Our values ground us. They are principles to which we aspire, guideposts for decision-making, and shared practices we adopt. Most importantly, they represent the pillars of a shared culture we’re building every day.
Believe in people
To us, people come before everything. We believe in them, even if others don’t. We take bets on long-shots and little knowns in our work. And we offer our attention, respect, and care to the people we meet with, whomever they might be. None of us know who might change the course of history. So we treat everyone as though it might be them.
Learn like a child
Children are built to learn. Unconcerned with the judgment of others, children wholeheartedly embrace the awkwardness of being beginners. They dive in, stumble, and learn rapidly from their mistakes. They’re the most fearless learners of the human race, and they’re our role models for learning.
Be in the arena
In one of his most famous quotations, Theodore Roosevelt says, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…” We are going to come up short. We know. But still, we show up, courageously, even if imperfectly, even if beaten down. We persist, we stay engaged, we press forward…because we believe in what we do.
In a world that pressures us to be somebody else, we create a space where we can be our whole selves. A space where we can be wonderfully weird, where we can be vulnerable, and where we can be open with our thoughts and feelings (even when we’re scared to). We have hard conversations, we share our failures publicly, and we prize authenticity.
Take the long view
We have found powerful strategic wisdom in the words of Jewish Rapper, Matisyahu, when he says, “keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.” If we’re not careful, we can get stuck only obsessing about day-to-day responsibilities and tasks, so we set our gaze on our long-term vision and take the long-view on the daily decisions we make. We recognize that building something that matters doesn’t happen overnight, and we press forward with equal parts short-term urgency and long-term wisdom.
Use all your strength
A boy and his father are walking through the woods. They come upon a log blocking their path. The boy turns to his father and asks, “Do you think I can lift this log?” The father says, “If you use all your strength, you can.” The boy tries with everything he’s got, once, twice, three times. But he fails each time. He asks his father, “Why did you tell me I could do this when I clearly can’t?” The father says, “I said you could do it if you used all your strength. You didn’t ask me for help.” We can’t do our work alone. We need other people. We consider our strength not just our own abilities, but all the people who march alongside us. We are relentless about asking for help.
Remember to dance
Emma Goldman, the famed women’s rights advocate, was once waiting at a podium to speak to a crowd. Music began playing, so she began dancing. One of the conference organizers approached her to ask her not to dance and to behave in a more “lady-like” fashion. She replied, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Like Emma Goldman, we are not going to change the world without having fun, without celebration, without wackiness, and without being fully human.