Leadership Long Beach
By Carolyn Wysinger, Founder, Delta Gamma Psi Fraternity, Inc.
March 12th, 2013 – In my dream I am standing at the base of a huge mountain. I’m wondering how anyone could ask me to climb this huge mountain without any tangible form of assistance. Not a rope or a harness. Nothing at all. I am surrounded by 22 other people who are wondering the same. The worst part is we are all quite aware that there is one resource that we can use, and that is each other. Yet it takes forever for us to realize that we are the only resource that we need and the greatest resource we can ever have.
What a perfect metaphor to represent the family that is Leadership Long Beach. Our mission states that we are dedicated to connecting principled community leaders to more meaningfully serve Long Beach. But the organization is about so much more than simply connecting people. The idea of coming together as one huge ladder of support would best describe what I have found in LLB.
I came into the Leadership not truly knowing what to expect. After meeting with my classmates my uncertainty was raised 100 percent! They included CEO’s, Port, City and Airport officials, and organizational directors. I was an “emerging” leader from a small, very new non-profit with a background in event planning and creative writing. I didn’t quite know how I would fit in with this group.
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.
I soon learned that we all brought the same value to the table – a desire to more meaningfully serve the Long Beach community. I began to understand that both my classmates as well as the LLB alumni were there to be examples of great leadership, to lean on in hard times, to offer a hand or shoulder to stand on when I needed a boost or, quite simply, to point in the right direction to get to my goals. We can do this because we trust each other. And having 1,000 graduates who you can trust and who trust you enough to help without asking is what makes us family.
(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.)