Leadership Long Beach

Check Your Title At The Door

By Richard D. Cameron, director of environmental planning, Port of Long Beach

Byron BoltonFebruary 26th, 2013 – Don’t get me wrong – Leadership Long Beach is not trying to take over the city in the true sense of a revolution. In fact, the real objective is to expose community leaders with the diverse cross sections of the Long Beach community.

In the last article, my friend, Byron, mentioned that our first real exposure to Leadership Long Beach was a weekend retreat in Big Bear – the mountain! The first request from our retreat team upon arriving to the mountain was for each of us to check our “title” at the door. This concept may seem simple, but let’s be honest: our “title” represents what we do and who we are in the community.

Little did I know how important this simple concept really was when meeting new people. This concept is important because it allows all stakeholders to hold a meaningful and open conversation about an important topic without feeling the need to speak from the “title” or the organization that you represent. Yes, I know at some point you have to put the “title” back on, but at least you’ve communicated on an equal footing with other stakeholders, which leads to trust building.

Today my Leadership class is more focused on knowing each other, and asking some simple questions: “What do you need from me, and how can I help you?” You see, we are all starting to base our conversations around our mutual respect for each other and our desire to work together – not necessarily to lead or direct one another. A true leader is not one who is always visible, but in fact embedded as part of a team leading change.

You don’t need to participate in a leadership class to follow this basic rule, although I highly recommend that you do. Leadership Long Beach is always looking for the second best class after the class of 2013! So check your “title” at the door and you will be surprised of what you will learn and who you will meet in this great Long Beach community.

(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.)

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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.)