We’ve always believed that forming a strategy is impossible until you’re clear on what your values and principles are.  Without values and principles to guide you, making decisions can seem impossibly difficult.  Given how important setting values and principles is to decision making we asked folks we admire to tell us about the values or principles that matter most to them.

Lauren Ferree | Freelance Video Producer & Environmentalist

Sustainability, and therefore caring about people and the planet, are most important to me. I wasn’t always an activist, it’s only been about four years since I’ve really plugged into the space, but I have never found something more purposeful or directional in my life than advocating for the environment and it’s habitants. I was raised by an environmentalist mama, so there were definitely strong sustainable practices in our home growing up, and as I mature and witness the state of the world, and understand the science that proves that we humans are killing the planet (and ourselves) with our fatal choices of consumption, energy, and land use… it drives me to want to create a different world for my future children and grandchildren. Read more>>

Noah Jackson | Professional Dancer, Choreographer & Creative Director

My Purpose. It’s something I had an idea of when I was in high school and since then have molded it as I experience more in life and think about things differently as I mature. This matters most to me because my purpose is what keeps me going! It is what helps me look at the bigger picture. Re-center myself. Come to terms with the reason why I do what I do. Why I am an artist, and where I want to take my art. Purpose is what also helps me most when I’m not working on my art, and/or haven’t in a while. When Covid-19 came around, it was just after I had finished my latest concept video “Dreams” fortunately. However once everything began to close up and we were in lockdown, I had to basically put a hold on my craft and developing something new w others. Read more>>

Melanie Pensak | Nature-based Meditation Leader & Mindfulness Teacher

What feels the most important right now and fuels the choices I make in the world is showing reverence for the planet and treating this Earth with deep respect. It is time to start asking, “How can I listen to the planet and act wisely to support its efforts to rebalance?” It is time to come into a reciprocal relationship with the wisdom of nature instead of endlessly raping the world of its resources. We are living in a time where it feels absolutely urgent and vital to prioritize protecting the planet. We have known this need for years, and yet here we are in 2020 faced with even more global uncertainty because of the choices we have made to mistreat the living beings and disrupt natural cycles. Read more>>

Dr. Benjamin Horning DC | Chiropractor

Integrity. By that I mean, doing the right thing with the right intentions. Often life puts people in a grey complicated area and good intentions may result in unintended results. It’s best to work out a way to get task completed without sacrificing one’s goal and to overcome obstacles in an agreeable fashion. I found that if I define the correct intended result, it’s easier forge a path to get to where I need to go with the understanding that at times, life typically resists a simple A to B approach, An example would be dieting. Say maybe the goal is to lose 5 pounds and it would be done with intermittent fasting for 2 weeks. It’s best not to assume the thing will be easy and there won’t be interruptions. Read more>>

Modest Jones | Marketing Consultant & Entertainer

Honesty is the value/principle that matters the most to me because it is so important to be the best version of myself. I gravitate toward situations where I feel that I can be my best self. Integrity is key. If someone can be honest with me, I can respect them even if I don’t agree with them. The ultimate goal is to be an expression of my soul and to reflect my true self. At this juncture, I don’t feel that I should have to lie to anyone and I do not tolerate being lied to. My lie detector is on point and I can easily remove myself from a table where honesty is not being served. Read more>>

Brittany Uecker | Embroidery Artists & Actress

Put it out in the world. If someone could magically add up the amount of time I’ve wasted overthinking if I should share something I made, I would like them to hide that number and NEVER show it to me!! It’s a lesson I will keep relearning over and over again. Artists can’t waste time wondering if what we created has worth to everyone, people connect in different forms. Putting out more art is the best way to find your voice, your skills and style. Then after a couple hundred pieces, you can really see a common thread in your art and what you individually bring to interpretations. And noticing what people request from you can be extremely helpful to keep creating what YOU like but still appealing to others! Read more>>

