Leadership Long Beach

More To Leadership Than A Dictionary Definition

By Dana Buchanan,
President, Owner, Primal Alchemy Catering & Events
LLB Class of 2010

Dana BuchananAugust 13th, 2013 – Leadership: the action of leading a group of people or an organization; the state or position of being a leader. That’s the ‘official’ definition. I’m thinking there is more to it.  
What does it mean to you?

To me, a leader is a change agent, a risk taker – a warrior driven by passion for a cause. A leader is someone who is willing to stand up even when everyone else is sitting down. A leader can be a CEO, the captain of a team or even just the kid on the playground who steps up against a bully when everyone else is afraid. I know that before I went through the Leadership Long Beach program, I was a reluctant leader.

I found myself in situations where “someone just had to do something!” It turned out that someone was me. I found that if I was willing to voice an opinion, I had better be willing to step up and effect change.

Every one of us has the potential to become a leader; it is principled leadership we could use more of in today’s world. In the Leadership Long Beach program there are 13 key principles: Integrity, Teamwork, Respect, Values, Ethics, Accountability, Vision, Personal Responsibility, Commitment, Courage, Congruence, Service and Trusteeship. Can you imagine a world where leaders use these words to weigh decisions and hold themselves accountable to these principles? I can. I know that the adult and youth graduates of the LLB program have spent a year immersing themselves in these principles, creating a rich succession of leaders for our community.

Being a principled leader is sometimes as simple as being the one who is willing to adhere to these words, even if it means being fearless enough to stand alone. Leaders are plenty: Nelson Mandela and Adolf Hitler – both leaders. It is the principles that create the chasm between the two.

I know that being a graduate of Leadership Long Beach has forever changed the way I prioritize making decisions and forging plans. Every graduating class of adults and youth will bring positive energy, knowledge and principled leadership to create a stronger Long Beach.

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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.)