While in Hawaii, I had the great pleasure of coming across the work of Rosa Say, a workplace culture and leadership coach, author and speaker. Rosa brings a unique Hawaiian perspective to business and workplace focusing on core Hawaiian values which also have a universality and parallel with many indigenous cultures. Her beautiful and very practical book, “Managing with Aloha” brings these values to life and I feel privileged sharing this interview with Rosa, with you.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself – your roots and cultural background?
I was born and raised in Hawaii, the oldest of 5 children: I was 5 years old when Hawaii became the 50th State of USA. Like many in the islands, I represent a melting pot of ancestry, and I’m Filipino, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese, yet I consider myself keiki o ka ‘aina (a child of the land) in my value system and prevailing habit, in that I’m completely a product of the islands’ sense of place. In our islands, the locals would call me Kama’aina; one who is native born and bred, but not of Hawaiian blood ancestry. “Of Hawaii” is who I am, in that it is all I know as a resident, other than a very short time when I lived in the Philippines as a teenager, but I’ve been fortunate to have traveled outside of the islands quite a bit – more than most residents do. Haven’t been to your islands yet though, and believe me, it’s near the top of my bucket list! (more…)