Jessie Redd | Program Specialist & Coach

When I think of values and what principle matters the most to me, the first one that comes to mind is integrity. Holding myself to a high ethical standard at all times and staying true to what I believe in means everything to me. I once saw a quote that read, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching” and it has stuck with me since. I was raised to treat the CEO with the same respect as a janitor and I feel that this has helped me tremendously with my career. Having honesty and integrity in the workplace are so important for leadership especially in business. People want to feel secure and not have to question whether or not they are being cheated. Having a team and colleagues that trust you creates a quality environment which will lead to success. Integrity is the true mark of leadership. Read more>>

Rachel Dellefield | Yoga Instructor & Personal Trainer

I went back and forth about this but I’d have to say integrity. It’d be easy to say that integrity is just about telling the truth, and while that is true, in business and in life, it’s much more than that. Brene Brown quotes that it is “choosing courage over comfort; choosing right over what is fun, fast or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” Integrity, to me, means staying true to my core values, to what is important to me as a human, and to what I want to offer to the world based on my strengths and passions. It’s being acutely aware of the way I spend my time and with who I spend it with, and of the way I communicate. Read more>>

ALLIN Los Angeles | Community Organization

If you want to change the world, start at home. Read more>>

Emily Yuan | Founder

The most important value to me would be integrity. It is a value that I live by, not only in my professional life, but also in my personal life. By definition, it means the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. But to me integrity to me is more than just being honest, it means being dependable and following through on my commitments, being open and honest when communicating with others, and holding myself accountable and owning up to my shortcomings, which, yes, I have because I am human! This is so important to me because simply put, you gain self- respect and respect from others. Think about a situation where you caught someone in a lie or were cheated by someone. Read more>>

Za Winton | Event and Life Stylist & Coordinator

The principles that matter most to me are: 1. GOD/Sovereignty 2. Leadership 3. Endurance 4. Mindfulness I believe that I am the creator of my own destiny, guided along my divine path of innate knowledge through my DNA, wisdom through my life’s unique experiences, and understanding through my connectivity and mindfulness practice. I serve as a beacon of light to those I have touched, physically through my gifts and talents, as well as those who have witnessed my growth and struggles from afar. One if the most important life lessons I have learned is to remain resilient. Situations always get better, even in the worst of scenarios and in order to truly learn from these lessons, we must first change our mindset. We are our thoughts. Our actions follow what we think and believe of ourselves. Read more>>

Courtnie Brown | MS2 at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Authenticity. In my experience, the only way you can walk in your purpose is by being true to yourself first. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to mold myself into who I thought I needed to be. I still have so much learning to do, but I am blessed to have been able to free myself from those sorts of unhealthy thoughts and patterns. We are all here to contribute to something greater than our individual selves – the doctors, the creatives, the lawyers, the policy makers, and everyone else. As a future physician, my end goal is to be an advocate for the health of black and brown communities. Read more>>

Helena Julin | Environmental Artist

The most important work ahead of us is of taking care of our Environment. This includes our fellow travelers on our planet. A trust that the next generation of humanity has the power to follow through what has been started now. Fairness and respect for us all. I dream of Equality between men and women and with no stigma attached to skin color or cultural background. True to my art. I intend to include more people in my work. This, to further the support of change that has started in our society towards equality. I do not usually include people in my art but realize it may give a stronger message. I spend more time now looking at my art with an eye of the purpose of the creation. Read more>>

Dixie Perkinson | Writer & Actor

Honesty is one of the most important values to me. That’s why it’s so meaningful for me to have a blog where I can speak my truth and tell my story. I grew up with a lot of lies and secrecy. I was told to keep my mouth shut. Trust no one. Deny everything. Don’t put anything in writing because it will haunt you. I’m drawn to the truth now. Obsessed perhaps. But I like this better. Read more>>

