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April 14, 2005

News & Opinion: The Language of Intention, and the Power of Words

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:37 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


To tell you the honest truth, I do regret one phrase I included in Managing with Aloha.
I listened to the voices in my head (and my editor) for political correctness and global selling power when I wrote this: You need not remember my Hawaiian words these values are universal, and you may have your own words for them.
Luckily, you dont get to that sentence until you reach the Epilogue near the end of the book. People have told me, Rosa by the time I read that, I already was!
Thank goodness, for I know better now. When you learn the words, you associate newly meaningful definition to values you thought you already knew all about. When everyone in a company defines them in that new way, and they are spoken out loud, they speak a new language of intention. Spoken words become a promise begging to be made good on. You are forced to walk your talk now how many times have you heard employees ask for that from management?
So quick review of the last post: Aloha is our personal combination of innate talents blended in perfect harmony with our values. Of those personal values, the ones that perfectly match up to great business character are the ones I coach you in within the pages of Managing with Aloha.
Dont let the Hawaiian words intimidate you. Think of them as a new framing for universal business values you already know - thats exactly what they are. For example:  Leadership and Initiative - Alakai (Ala-kah-ee)  Responsibility and Accountability - Kuleana (Koo-lay-ah-na)  Achievement and Excellence - Kūlia i ka nuu (Koo-lee-a ee kah noo-oo)  Integrity and Professionalism - Hoohanohano (Hoe-oh-hano-hano)  Honesty, Truth, and Authenticity - Nānā i ke kumu (Nana ee kay koo-moo)
Not that bad, huh? Have some fun with them (look in the mirror and say them :-) Learning should be fun; it sticks that way. And when managing with Aloha sticks, there will be changes made
We work on two things in Managing with Aloha: 1. Putting your individual signature on these values so you become a great manager and leader, and you grow. 2. Getting these values out of your staff consistently. More than consistently, willingly and enthusiastically, to the point of your needing to keep up with them! I promise you, you will be amazed at the ideas they begin to share with you.
These two things will make all the difference in the world within your company, and to your customers.
Last post, I told you there were more benefits: Not only do you keep loyal customers, your staff retention soars. People stick around. They tell their family and friends they have Aloha at work, and you find that recruitment is no longer an issue for you. Everyone wants your business to profit so it will continue to sustain them, and you find that your staff takes better care of all your assets, same as they have your customers.
Theres more! As a manager you have time to learn and to innovate, for with so many invested in the success of your business you no longer need to babysit. You can work on your business rather than getting stuck in it. Because of Aloha, you have become a company of growing, thriving people fully vested in a business that sustains you.
Is this exciting or what?!?

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.