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.

Ashley Touchton | Orange Sparkle Ball | Innovation and Startup Strategist

Three words came to mind immediately: efficiency, vision, and drive. Efficiency is a joke among my friends and is both one of my strengths and largest pet-peeves. I also think it is where the other two stem from – in order to be efficient, you have to have a clear vision for what you want and where you are going and the drive to create changes in your life or work to make it happen. From picking out my clothes while I brush my teeth, to stirring my coffee with a knife because the spoons always run out first, to creating minimum viable product pilot plans to test solutions quickly; I am all about maximizing the time and effort spent doing something to the benefit I will get. I may sound crazy, but I think this applies to so many areas of life. Read more>>

Charles Driebe | Manager of Musical Artists

Working with great artists to create great music and live musical experiences is my goal. In order to do that I’ve had to keep the artists’ best interests at heart , handle the business so they could focus on the art, and encourage their artistic growth. With these guiding principles, i have been able to be a part of the careers of artists who have stirred their listeners’ emotions and changed their hearts and minds. Read more>>

Corendis Hardy | Educator, Author, and CEO of Avant-garde Books

At the root of all failure is a lie. One of the biggest mistakes that potential entrepreneurs make is embracing the false paradigm that the greatest benefit of having a business is that they will get to work for themselves. However, the truth is that no business can have sustainable success unless it focuses on working for “other” people. I have learned from firsthand experience that when serving others is at the heart of everything you do, success will follow. As the founder of Avant-garde Books, LLC, I regularly reiterate that our principal goal is not to merely sell books, but to “save” people through literacy and learning. Anybody, regardless of their socio-economic status and background, can constructively transform their life with the right knowledge. Read more>>

Cheryl Delaney | Level 3 TEAM Therapist

More than any of the values or principles that spring to mind when I think of those words — kindness, compassion, generosity, courage, creativity — I value practice. In my work with clients, I find that practice is invaluable. People who work with me inevitably find themselves in a role play at one point or another and, as corny and awkward as they can be, they’re also amazingly powerful. In the same ways that practicing improves your skills and performance in sports and music and cooking, practice improves the skills you need to actually be kind. Promoting kindness is easy until the rubber meets the road and someone is rude to you and you want to snap back. It’s natural to lose your courage when you’re confronted by something truly scary and you’re not ready for it. Read more>>