Originally published for the print edition of Ke Ola Magazine, January/February 2020 Hawai‘i Island issue.
Links are additions made expressly for the readers of this site and ManagingWithAloha.com.
This is the 3rd article in the 3rd Series on Managing with Aloha written for the joint study of our Ho‘ohana Community and the business community of Ke Ola Magazine readers. Previously, article 2: The Aloha Spirit in Business.
Ho‘ohana isn’t Job. It’s Joy.
Third in Series Three on Managing with Aloha | By Rosa Say
Live a good life with great work.
As its intrinsic nature and defining characteristic, Managing with Aloha is our philosophy for living a good life with great work.
There are 9 Key Concepts which serve as the foundation of business models which seek to incorporate Managing with Aloha in workplace culture-building. Aloha is foundational as Key Concept 1, for it is our ‘Why.’
Ho‘ohana is mission-central as Key Concept 2. As the driving value of “worthwhile, intentional work,” Ho‘ohana is the ‘What’ we eagerly obsess about. With Alaka‘i Managers as our catalysts, work becomes as meaningful and as important as it can possibly be.
It’s only natural that our workplaces provide us with a sense of belonging and a sense of importance. Once our school days are over and we enter the working world full time, most of us will devote a full third of our lives to work. When work consumes so much of our time, it should be completely worth it: it should be a fulfilling effort to devote our energies to, and our workplace, whether office, factory or field, should be a good place to be.
At one time, work was thought of as our ‘industry,’ and good work ethic was our industriousness within civic and social responsibility. Work was a universal expectation for making our livelihood, and ‘earning our keep.’ Work was our skill builder and talent shaper. It was respected and admired much more than it was dreaded, ‘balanced,’ or integrated. Work was our lofty endeavor.
It can still be that way.
Work can be the vehicle with which we make a difference in our world, and leave a legacy of usefulness and contribution: “I was here, and I did this!” Furthermore, it can be our joy in accomplishment and satisfaction: “I felt great while doing it.”
The work we do is likely to shape our very identity. Evidence of this is everywhere, just look to the elders you know, or to where your own work has led you up to now, and to the reputation you have earned.
Work is also a highly effective contagion. The work we devote our time and attention to will spill over into every other aspect of our lives—it’s not content with concentrating within its own domain. It’s personal and it’s pervasive, so we best work on work, by making it good.
Therefore, the primary responsibility of managers, is to create and foster workplace cultures where Ho‘ohana can happen as the value driver and good result of all work done—a result personified in each individual employee and business partner. We complicate this with the other duties we tend to assign to, and expect of managers, when we instead should be freeing them up to concentrate on developing their people.
Managers are the ones who are supposed to assure that we Ho‘ohana as the verb of work it should be. Not only will you work happily, passionately, and more intentionally, you will, in essence, work for yourself no matter who may pay you to do so. Work transforms from what you ‘have to’ do, into something you want to do, and ‘get to’ do.
Everyone hopes for Ho‘ohana individually, yet in the Managing with Aloha philosophy and way of working, hoping for, or dreaming about Ho‘ohana isn’t good enough: we must make it happen. The focus on Ho‘ohana must be an everyday occurrence, and not a someday/maybe eventual possibility after someone ‘pays their dues’ or puts in any other conditional amount of time.
Our hope for Ho‘ohana isn’t in future possibilities; our hope is in managers of today, right here, right now. They are the Alaka‘i Managers who understand, accept and own their Kuleana in a singular, highly attentive-to-people way: it is their responsibility for delivering Ho‘ohana as their workplace service, product, and gift to humanity.
Making Ho‘ohana happen for everyone in their circle of influence, IS the manager’s Ho‘ohana in Managing with Aloha.
Thank goodness, for this singular, diligent and dedicated focus by managers is sorely needed. As Studs Terkel famously and very intuitively said, “Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirits.”
Managers can, and should be the ones who open us up to release our abundance. When they do so, work becomes our celebration of who we are, especially in spirit, and in the sharing of the Aloha Spirit. With Alaka‘i Managers at the helm of their Kuleana, serving their staff as they so love to do, work becomes the joy it can be. Customers and society as a whole reap the benefits.
We ho‘omau kākou,
Ho‘ohana is Key Concept 2 in the Managing with Aloha: we explore the WORK we devote ourselves to. Next issue, we’ll talk about Key Concept 3: VALUES in worthwhile work.
Read more about the value of HO’OHANA at www.ManagingWithAloha.com and in these articles archived for Series 1 and 2:
– Series 1 Why Values? And Why “Manage with Aloha?”
– Series 1 Ho‘ohana, the Value of Worthwhile Work (November 2013)
– Series 2 Aloha Intentions: Ke Ola Series 2 (May 2016)
– Series 2 Ho‘ohana as our Work Ethic (September 2016)
Postscript: Ke Ola is published 6 times a year, and distributed in print on Hawai‘i Island and by subscription. I have therefore made a practice of archiving the articles on RosaSay.com for those within our Ho‘ohana Community who may want to read them after their scheduled distribution.
You can access all 40 articles I had written for Series 1 and 2 via this index. The introductory columns for each series may be read at the following links:
Series 1: Why Values? And Why “Manage with Aloha?”
Series 2: Aloha Intentions
Series 3: Ho‘omau Kākou.