Jay Beeler

Dana Buchanan, owner and CEO of Primal Alchemy Catering, wrote the following commentary ten years ago for publication in the Leadership Long Beach newsletter and it recently appeared on Facebook:

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


The 100+ hour Leadership Long Beach Institute program is offered annually from August through June. The program provides principled leadership development class sessions that emphasize integrity, vision, personal responsibility, commitment, and community trusteeship.

Through panel presentations and interactive communication/learning sessions led by community leaders and subject experts, participants learn about current issues pertaining to the local economy, government, education, media, healthcare and social services and connect with the individuals and organizations that are making a difference in Long Beach.

For additional details, visit



  • “If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.” ~Jay Leno
  • “The problem with political jokes is they get elected.” ~Henry Cate, VII
  • “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office” ~Aesop
  • “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” ~Nikita Khrushchev


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