on this last day of 2012 to find the thoughts were already actively stirring, urging me to wake and capture them. This article is what I came up with: It’s a longer one, and if you have favorite values you’ll be tempted to skip ahead and find them, but I recommend that you read this sequentially — grab a cuppa coffee or your favorite tea and get comfortable. As I wrote it, I was reminded of why my book ended up with these values in this order, seemingly writing itself, the values building upon each other as they do!
Aloha ~ In Grace and Kindness
In most of my teaching, I encourage people to see Aloha very personally, as who they really are in spirit. As 2013 dawns however, I feel this need to keep Aloha close and ever-present as how-to — as how we are who we are, with others.
Ho‘ohana ~ The Worthwhile Work of our Choosing
The work we do has been in reinvention mode for several years now, and I see 2013 as a sorting-it-all-out kind of year, where many will make new choices. In the Great Recession these choices felt forced upon us — there were lay-offs, yes, however several job types simply ended and are no longer needed. You know what never changed though? Attitude determines outcome. It’s time to put all other causes to rest in our acceptance of them no matter how they happened. It’s time we’re willing to be our own cause. Choose your work, design it your way, and Ho‘o — make it happen.
‘Imi ola ~ Seeking New Life
Connected to Ho‘ohana, our ‘Imi ola mission will be to see the new life in our new livelihood, and to see vision in sustenance of choice. I keep thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where we grow from a sense of security, to belonging, and eventually returning to that pinnacle of self-esteem and self-actualization.
Ho‘omau ~ Cause the Good to Last
Our persistence has been somewhat gritty in the past few years, don’t you think? Our patience is wearing thin though, and I see some good in that impatience: We ask ourselves, “Why bother, really?” with some things, and “Why not push harder, or push differently?” with others, and we want goodness to prevail.
Kūlia i ka nu‘u ~ Name your Peaks, and Camp for a while
We go mountain climbing in our Managing with Aloha chapter 5 metaphor, remember? We climb toward excellence and achievement. In 2013 I urge you to enjoy the mountain. Stop often to take in the view, and take your footholds one at a time, taking each in good time. I have named our peaks Living with Aloha, Working with Aloha, Managing with Aloha, and Leading with Aloha in our curriculum here. Personally I see my 2013 efforts concentrated on the Living and the Working peaks; how about you?
Ho‘okipa ~ Decide to Serve
There have been so many recent events in the past few years — oh so many! — which have caused me to reflect: The world would be a much better place if people chose to serve each other well in all they do. When we serve others we get better, but it does take some focused intention to serve others without feeling we deplete ourselves. It’s possible, and it’s a worthy goal.
‘Ohana ~ Rally your tribe
There are times we retreat into a quieter and more comfortable solitude (I did this a lot in 2012, and I feel healthier for doing so), yet if there’s anything I’ve learned and relearned continually over the years it’s this: Life is not a solo proposition, and we humans aren’t meant to be alone. Stowe Boyd has proclaimed that “The single most important decision we can make in a connected world is who we follow.” and it’s a worthy mantra for 2013: Rally your family, rally your chosen communities (and be selective about them), rally your mentors and heroes, and return to what true ‘friending’ is all about.
Lōkahi ~ In Harmony and Unity
The mainstay of Lōkahi in Managing with Aloha has been its value-driving for teamwork and collaborative work, and you may decide that’s what you’ll need. In my own day-to-day laboratory I’m expecting Lōkahi to be a kind of shepherd for me, driving the harmony and unity I want between the values I’ll be working on, particularly in regard to ‘Ohana, Ho‘okipa and Aloha. I see it as my strongest bridge builder between the two peaks I’ll be concentrating on this year in Kūlia i ka nu‘u.
Kākou ~ Speak with Aloha, and Receive with Aloha
I did not state this quite as explicitly within the pages of my book as I do now, these 8+ years later: Kākou is the value of Aloha Communication. To “speak with Aloha” requires the grace, kindness, and intention to serve I have mentioned before, and it also requires ‘Receiving with Aloha,’ something we have talked quite a bit about in the context of The Daily Five Minutes, where being a “good and gracious receiver” is essential — it’s something we must keep in mind in the context of much, much more.
Kuleana ~ Engage with the Bounty
Ah, responsibility. Bane, burden, or bounty? The bounty within responsibility can be hard to see, and even harder to claim, yet please believe me — it’s there! Allow 2013 to be the year you Hō‘imi your Kuleana — you look for better and for best; for the bounty within whatever responsibility you engage with and take ownership of, willing to be held fully accountable for optimism and your positive expectancy. Kuleana need never be bane or burden, for there are always options with handling it, even when assignments are not of your own choosing.
‘Ike loa ~ Student, be Ready
My blog stats tell me that this was, and remains, the most popular post in my 2012 archives: When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears. I wasn’t surprised. I can so clearly see 2013 as the Year of the Student — the student that is within all of us, aching to learn more, and learn it exceptionally well. We want to feel that connection between our needs, our wants and our talents’ innate skill in serving those wants and needs. We are ready in spirit, and must be ready to receive. So here is my coaching for you, as it was said in that post: “Whatever it is you want to do, find the person who does it best. Then see if they will teach you.”
Ha‘aha‘a ~ Student, be Humble
Once you allow ‘Ike loa to set the course of your chosen Curriculum of Wanting (go back one section if you jumped ahead to read this value!) be humble. Be willing to learn all there is to learn so you can make good choices (read Ho‘ohana and ‘Imi ola again!) This is what leaps off the page in my book’s chapter on this value (yes, I reread it too!): “Ha‘aha‘a teaches the how… In coaching other managers, I have discovered that grooming humility is the key difference between being tough and tough-minded… it helps them strike a balance between getting results and how they go about getting them.”