Arit Barrow | Photographer

My moral compass is composed of many values, but its leading value is integrity. Leading my life with integrity is important because it requires me to stay true to me, my morals, and allows me to be unapologetically me no matter who I interact with. Acting without integrity presents the risk of dealing with problems down the road that could have easily been avoided in the beginning. Acting with integrity is by no means always a walk in the park, but it allows me to focus on what’s important instead of spending time covering my tracks. As an individual, I aim to do the right thing even when faced with a tough decision. I create my work with respect, accountability, and adhere to the highest ethical standards. Read more>>

Bonnie Dolan | Co-owner

Honesty and genuine! Both Joe and I believe the most important thing is to be honest and genuine. We live our lives by those principles. Our SANDERASE cloth was designed with those goals in mind. It needs to work and needs to do what it is suppose to. SANDERASE was originally designed to solve a problem Joe and I have a large family composed of children, grandchildren, and pets, SANDERASE was designed to make our lives easier and solve a very simple problem. Leave the sand, whether at the beach, playground, golf course, hiking camping or at the dog park. It just works! Bonnie Dolan co-owner SANDERASE, locker. Read more>>

Jenná Wallace | Fashion Designer & Visual Artist

I always encourage people to step into their Shine, while I am working on maintaining mine. Everything is cause and effect. My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo because reading it led me to realize the importance of the principle of Alchemy. Overcoming obstacles is a source of power and light. I believe if you follow the light you will GLOW! Simultaneously, we are all focused on growth individually. This is how we practice alchemy by turning our base root feelings like fear into something that is golden, something that inspires growth. My art accents the high moments of joy, without abandoning the shadowy moments of dispair, because its all apart of the process. Many say that my art inspires feelings of hope, love, peace and happiness. Read more>>

Jason | Bliss Coach

Love, baby! What matters most to me is love. Love is a healer, love drives away fear, love is the essence of life. Where there is no true love, there is disharmony, sadness, envy, hate, illness and any other kind of negative vibration. Read more>>

Diane Stevens | Artist

I think the most important thing to me is to be as honest as I can when it comes to my creative vision. I’ve often looked at the works of others and admired their techniques and their creative originality but then when I try their style on it doesn’t seem to fit me because it is not me. I think the key is to find your own voice. Read more>>

Marcus Paul | Artist

Gratefulness! That means the most to me because always being thankful for what you have, and knowing that you could’ve not had it or knowing that most people don’t have it, is very important. It keeps you grounded and humble and is very vital for success! Read more>>

Livia Shi | Architecture & Furniture Design Firm Owner

Optimism is a very important core value to me. Without this characteristic, it would have been very hard for me to have achieved what I have done so far in my career. When I first left the corporate world to start my own business, I felt like my world had completely changed 360 degrees. I was excited for this new venture, but also overwhelmed. Getting my own clients seemed like a daunting task. In the thirteen plus years that I’ve been a business owner, there have been numerous challenges but I’ve always managed to keep focus & see the light at the end of tunnel. My goal, as an architectural business owner, has always been to get bigger and better projects. Read more>>

Janine Davis | Executive Coach & Facilitator

The value of balance is infused into every action I take. I’ve always been driven by leveling the playing field, which explains the work I’ve done in supporting women entrepreneurs, and teaching entrepreneurism to at-risk youth and incarcerated individuals. But it also infuses the work I do as an Executive Coach and Facilitator. I’m often brought into companies when something has gone off the rails. Companies are systems, and when those systems are out of balance, it shows up in myriad ways. Maybe turnover numbers are really high, the team is having a lot of backchanneling, the cultural walk is not being talked, there is an inability to have hard conversations, or there are inequities in how people are being managed. Read more>>

Ralph Laurence Mariano | Director

To do the right thing whether someone is watching or not is a principle I continue to practice in life. Integrity is one of the bigger attributes that makes me who I am, and what makes my business consistently thrive. I learned that integrity through my mom. Of course like any other mom, they would verbally teach you what it is and why it holds so much value, however I learned it more from observing her. She always did everything slowly, however she did it right and well. These instances stuck to me until today. I believe practicing it builds your character within yourself. Every time I practice Integrity I feel a little better about myself. Read more>>