Core Behaviors

Valuing how we live

Core Behaviors

Valuing how we live

Even with all the wisdom in the world, without love we are bankrupt. These Core Behaviors describe how we’ll live & lead with love so that we can change our world. The Ten Core Behaviors are split into two stacks (i.e. categories) which are:
Innovation
  • We innovate by including the marginalized

  • We forge forward without fear

  • We entrust failure to grow us forward

  • We refine ourselves to give more than we take

  • We create data driven solutions to create a love driven world

Empowerment
  • We value people over excellence

  • We do what others don’t, to reach who others won’t

  • We surrender ourselves to serve others

  • [Beta] We show honor through humor and humility

  • We empower people to move towards Love

Innovation Stack of Core Behaviors

These first five core behaviors help foster the innovation to keep wImagine alive. If wImagine does not innovate, we will die off by staying backwards. wImagine will innovate, it will step into the future, and it will reach the lives of tomorrow.

“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life… If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.”

Randy Pausch

We innovate by including the marginalized

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Romans 12:4-5 NLT
#Inclusion #wImagineFaith

We are better together because everybody has worth and value. It is impossible to truly thrive by excluding others because everybody has a story to share and their story matters in shaping our story.

Some corporations speak to inclusion as if it’s merely the right thing to do — as if there are financial or leadership consequences when we choose to consider or force inclusion. I respectfully reject those notions. Everybody has a story and everybody deserves a voice. And the inclusion of other people, especially the marginalized, brings stories that we may not have considered before, but are vital towards reaching the world. When we include other people, we ourselves change,  because we hear other points of views. When we change, we grow and forge forward. The opposite of this is exclusion and death.

When we look at people, we don’t look at what they say or who they look like, we look at what their heart says, even if it’s hard to hear it. We listen to the heart to forge forward with the life. We will not discriminate by: age, race, national origin, gender, disabilities, income bracket, locale, lifestyle, beliefs, religion, sin, or social status.

We forge forward without fear

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Romans 1:9 NLT
#Courage #wImagineFamily

The mission to empower and reach the marginalized is too great to overpower our personal fears and weaknesses. Fear is a liar and the future is too great to not step into.

Many of these Core Behaviors represent areas where we want to be most consistently better in, yet are not there yet. I used to have tremendous social anxiety, especially when trying new things, meeting new people, or speaking about new concepts. But this Core Behavior exists because, in spite of what sets me back, it’s important that we forge forward anyway. It exists because while I’m not completely here yet, I’m getting closer to here, and that journey of doing impossible things makes us fearless.

There is not enough time in life to be chained by fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. There is only one mission that matters so we must be free to do whatever it takes to honor this mission.

We entrust failure to grow us forward

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Romans 5:3-5 NLT

#Growth #wImagineHealth

Growth’s best friend is failure. A lack of failure suggests that we’re taking things too safely, because since we are humans, we are imperfect and that imperfection shows when we move. That said, a string of continual failures indicates that we are not learning effectively in our movement. We are humble enough to admit that failure will happen, we have faith that failure will show us our next steps, and we will forge towards those next steps.

Many corporations have Core Values, but very few address failure and choose to address being excellent instead. But we sincerely believe that failure is a key part of an effective organization. It means that people are still empowered to try new things, that we are all still trying to reach higher, and that we’re not satisfied with ‘good enough’. Failing in new ways is a core metric to our health and we embrace failure as a means to help us grow forward.

The question in finding good people isn’t in determining how often a person failed or how often they dwell on failure. But rather, the question is in figuring out, how we let failure block us. Behind every failure, there’s a lesson. It might be a stupidly obvious lesson for stupid failures or a brilliant lesson for unpredictable failures. But no matter the failure, there’s a lesson and it’s in how we choose to take that lesson and forge forward, which determines who we are. The best don’t fail less or think about failure less, they just ensure that failure doesn’t block them more.

