Posted in leadership

Managing with Aloha



There is a calling to be a great manager which includes people as well as process. Aloha spirit should not be sidelined or streamlined. It should be incorporated into your daily work and daily planning. Great managers should be comfortable managing not only their processes but variations of their processes because of the differences of the people they manage. Great managers relish these opportunities to be not only managers but also mentors, guides, coaches, and cheerleaders.

What you don’t see here is the word ‘friend.’ You should be friendly, but your employees need you to be the boss; to be a strategic planner, to be consistent, to be objective, to be organized, to be predictable, and to have a vision. They aren’t looking for father figures or second mothers. They have Ohana. Your role is to keep them positive and motivated at work by layering in respect of their culture and values that are so important. You must learn to speak the language of the values and incorporate them into your management strategies. If you allow it, aloha will make your job easier and make you a more effective manager.

You do not have to be born in Hawaii to embrace aloha spirit. If you decided to live and work in Hawaii, you have aloha spirit inside you. You just have to bring it out. The arms of aloha are inclusive. They seek to serve. Aloha is a positive and healthy attitude. It is the value of unconditional love and acceptance. To be a great manager, share the intent of aloha. Share your spirit and allow your employees to share theirs. Walk your talk. Remember,

“Aloha is unconditional love, for it is the outpouring and receiving of the spirit. It is an expression of unconditional kindness, hospitality, spirituality, cooperativeness with humility, unity, and graciousness that touches the souls of others.”

 One’s inner spirituality is assumed in the Hawaiian culture, and it is celebrated. When Hawaiians say, “I have aloha for you,” they are saying, “I have love and the utmost respect for who you are.” They are also saying, “I trust you to respect and honor my aloha in return.” Thus, great management must begin with good intent. Great managers must believe that their employees are innately good, worthy, and capable of great things. Thus, when you hire people, hire those you believe in and are willing to create professional relationships with. Managers manage through other people, so your belief in the people you manage is the singularly most important prerequisite for your managerial success.

When dealing with a difficult person or situation, remember aloha. Love and respect the person/people involved. Treat them with the dignity they will want to earn from you. Correct and guide their behavior. If there are variables, talk them out. Think of aloha as a good attitude. It is inclusive, positive, and healthy. Professionally, it is the feeling of good service given with sincerity for the pure love of it. It is treating each other with love, honest, openness, dignity and trust. It is freely sharing caring and love with each other.


CITE: MANAGING WITH ALOHA: Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business by Rosa Say




Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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