A Managing with Aloha Whiteboard Lesson:
Ka lā hiki ola ~ literally; ‘the dawning of a new day’
Ka lā hiki ola ~ the Value of Hope and Optimism
Ka lā hiki ola ~ the Expectation of whatever is ‘next’ coupled with the expectation of Better
Leadership ~ championing the Clarity of Compelling Vision
Leadership ~ the Act of Leading toward the Future (whether that future is tomorrow, next week, next quarter, or in the next decade)
Leadership ~ the engine of Positive Energy in any organization
Ka lā hiki ola + Leadership = A Sense of Hope
Leadership is “the engine that could.”
Writers wax eloquent on what leadership is, and what it can be, and I have been one of them, I know. We hold leadership in the high esteem of our most visionary thinking, and we perch our pictures of leadership upon lofty pedestals.
I get my chance to whittle down my definition of leadership, and ‘get real’ about it, each time I visit a workplace, conduct a workshop, or coach a facilitation: I watch the leaders-of-title in those places and situations, watching what works for them, and what falls short. I listen to how they converse, and if they do so, given the opportunity. I watch their demeanor as others talk back, and they listen, or appear to. I watch the informal leaders too, for they are so readily seen: leadership is highly visible.
Thanks to these opportunities, I keep gravitating to a 3-word definition of leadership. Our 19 Values of Aloha conspire: It’s a definition consistently complemented by our Managing with Aloha values of ALOHA (to be in-spirit), ‘IMI OLA (create your best future), HO‘OMAU (persist and persevere) and KA LĀ HIKI OLA most of all:
Leadership is a sense of hope.
“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.”
― Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper
The successful leaders I have the privilege to see, are those who embody that ‘little engine that could’ in their organizations. They’re the ones who try hardest of all — to encourage, and to say, “what if?” They will pull their teams, and their entire organization over whatever obstacles, challenges, yeah-buts and other possibility robbers that stand in their way.
They know they don’t have all the answers, and they are okay with that. What they do know, is that an answer or an alternative can be found, and they can find it. They have no doubt that possibilities exist, waiting to be discovered.
Similar to Sense of Place [Key 8], a sense of hope is a place we dwell in for comfort despite the unknowns, while feeling our sense of belonging there. We are where we need to be, and where we can gain the courage we will need to continue, ever-aspiring for better and best. En-courage-ment.
Hope is no.1 on the list of our Twelve Aloha Virtues:
“Hope is such a beautiful thing. It is an attitude about the best of possibility becoming real. Hope looks at all the good that is true about the present and assumes it will Ho‘omau, be perpetuated into our future — and then some.”
From Emily Dickinson ~ “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”
Leadership is a Sense of Hope
The ‘falling short’ I often see, is when leaders fall back on only their own past experiences, or their position-holding credibility alone, and try to explain… and explain… and explain (whether by repetition or a different tactic) — simply to explain. And they explain without a sense of hope.
They’re condescending with those explanatory speeches and pronouncements they give, hoping to educate everyone else in the room. They get so involved in their explanations and justifications (often about a decision that has already been made) that they don’t notice the signs when people simply tune out. Those people might humor them, but they’re really wondering when their leader will get a clue, and see things as they really are — and then inspire them, so everyone can look forward to better.
The result is an impasse, where all the energy has been drained out of the room.
When I’m there, whether as teacher, as coach, or as facilitator, I know I have to get the energy back into the room as my next step. Whatever else I may have had planned for our time together gets pushed aside until positive energies flow once more. Until there is that soft, comforting glimmer of hope.
Please review: Alaka‘i Managers are the new Energy Bunnies.
Yes. Leadership is a sense of hope.
A sense of hope is the leadership style that gets a purposeful following.
Please review: Purposeful Following.
An organization without optimism is sickly, and needs to get its’ better energies back if it’s to get healthy again. Positive thinking recharges everyone’s batteries, reawakening their desire to get involved and participate instead of sitting back, arms folded with that tell-tale “I really don’t like this.” posture branding their resistance.
Inject a sense of hope as the best medicine you can possibly have. You will often find that those explanations you tried to give before aren’t even necessary.
Here is a related posting in the archives, offering more distinction in vocabulary with intention: On Leaders, Leading, and Leadership: The How and Why.
Ka lā hiki ola
Ka lā hiki ola translates to “the dawning of a new day.” This is the value of optimism, hope and promise. We are reminded that there will always be the dawning of another day — life affords us many different opportunities, and it is up to us to grab hold of them, and make this day our day, and the best day ever.
This value is the guiding light of Key Concept 9 in Managing with Aloha as a complete lifestyle philosophy; Palena ‘ole, the concept of unlimited capacity. Build on your past, but don’t get hung up on it: The future is always bigger, with the promise of much more abundance.
…Continue your learning here…