Posted in leadership

Managing with Kulia i ka nu’u


Kulia i ka nu’u defines what achievement is for you. It is your personal excellence. Excellence is never an accident. It is always intentional and always demands more than the norm. The excellence you set your sights on will set you apart; it will color your character with the destiny of leadership. In Hawaii, the example for Kulia i ka nu’u is Queen Kapi’olani. On her statue, located in Kapi’olani Park, she is described, “The Queen, who loved children, was a woman of commanding presence, of easy manner and quiet disposition, ever kind, ever thoughtful of others. She dedicated her life to the wellbeing of her people.” Also on the statue are her words, “strive for the highest.”

Kulia means to strive. Nu’u means summit. Kulia i ka nu’u was one of Queen Kapi’olani favorite expressions. She is said to have always been using them to explain her beliefs, and to encourage her people to reach constantly, and to reach as high as they could. To act with spiritual rightness of actions that stem from being at one’s highest place was her constant reminder.

Employees love working for great managers who are hard-working, dynamic, and always striving for the best. Employees want to be proud of the work they do. They want to be recognized for being part of a quality team that is making a difference. They want to be surrounded by excellence.

What is your summit? Have you set your goals high enough? Will your achievement satisfy you? There is always more hope, more promise ahead of us. Remember the message of Kulia I ka nu’u: Be your best. Don’t settle for less.

Kulia i ka nu’u reminds us there is more hope out there for us. It reminds us to reach high. It reminds us that excellence is never an accident. It is intentional. It always demands more than the norm.


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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