NHI announces its 25 fundamentals as part of 40th anniversary celebration
The National Hispanic Institute utilized this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to conduct its annual Project Administrator training, readying those who are working to make the summer program experience possible for students across the nation and throughout Latin America. The training was also the official launch of NHI’s 25 Fundamentals, which encapsulates ideas of the heart of NHI’s mission, philosophy, and code of conduct into one document.
Though the fundamentals fit on one small, folded card (as shown in the picture accompanying this article) and are anchored in short statements, they contain principles that not only inform the NHI experience, but can also serve as a code of conduct for NHIers no matter where they find themselves. The text is below:
At the National Hispanic Institute we develop leaders. In this commitment we not only contribute skills and talent, we also create, inspire and serve. Our promise is demonstrated by 25 fundamental behaviors that are core to our success. These principles define how we relate to ourselves, each other and our community. We continuously learn, teach and practice them in order to foster a space of imagination and new possibility for community advancement.
- ACT WITH INTEGRITY. Be ethical. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Tell the truth and settle matters respectfully and courteously, directly at the source. If you make a mistake, own up to it and make it right.
- TREASURE, PROTECT & PROMOTE OUR LEGACY. As NHI members, we are recognized for and benefit from our proud leadership legacy. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation. Represent our community well and be a proud ambassador of the organization.
- CELEBRATE & CHERISH OUR LATINO CULTURE. Invest your time and talent in advancing our unique heritage with pride and gratitude. Build upon our community and history for the next generation. Be an example for others, and honor those before us.
- HONOR COMMITMENTS. Practice bringing deep respect to your word when you give it. Identify your priorities and plan actions that realistically fulfill them. Manage obstacles that impact your commitments. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, the right way. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, let others know in advance and do what you can to make it right.
- ENGAGE WITH ENTHUSIASM & RIGOR. Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of rigor to get things done.
- HAVE FUN & BE POSITIVE. While our passion for excellence is real, keep the perspective that the world has bigger problems than our daily challenges. You have the power to choose your attitude and have fun. Spread joy, optimism, and enthusiasm. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day.
- BEHAVE LIKE A STAKEHOLDER. Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in your work. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. Work to get things right, not simply get them done. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?” Take responsibility for the outcomes.
- APPRECIATE & ACKNOWLEDGE. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation in all directions throughout NHI. Celebrate progress as much as victory. Seek out the best in others and praise often. Allow yourself and others to learn, improve, and grow. Make corrections respectfully and in an encouraging manner.
- PROCEED ONLY ON FAITH. (POOF) YOU have the power to imagine possibilities and only you can allow yourself to dream. Have faith in yourself and your community. Do good work, don’t cut corners, have faith in others, and they will have faith in you.
- CREATE & SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations up front. Set expectations for others and when you’re not clear on what is expected of you, ask questions. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and calendars for completion.
- FORECAST & ANTICIPATE. Address possible problems before they develop by anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and designing projects that create harmony and reduce conflict. Work with appropriate lead times. Preventing issues is always better than fixing them.
- REFLECT, ADAPT & EXECUTE. When presented with a challenge, be flexible and curious to better understand the underlying issues. Use unbiased inquiry to discover possible areas of conflict. Gather diverse points of view to review the situation and find common ground. Get agreement on the intended outcome, and re-align your actions to get there.
- INITIATE PLANS & DELIVER RESULTS. Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. While we appreciate effort, we reward and celebrate results. Set high goals, mea- sure your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
- TREAT PEOPLE LIKE FAMILY. Approach everyone with respect, dignity and as a valuable asset with a contribution to make. Be inclusive and follow the Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated. Whether it’s a kind word during a tough stretch, a friendly smile each morning, or a helping hand in stressful times, treat others like family.
- FREE YOUR MIND TO CREATE. Innovation, improvement, and success don’t come from routine custom and practice. They come from unbridling your mind to reach its full potential. Ask profound questions. Test out possible scenarios and outcomes before launching projects. Be thoughtful and willing to try the unconventional.
- CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. Know and practice our safety procedures for everyone’s well-being. Always secure areas that involve you and your team- mates. Have contingency plans in case of emergencies. Don’t take shortcuts that compromise the safety of you and those around you.
- IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME. We have the capacity to design and initiate plans that give us advantages in life. Invest time in learning, reflecting, improving and sharing best practices. Feeling uncomfortable at times means you’re in a growth mode. A new mindset means new results. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more creatively. There are more opportunities than problems, if you believe in yourself!
- PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM SOLVING. When problems arise, focus on resolutions and avoid fault-finding. Remember your larger purpose and accept your role in helping make things right. Apply your creativity, spirit and enthusiasm to solutions. Lessons learned from shortcomings improve future performance and wisen us to potential mistakes before they happen.
- LISTEN GENEROUSLY. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Suspend judgment, the need to disagree, the need to interrupt with your opinion, and be careful about assumptions and jumping to conclusions. Strong and attentive listeners help others feel secure and understood. Generous listening allows a space for others to express their ideas and thoughts, free from fear or judgment.
- RECIPROCATE SUPPORT. When people invest in you, show gratitude and endeavor to help them in return. Whether it be a kind thank you note, your time and effort on one of their projects, or publicly recognizing their contributions, work to cultivate your relationships. We serve our community as it serves us. Being a community that reciprocates support is a quality we can all benefit from and pass on to future generations.
- LEAD BY SERVING & INSPIRING OTHERS. Be a model leader who inspires people and serves the community. Initiate by offering help and encouragement to others, and be willing to step into different roles if that’s what it takes to be successful. Create opportunities for the growth and development of people.
- SEEK COMMON GROUND. Work from the assumption that there is common ground between you and others. Be open to learning from people, no matter what role they have, and regardless of their age, industry, experience, or tenure. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give others the benefit of the doubt that we are all doing our best to make a difference, each in our own way.
- HEALTHY BODY/HEALTHY MIND. Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Make healthy choices for your body, mind, and spirit. Notice when you’re “off” mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Seek out help and set aside time for yourself. The more you take care of yourself, the more prosperous and generous you can be.
- CREATE THE OPPORTUNITY. Be the leader who envisions new opportunities that inspire and engage others to get involved. Communicate the positive outcomes and benefits to be derived from community endeavors. Share and celebrate success when opportunities materialize into real, sustainable projects.
- APPROACH PEOPLE WITH HUMILITY AND COURAGE. Approach others with respect, humility, and a healthy courage to make good things happen. Remember your higher purpose, and that nobody is under any obligation to help you. Win people over with your positive intention to do good. Inspire rather than obligate. Make it attractive for people to get involved in achieving larger goals.