Leadership Long Beach

The Local Civic Improvement Program - January 15, 2013

By Jim Kruger - President of the Board

Jim Kruger

January 15th, 2013 – The community is like fabric – strands of individuals, businesses, government, views, ethnicities, cultures and causes. Woven together properly a community can thrive.

Over the past 24 years, Leadership Long Beach (LLB) has graduated over 1,000 leaders reflective of the “strands” of our community. A common thread among participants is a desire for our community to be the best it can be. Through the LLB experience, individuals discover how they can make a difference while on their own leadership journey.

My leadership journey began in elementary school when my classmates wanted to elect me class president. Throughout my life people continued to view me as a leader, though I was confused as to why someone would want me in charge. What do they see in me? As silly as this may sound, it was true. As I became more involved in community and industry roles, a neighbor, Suzanne Mason (LLB Class of 2004), suggested I look into Leadership Long Beach.

Not knowing what to expect, I joined the Class of 2008 and was thrust into a group of 28 people I had never met or seen in my life. As the year progressed, from a retreat to class days, projects and graduation, I put myself in this process of relationship building, self-discovery and reconciliation. I found clarity in the program, the process and the principles. My experience empowered me to be at ease and embrace leadership roles based on principle. Trusteeship is the principle that resonates most loudly with me as it is not about me, but about the cause, the person or the community. In that I find comfort, in that I find courage, in that I find service.

This year we celebrate 25 years of leadership and service to Long Beach, and we invite you to follow along. The Business Journal is highlighting current and former class members and their stories throughout the year.

What’s your story? Have the courage to take that walk? Start your journey with us.

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(Leadership Long Beach was founded in 1989 by some of our community’s most influential and visionary stakeholders. These founders envisioned the formation of a civic improvement program that would serve the community by educating and motivating leaders on issues important to the future and sustainability of our city. Leadership Long Beach has three principled leadership programs – Leadership Long Beach, Youth Leadership Long Beach and Executive Quick Start.

For more information, check us out at www.leadershiplb.org or www.facebook.com/leadershiplongbeach.)