Jim Morrison said, “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.”
I daresay most people agree with him in primary thoughts about ROLE; that it’s a mask, and something you have to wear, and wear well to be successful, particularly when on the job.
No, no, no, no, no.
No manager should “trade in reality for a role” with a mask.
Lucky me, I was taught that role was something you could be — somebody you intentionally chose to be. It was good, not tragic (as it became for Morrison): It was something you aspired to, the pinnacle of personal mission. And that pinnacle was that freedom “to be
what [who] you really are.”
Thus, that’s how I think about working on Managing with Aloha’s key 4, The Role of the Manager Reconstructed. It’s what the role of the manager can be, if only we take better possession of it as the somebodies we are — if only we intentionally choose it — and make it happen as the somebody we want to be.
We can have it all, by being it all. I truly believe that.
I saw another quote (one I liked), tucked into an article written by Matt Buchanan for The New Yorker: Breathing New Life into the iPhone. Buchanan paid Apple a fabulous compliment;
In sum, these things contribute to the feeling that your phone is something more than an inanimate chunk of glass and aluminum. This is, in part, the argument that Apple makes about why it is the best at what it does: Microsoft and Google may now have products that are well designed, but Apple, and what it produces, is design.
A Bonus Link: Take a look at this short (1:31) video Apple did, calling it Intention.
We managers cannot make the same claim, that we are design — or can we?
3. VALUE VERBING
Puts the process of VALUE MAPPING into the everyday language of workplace culture. We put value mapping intentions into executable actions with highly active, next-action verbs.
[Value-verbing tagged for learning.]
2. VALUE MAPPING
Names the process [of VALUE ALIGNMENT] — We map out how we intend to achieve our objective, much in the same way we map out objectives like mission and vision, and all our strategic initiatives.
[Value-mapping tagged for learning.]
1. VALUE ALIGNMENT
Frames the key objective — To align the actual behaviors of a workplace culture with the values we say we believe in from an intellectual and convicted point of view: We believe in this deeply, and therefore, this is what we consistently do, or aspire to do.
[Value Alignment as Key 3 category.]
Designing your role as a manager then, will first require that you value your role, as that embodiment of what you say you believe in from an intellectual and convicted point of view — your mana‘o. It’s NOT a mask — you understand the core values which drive role for you, and you choose them, as part of who you are, and who you fully intend to be.
And it will first require that you say so: “I am a manager.”
For as we know so well, we cannot do great things for the people we care for [within our calling to be managers] until we do great things for ourselves.
The conversation continues…
If you are newly joining us here, this is part of a mini series on The Role of the Manager Reconstructed. You can catch up with this reading path:
The Role of the Manager Reconstructed is one of our 9 Key Concepts in the Managing with Aloha philosophy.
This article may also prove useful to you if you wondered about the vocabulary we use:
Managing with Aloha’s Lexicon Morphology
Mahalo nui, thank you for being here!