Ka Lama Ku No’eau: The Standing Torch of Wisdom
University of Hawai’i – Hilo
When our campus decided to infuse our student leadership development program with the stronger connection to Hawaiian roots, we looked to many sources for inspiration including our faculty, staff, and students.
Ka Lama Ku provides our developing student leaders with a timeless foundation to lead with aloha. Ka Lama Ku No’eau is a multi-generational, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic hui (group) whose name literally translates to “the standing torch of wisdom.” The torch was viewed by native Hawaiians as the path of enlightenment and the passing of the wisdom from one generation to another as part of leadership.
Ka Lama Ku began a collaboration with another leadership organization from Kaua’i, called Kupu a’e, whose director, Mason Chock, is a master facilitator for Leadership Challenge. He helped integrate the five LC Exemplary Leadership Practices with Kupu a’e practices. Having this compatibility between native values and the Leadership Challenge values lends greater validity to the Ka Lama Ku programs. The five principles of Ka Lama Ku blend with the five practices:
- Enable Others to Act: Laulima, ‘A’ohe Hana Nui Ke ‘Alu’la — No task is too big when done by all. The principle recognizes teamwork, networking and collaboration in a group and motivates others to make a difference every day.
- Inspire a Shared Vision: Ike Papalua — To have the gift of vision and to have the courage and discipline to navigate unknown waters and to act upon situations and challenges that are beyond one’s expectations.
- Model the Way: Alaka’i — To lead with initiative, to provide role modeling, and to mentor new leaders. An Alaka’i inspires, excites and provides commitment toward goals.
- Challenge the Process: Kuleana Ko Kakou — To be accountable and responsible. It is to instill and motivate others toward solutions, to have ho’ihi (respect) for others and to be an effective communicator.
- Encourage the Heart: Malama — Is to take care of others and our communities. We malama the aina (land and our environment) our ohana (families) and nurture our akua (spirit).