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Leadership Long Beach

The Local Civic Improvement Program

By Byron Bolton, IT Manager, CDR Financial Services

Byron BoltonFebruary 12th, 2013 – It was about six months ago that I found myself in a room, on what seemed to be a camping trip, surrounded by a group of 23 strangers. Not the usual suspects. A fireman,  a policeman, an urban planner, a real estate executive, and even a church pastor.  Little did I know then that today I would have forged 23 new relationships with these people that would last a lifetime. I’d heard of Leadership Long Beach from friends and coworkers but no one ever really gave me too many details about the group other that it was “a premiere organization in Long Beach” and that  when they went through the program,” it was a life changing event,” and that I should, “check it out.”

Well, this year CDR Financial Services, whose CEO Julie Larkins, also a LLB2012 graduate, afforded me the opportunity to be part of this year’s LLB class of 2013. It has been a wonderful journey and, yes, it is a life changing event. I can see now why my colleges were vague on details. They wanted me to have my own experience. What an experience it is, but keeping with tradition, I won’t spoil it for you by giving too many details. I must say that I’m about half way through the program and can’t wait for what’s next.

There are 13 principles that define great leaders that LLB will engrain into your core belief system over a short time. Principles like teamwork, commitment and personal responsibility. We often hear that it’s better to be a leader than a follower. We hear parents, teachers and mentors enforcing this philosophy as if being a follower is a bad thing. I’ve learned through this program that being a follower is just as important. What makes a great leader is one who knows when to take the lead and when be part of the team. Communication, collaboration and cooperation are the keys to any successful leader. When a program inspires you to be a better leader it’s worth its weight in gold!

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(Founded in 1989, Leadership Long Beach offers principled leadership programs by educating and engaging adult and youth leaders on issues important to the city’s future and sustainability.

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