April 14, 2005
News & Opinion: Managing with Aloha
Perhaps we should start with this question: Why did I write Managing with Aloha, and more important, why is it relevant to you?
I can give you the quick answer with two statements: 1. I want to start a movement that will reinvent work as we know it. We all deserve to work while living our best possible life, and it is possible. 2. I know that managers in business are the ones to help us make this happen. However they can only do this by working on themselves first, and by bringing aloha and nobility to their profession.
Ambitious? Sure. Likely? Inevitable if we are to thrive and prosper while working in business.
Managing with Aloha is managers toolbox, workplace reinvention, and new business model wrapped up in one. Only managers and leaders destined for greatness need purchase.
In mid 2003 I left a plum executive position at a world-renowned residential resort to start my own management coaching business. Id worked my way through one of those classic ironies of life: work long and hard to finally arrive and then figure out that inhabiting the executive suite is not really what you want to do after all. After a lengthy management career in both small and large corporate business I knew, without any shadow of a doubt, that I wanted to spend my time mentoring and coaching managers, so that together, we could lead a workplace reinvention that would change work relationships and work itself forever.
I was inspired to this, because in my own small corner of the world, with a group of employees most people had written off, we had already done it. It felt great. It felt right. All the business philosophies and leadership training Id been given over the years finally blended together in an operation that was exceptionally profitable, meaningful, and fulfilling. It was an experience which changed me and gave me new hope no, certainty, that here was a business model which could be duplicated successfully. But not duplicated with cloning and systemization: Individually adapted to the true character of a business with value-matching. I called this business model Managing with Aloha, and I started to teach it.
The book came to be written a little bit after my coaching practice began. The group of employees I referred to were a group of watermen called The Alakai Nalu, and as their reputation spread I was asked to visit workplaces and share their story. In the telling, Id find that managers wrote feverishly, taking copious notes on these Hawaiian values which had brought the Alakai Nalu to their own self-made reinvention. Id often stop them and say, How about if you write less and just try to do it? Dont write down what I say, lets talk about it. But managers, being creatures of habit with some things, wanted and needed their notes. They asked for more examples, more stories. So my next thought was, Tell you what, Ill write it down for you. What I wrote for them, and for you, was Managing with Aloha.
Managing with Aloha on 800-CEO-ReaD
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.