Ho‘ohanohano ~ Demeanor is your Open Door
One of the best definitions I’ve ever heard for humility is this one: Humility is an act of courtesy. We can never have enough courtesy, can we! Ho‘ohanohano — conducting ourselves with distinction — can simply be defined as behaving well, so that ‘with Aloha’ gets more naturally, and genuinely connected to everything we say and do. I think of Ho‘ohanohano as a good 2013 partner to the value of ‘Ohana as I described it earlier: When you rally the people you want in your life, be the open door they’ll eagerly step into to be with you.
Alaka‘i ~ Answer your Calling
Imagine a balance scale. Ho‘ohanohano is the center stand of the scale itself. As for the two balancing trays, Ha‘aha‘a (humility) forges one, and Alaka‘i (the value of leadership) forges the other. What we each want those trays to hold will differ, based on what we choose as our personal and professional goals. I think of different values in each tray, knowing values as the drivers of belief, conviction and spirit they are. As you can guess from what I’ve written so far, my Ha‘aha‘a tray holds what I feel I must learn; my Alaka‘i tray holds who I want to become as I allow 2013 to further shape me. Through the effort of both, I must answer my calling in truth and honesty. So must you, whatever your own choices. Define your calling within those choices and answer it.
Mālama ~ Serve to Honor
What I see for me as need satisfied, and brashly hope for everyone else, is that Mālama and Ho‘okipa forge a stronger partnership in 2013, so that eventually, it becomes an unbreakable bond between the two in our Ho‘ohanohano behaviors. I think that the stewardship of Mālama “to protect and care for” is a bit easier than the service of Mālama, where we “serve to honor” within our care and compassion. In 2013 I want to grapple with the complexion of honor more than I have in the past, revisiting some oldies but goodies, like work ethic, loyalty, generosity (Lokomaika‘i) privilege, and most of all, respect.
Mahalo ~ Invest in Elemental Living
Mahalo is ‘thank you’ as a way of living. I spoke of ‘bounty’ with the value of Kuleana (responsibility), and if you feel you need help seeing it, have Mahalo be that help in 2013, for Mahalo is pure abundance. No matter how bleak times may get or a situation may seem to be, there is always something to be thankful for. There is always something we can better appreciate, and thus, explore the true depth of. Rather than depth though, I love thinking about the elemental nature of human effort. I do believe that this is where trends like minimalism, greening, and even urban living are finding their senses of well being. Mahalo is revealing: It reveals the elemental goodness within the way we want to, and need to live our newly reinvented lives.
Nānā i ke kumu ~ At Source is one’s Place, and one’s Health
Nānā i ke kumu: “Look to your source, find your truth.” This is a value which always rises to the occasion when we need it! Sometimes, the place of Nānā i ke kumu is one’s place of personal integrity, pulling at our Aloha Spirit. Sometimes, the place of Nānā i ke kumu is literally and tangibly a physical place we feel pulled toward, knowing it’s somewhere we need to be, or a ma‘alahi place (calming, for contentment) we need to create for ourselves, if only as temporary and rejuvenating retreat. In both instances place is a grounding force, and a place of well-being for us. In 2013, get pulled to places which are healthy for you: You know the difference.
Pono ~ Get Real! Visceral is good.
I’ve urged you to do some naming in this listing of Managing with Aloha values for 2013; name your peaks (Kūlia i ka nu‘u)… name your elements (Mahalo)… name your learning (‘Ike loa)… name your work (Ho‘ohana) and your service (Ho‘okipa)… name your place (Nānā i ke kumu). Names give honor, and naming your efforts for the year to come turn them into the privilege of your Aloha-filled life. Then, just when you need it to, Pono rises to the occasion just like Nānā i ke kumu does. Pono connects your dots, but it also forces you to get real about what you can handle, and what you can’t, what you took on as some ‘shoulding’ or p.c. effort (politically correct) versus those of true, personal, gut-level intention. Be Pono. Pono prepares you for giving (and helps you say no when you really should!)
Ka lā hiki ola ~ Back to the Beginning is Opportunity
I’m quite certain that most of us will need the beginner’s mind in 2013 because there’s already been so much sorting out in the past decade: It’s time for new choices and we know it. We’ve been living through some monumental change; the Great Recession became a Global Recession, and many still believe they’ve yet to emerge and heal. The social and technological landscapes have changed too, with even more effects on how we live, work and play. Our youth were born into this world, not knowing any other! So here’s my resolution, and I hope it’s yours too: No more whining and complaining, no more pointing and blaming, no more stewing, crying or waiting. It’s all on me and my Aloha, and I’m seizing the opportunity within Ka lā hiki ola, “the dawning of a new day.”
We’re going to have a fantastic year in 2013, I feel it in my soul. Elemental, visceral, and all good.
Mahalo nui loa, thank you so much for reading, and for being here at ManagingWithAloha.com with me.
We Ho‘ohana together, Kākou, and with Aloha,
Own this: Get Personal
I gave in to some personal choices in writing this listing today, and I encourage you to give some ‘all about ME’ time to yourself too. As you read through this article, you likely agreed with some of it, but not all of it. Feel free to adopt whatever you’d like as your own and re-write the rest of it! Be my co-author :)
- This post can be easily copied to your own document draft – go for it! (Nothing on this site is write-protected, see the publishing rights in the footer.)
- Delete the paragraphs that don’t resonate with you – not the value heading (though you may change the summary tagline that follows it), just the paragraph I wrote.
- Write your own paragraph for that value, and see what you come up with in the context of your own calling, goals, and 2013 intentions.
- If you need some help or another idea, click into the individual value pages of the site (use the navigation bar right below the heading).
Enjoy the day! You will love the clarity of your Ka lā hiki ola — I guarantee it!