Alumni Spotlight: Lynette Johnson (LLA '21)

Lynette is one of our newest graduates from Leadership L.A. Not too long after she completed program, Lynette made a career change and secured a job as Chief of Staff for the City of Long Beach. We asked her to share more about her Leadership L.A. experience and her leadership insights.

"I am currently the Chief of Staff for Long Beach Council District 8. I am responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and evaluating the overall operation of the Councilmember’s office as well as handling the Councilmembers duties when he is unavailable.

Working in the Long Beach area for the past 7 years assisting underserved individuals with resources to achieve economic self-sufficiency, I wanted a job that would expand my opportunities and allow for greater impact on not only those residents but countless others who I had not been able to serve in my limited capacity. My personal mission statement that I fully developed in Leadership LA is to use my skills and experiences to make an impact. I needed my territory to be enlarged to achieve this goal.

Leadership L.A./SCLN inspired me to move beyond my comfort zone and reach into my networks to obtain opportunities for growth. The Leadership 360 assessment gave me a tool for a baseline of my strengths and weaknesses and provided a lens by which I had the ability to view my achievements through the eyes of others. It gave me a sense of my worth and that the work I had been doing was valuable to not only my agency but the life of others. The group breakout sessions gave me a chance to share my professional knowledge and gave me the confidence in knowing that I am a subject matter expert in my field. To have people listen attentively to what you have to say, motivates you to wanting to share more of yourself and your experiences.

The 2nd day on my job, one of the Legislative Aides walked up to me and introduced herself, she wanted to let me know how great it was to meet me and how excited she was to see a woman of color in my role. She is not on my staff but my presence in the office alone serves as a guide to her future career goals, “if she can I can”.

My leadership advice is this: always be your authentic self in whatever position you have. I did not think I would fit in with Leadership L.A. because I was not what folks considered a “leader” at my agency. I supervised but I didn’t manage or direct, yet someone from the outside was watching me. I received this position not because of my resume but because I showed up as my authentic self at every point I came in contact with the Councilmember. He saw in me the positive impact I was making in the lives of my residents, the development opportunities I had for my staff, and the passion I had for being of service to others.

I live by the model “let your light so shine.” That’s what impact is, that is what Leadership is, being that guiding light to your staff, constituents, stakeholders so that you produce the next generation of leaders that will eventually do the same."

Congratulations, Lynette, we are excited to see the impact you will make in the Long Beach community!

You can connect with Lynette on her LinkedIn.