In the Hawaiian culture, aloha has many meanings and many uses, but the true importance of the word rests in its use to mean “love.”

When a Hawaiian says to you, “Aloha,” what is really being said is “I extend my sense and emotion of love to you.”

If you are arriving, it means “welcome with love”; if you are departing, it means “go with love”.

Aloha means that “I will live in and among my society with my fellow citizens with a spirit of love.”

It is this commitment to the love of humanity that defines the ancient Hawaiian culture, and it is this spirit of aloha that can define what is meant by love as the first principle of leadership. It is this connection with humans and the desire, even need, to love and be loved as humans that define our uniqueness as a species. We may be the only species that feels this type of deep connection and that factor makes us need to complete ourselves by beginning all our relationships with a connection that the Hawaiians called “aloha.”

It is this sense of aloha (love) that must precede our actions as leaders.


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