I’ve just had a run of delivering speeches and workshops to several groups of people, and I’m on a high—Mahalo for being there if you were a part of any of them!
If you’ve ever attended one of my presentations, you’ve seen this slide or had these lines printed in your handouts, and you have heard me say them:
To talk about Managing with Aloha in any way, shape, or form, is to talk about values, and understand how they work
—in our lives: Let’s Define Values,
—in our business models: Values Centered Management: Where VBM falls short in business, VCM intercepts, improves, and reinvents it.
—and in the value studies we choose: The 19 Values of Aloha, and About our Practice of Value Immersion.
I love teaching Managing with Aloha to others, not as a means of teaching a Hawaiian way (though I do love that too, along with the concepts of Sense of Place) but as sharing the realization that our values do serve us—they represent our good, and they in fact, are our walking, talking, breathing, human nature toolkit. The values we choose, are always at-the-ready, a practical and relevant toolkit innate in us as expressive human beings. Values are easy to use, and natural to us in practice, equipping us with a toolkit which is magnificently adaptable to whatever we face on a daily basis.
To understand this, and then, to identify and articulate the values in your own toolkit, is truly empowering stuff.
Values represent your good.
One of the core Hawaiian beliefs the Kūpuna, our elders, will eagerly share with us, is that “people are born good,” and therefore, when we behave badly, we must remember that “we can always return to that place of being within our good” and make that self-correction.
However, a question I’m often asked is this one: “If values represent our good, what’s the bad stuff?”
I do understand how it can be helpful to name that stuff too, and in Managing with Aloha we articulate “the bad stuff” as bad behavior and phobias to make it clear—There aren’t ‘bad’ values. Your values evoke and empower your innate positivity and goodness.
I have had this distinction pinned to my Twitter profile, and thought it would be helpful to bring it here to the MWA blog as well:
What’s the big deal about Values? Values drive our behavior (and explain it). To managers, mining values is resourceful—behavior is energy.
Values equip us—they define our WHY; they give us our HOW-TO(s). As such, values create the most meaningful, and good energy possible.
Are there bad values? No—Values are good by definition; they challenge us to be better. We confront, and seek to change, bad phobias which ignore good values.
Hate, bigotry, racism, xenophobia, misogyny—these are phobias; an irrational fear of, or aversion to something, stemming from insecurity.
Phobias also stem from a lack of confidence, a lack of self-worth, or not having a sense of belonging. Insecurity can erupt as envy or hate.
Thus, choose Values instead, and align your behavior with those values, to get rid of your phobias and fears, and become more self-assured.
If what you choose to believe in does not add good to your life and to your emotional well-being, it is not a value. Choose values. #BeAloha.
Values will give you a surge of energy, whereas that fear driving phobias will drain your energy away.
Another litmus test you can apply to this distinction, is that values come from abundance; phobias stem from scarcity. Within scarcity, we struggle for a better sense of self-survival. Within abundance, we look for more opportunity to prosper and thrive.
“Abundance is not something we acquire, it is something we tune into.”
Pretty clear where it is healthier, and better to be.
Sometimes, people will say, “There’s a whole lot of morality in your definition of values Rosa.” To which I respond, “Yes, there is.” Morality is not something I overtly attempt to preach to you, however I’ll never shy from it either. The way I see it, morality is a good thing too.
Related Reading in the Managing with Aloha Archives:
- Sept.2017: Well Served by Our Values: Recalling 911, with Aloha.
- Jan.2017: The Values that Matter: Yours & Ours.
- Aug.2016: Teaching Family Values.
- Jan.2015: Goals Change. Values are Forever.
- Dec.2015: Values or Virtues? Both!
A message worth repeating, first published as our Aloha Intentions for 2016:
Always On Trend: Your values are good for you.
1. Trust in your values. Choose them deliberately, articulating them for your own clarity, whether in Hawaiian, English, or another language, as long as they are stated in your own Language of Intention: Make them about behaviors you will commit to, and grow better within.
2. As the saying goes, “to err is human,” forgive yourself and move on: If you find you start in a somewhat negative place of dissatisfaction with your current state of affairs, walk through understanding it, forgive yourself with grace, and choose your values based on the good intentions and positive expectancy you want to move forward with, and set a good example for others with.
3. Understand that less is likely more in terms of focusing well and working both reasonably and realistically. With less, you can avoid being regimented in over-organization, and have open spaces for whatever the coming year will surely add to your plate without you even sensing it yet. You don’t want to settle for checking off some lengthy, all-inclusive list: You want to become accomplished with what really matters.
4. And again, why bother? So you can dwell in your Aloha Spirit, expressing it through your ever-optimistic and inherently good-natured values. Not only do values lived and worked help you feel morally on track, they equip you in ways which make you stronger.
5. Prepare to take action. We call it next-stepping in the MWA lexicon. Don’t stop at getting your clarity down on paper… specify what happens next, and get your good intentions done.
Be as good, and as powerful as I know you can be.
Be happy, being you and all you as said when I last stepped into your inbox.
~ Rosa Say
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Preview the updates in Managing with Aloha, Second Edition, released Summer, 2016
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business