As an organization of 21 people in a hyper-growth mode with many fresh perspectives and varied experiences coming together to exist as one, developing a company of value and virtue has taken precedence as we move forward.

In keeping up with our company culture, we’ve launched the Year of Our Values to ensure that stable|kernel is a place of righteousness for our employees and our clients. In our quest to be the absolute best at what we do, providing the absolute best quality of work, we as the fabric of stable|kernel, must also be the absolute best people we can be.

Our VP of Operations, Jami Sieder, spearheaded the initiative which includes a series of different challenges each quarter. The s|k team will partake in a variety of activities to help us to gain a deeper understanding of each value and how they can be applied to our daily work and personal lives. Each quarter, we are encouraged to read a book, watch a movie and take a field trip, all pertaining to the particular value. We will have additional tasks along the way that will further impress upon each of us, the importance of said value.

“As we stay true to these values while engaging in our work, we know we can trust one another,” Sieder said. “We thrive in an environment of shared accountability and ownership where our employees benefit, our clients benefit and our company benefits.”

The very first value we are practicing is Integrity Always. We felt there would be few better than the creator of our office mural and spirit animal, Kyle Brooks, to explain the meaning of our first value. stable|kernel sent fellow marketer Erin Duff and myself on a mission to find out what integrity means to Kyle Brooks.

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On the drive to Kyle’s art studio, we were pleasantly surprised to see pieces of Kyle’s artwork scattered along the streets, in people’s yards and on telephone poles. Truth be told, we had no idea what to expect when we arrived, but what we found when we entered Kyle’s lair was a true testament to artistic integrity.

I’d only enjoyed his work on the BeltLine prior to this visit to his studio. I’ve walked under the bridge where he painted with his iconic pastel colors, of funky figures and random truisms. But upon entering his studio, I quickly realized that Kyle has a style that is undeniably Kyle. While in no way do his creations lack creativity or diversity, each one possesses that same chaotic, yet comfortable quality. However, to say that his paintings are eclectic would be a disservice because they embody something much more.

When listening to Kyle talk about integrity, I gathered that Kyle is a man of his word and intends to keep it that way. He has a deep understanding of the importance of being a stand-up guy in his business. Yet throughout our conversation, I realized that the most important quality in him is that he is unabashedly Kyle.

He’s a creative, and a great guy with a great woman by his side. He’s a happy person and at times a conflicted individual, yet he likes to make others happy through his artwork. He’s an original, and in no way will he compromise himself or his artistic vision. And in the words of Emerson, “to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” That is Kyle.

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“Integrity is about building relationships with people,” Kyle says. “It’s a good quality for people to have in life, and I try to include that as part of what I do every day. I want to leave a good feeling with these people I do work for.”

For me, this was an uncovering of personal integrity. To listen to Kyle in his element with his beautiful artwork surrounding him was a pleasure. And to say that he is a man and an artist of integrity is infinitely true. Watch our video of Kyle Brooks talking integrity here.

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