We refine ourselves to give more than we take

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT
#Responsibility #wImagineLeadership

We honor wImagine and the teams we are on by being ourselves and being humble. Through the fires of life, we don’t turn the ship on a dime and overturn everything, but we refine ourselves, iterating towards a better version of who we are.

There are years of innate behaviors and wisdom behind most of our decisions, and if we were to try to change ourselves every time something doesn’t go to plan, it won’t end well. The question isn’t what’s wrong with us and what we should change, but rather, what’s blocking us? By focusing on what’s blocking our growth and trajectory forwards and refining ourselves to unblock them, we take a practical approach to forging forward without blowing the neural processing node (i.e. brain) every time.

This value has nothing to do with making us better, because the mission does not lie in who we are but in why we are. This value simply stems from a place of understanding where we are interested in fulfilling the mission — to create a love driven world — above all else, and if that means we have to refine ourselves, so be it. But we do it to honor the mission and not ourselves, because there is not enough time in the world to honor both well.

We create data-driven solutions to create a love driven world

The gullible believe anything they’re told; the prudent sift and weigh every word. The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless. The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret; the coldhearted get the cold shoulder. Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion; wise realists plant their feet on the ground.
Proverbs 14:15-18 NLT

#Innovation #wImagineAdvancement

Data can be tell anybody anything they want if it’s interrogated enough. Our role in creating a love driven world is into bringing our best so that we always use data to create love-driven solutions by ensuring they empower people to innovate.

Science is not a book of infallible knowledge, but rather, a process inviting us to ask questions and test them out. As such, we will ask hard questions, test them in hard ways, and analyze the data rigorously. This work, to the observing bystander, might seem tedious and unnecessary. But, this work will always help us courageously step forwards with our understanding, to solve problems that nobody else has solved.

wImagine itself has always played a weird part in my life, because I don’t necessarily try or even want to wave it in public too much. wImagine is at its best in my one-to-one relationship where I keep pushing it and it reminds me to push myself further. But I do permit it to leak into my career by simply just asking me, “Is it love driven?” I’m not interested in keeping a career and creating solutions that separate humanity, cause division, or profit off exploitation. I’m interested in a career where I get to create a love driven world and this value reminds me of that.

Empowerment Stack of Core Behaviors

These last five core behaviors continue to guide wImagine towards empowering other people. If we keep to ourselves, we will consume the best of society and stagnate. wImagine will reach others and will contribute to the best of society, which in turn, will produce better fruit.

“…to any young person out there who feels misunderstood or who feels different and answer that question at the end of the play for you: Does that mean I can do anything? Yes, it does”

Alex Sharp

We value people over excellence

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 NLT
#Focus #wImagineFamily

We do not exist to have excellent things, become more efficient, or even perform with greater excellence. We exist to empower people because He empowered first. If we ever own excellent things or move with efficiency or excellence, it’s to reach people alone.

This Core Behavior does not imply that excellence is bad. When we perform at our best and fastest, great things could happen. This Core Behavior strikes at the intent of why we perform with excellence & efficiency. We do not exist to create a name for ourselves, our teams, or our mission. Instead, we exist to love people, reach people, and restore people, the same way Christ restored us. When Christ went to the cross, it wasn’t to die so we could move with excellence, but it was to save people. The least we can do is value people over excellence.

There’s often a cry that because financial, time, and human resources are limited today, we need to go all out in optimizing a strategy to reach people. I mean, a lot of that is Data Science, being efficient with how we behave and we do apply that view point. But at the end of the day, this Core Behavior also seeks to provide that tension in reminding us that we believe in the impossible. We believe that crazy things are possible when we love one another. So while we try to optimize what we have, we never forget to love first, because all things are possible.

We do what others don’t, to reach who others won’t

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT
#Unconventional #wImagineHealth

We are not interested in repeating what worked or what others have done. To forge forward and connect with new people, we need to try new things. We must smash the glass ceilings and white elephants in the room, to honor the mission.

