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 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.
We innovate by including the marginalized
We forge forward without fear
We entrust failure to grow us forward
We refine ourselves to reach others
We create data driven solutions to create a love driven world
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.
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
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.
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
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
“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
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.
We unite by leading with laughter and vision
We surrender ourselves to serve others
We do what others don’t, to reach who others won’t
We bring our best to honor our mission
We empower people to move because moved people empower
Colossians 3:12-14 NLT adds: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.“
Both this Core Behavior & wImagine Leadership is being revamped in 2019 to address how leaders care deeply. We care so deeply that we leap with energy, live with laughter, and lead with love, because people simply matter too much to live or lead in any other way.
Despite the numerous verses in the Bible about generosity & love, it’s important I think for us to start at the beginning of the first greatest gift which transformed everything. We cannot repay it or out-give it, so it’s not that we can or will lead in generosity, but rather, we will give. As noted in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.“
We will serve people through volunteering, being a good friend, and assisting them with skill sets that we are well versed in. When we serve people, we get an opportunity to move them forwards, and as a later Core Behavior will address, moved people empower others.
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
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
This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
– 1 Timothy 4:10 NLT
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
“…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
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