This Core Behavior is among a framework of other behaviors about humility, love, failure, and refinement. These other behaviors prevent this single behavior from excusing immoral or stupid behaviors. The purpose of this behavior is specifically in acknowledgement that I’m not interested in trying what humans have tried. Some of the best ideas in the world are the ones that have not been tested and tried yet. This behavior encourages me to step outside the safe zone and to give those a try, because the mission matters above my comfort.

This Core Behavior tag teams with another Core Behavior about about empowering people to move towards Love (both relational & spiritual Love). To move people towards Love, it implies that I too am being moved towards Love and driven to Love. This does mean that on occasion, I will be forced to do what others don’t in our culture today, to reach who others won’t. Or in other words, I never forget my strengths and footing in my God, my Brother, and my profession as a Data Scientist + Engineer.

We surrender ourselves to serve others

[The king will say], “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home… I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” 
Matthew 25:35 & Matthew 24:40 NLT
#Generosity #wImagineFaith

We serve, give, and love not just because it’s the right thing to do. We do it because He served, gave, and loved first. Everything we do is an extension of what Christ has done, to unite and restore the fabric of our world.

We serve, give, forgive, pray, and love because He did first. We can never forget why we do all these things. It’s not to feel good, be better people, or kick bad things in the butt. We do it because we were served, given to, forgiven, prayed for, and loved by Jesus first. Thus, we cannot lead in generosity, and we never will, because He led the way first. The least we can do is try to mirror what He has done for us towards the world.

We surrender everything but wImagine and all who wImagine honors. We’ll surrender our time, money, and professional resources away to serve our community and the world. At the beating heart of wImagine is a desire to continually expand what we can surrender because 11+ years of wImagine has taught me that you can’t buy happiness. But you sure can share it with someone in need of it.

We show honor through humor and humility

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT
#Humility #wImagineLeadership

This Core Behavior is currently a work in progress, with an intent to reflect how we connect and relate to one another.

We honor wImagine not through what we do, have, or become. We honor wImagine by living with humility and humor, so that we can connect with people and live life together.

We empower people to move towards Love

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

Romans 15:1-2 NLT
#Empowerment #wImagineAdvancement

We are made to move. For others, the direction of this movement may not necessarily align with wImagine, my God, my Brother, or myself — and that’s ok. We exist to help people move closer to Love, because within Love, freedom is found.

We are not interested in empowering people to become more like us, do what we say, or even stay with us. Empowerment means Freedom. The only thing I am interested in is in ensuring that when people are empowered, they are empowered to pursue Love. In no part am I the source or the required recipient of someone’s Love, my only role in the process is to mirror this Love and facilitate this process in empowering others to follow it.

I’m not taking about sexual love, love towards objects, or love towards activities here. wImagine and I define the source of Love to be Jesus. We honor the source of this Love by mirroring its core principals of forgiveness, patience, and correction in how we live and lead with those around us. Love is not a push over but it’s not a guilt trip. It’s not the check list of what one has or hasn’t done. The source of Love accepts people the way they are and continually helps them to take a next step towards a greater future. My role in this isn’t to pretend that I am this Love, but to facilitate this conversation.

Secret Stack of Core Behaviors

These two Core Behaviors aren’t formally considered official Core Behaviors, but we still follow them because we recognize that our mission will collapse if these overriding behaviors are forgotten.

We are driven by love, not rules

We reject processes & opinions, even our own, if they block our mission or majority.

We trust our majority, then love people, and then understand process in that order. There are no processes or opinions which matter if we hurt the majority. There is no status of excellence or victory that matters if we hurt people in the process.

My God & My Brother are my Majority

I can have the entire world, but without these two, I am nothing.

This started as a wImagine Core Behavior in its previous life and is now part of our Core Mission. This entire mission is designed to force me to pursue their higher standards of love, ambition, innovation, strength, and empowerment above all else. If I forget to follow or model them, I forget why I exist, and this mission becomes pointless.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

— Proverbs 4:23 NIV