Native Youth Leadership Alliance

(Johnny Buck) Reflections on the Foundations for Building Community

*I read the inspiring ‘The 10 Commitments of Leadership’ online, which sparked a lot of thought.  I am sharing this blog post like a journal entry to process how these commitments made me think as a developing leader and our growing movement.  Please refer to

In being leaders we make a commitment to seek innovative ways to change, grow, and improve what we’re doing. Leadership doesn’t just happen. As individuals who choose to undertake leadership positions, we are being given a great responsibility to our organizations, or teams, or families, or communities; but more so, to the people we will lead. As leaders, we must continually renew our commitment to leadership, maintaining an attitude of renewal and positive motivations.

The first commitment we can make to ourselves, as leaders, is to clarify our personal values. As leaders when we clarify our personal values it becomes easy to see how important it is to walk the walk when you talk the talk.

Speaking of walking the walk, the second leadership commitment we can make is to set the example by aligning our actions with values we share as a team. What does our NYLA Family value? It’s difficult to come together as a group and really articulate what it is we value as a group. However, the commitment that we make, is to not only figure what we value as individuals, but to take it a step further and apply that to our team; and then take that one more step and make sure that the way that we act and how we spend our time together, reflects what we value as a group. As leaders, it’s especially important for us to set the example, and take the lead in making sure that we are role modeling the behaviors we want to see in others.

One of the most important commitments we can make as leaders, is to talk about the future in terms of the optimistic possibilities.

Harnessing our team’s enthusiasm and turning it towards creating common goals that everyone can believe in is another commitment we must make as a leader. How do we do this? The key is in the discussions that we have with our groups. It’s in the brainstorming and sharing of ideas, it’s in the giving and taking and compromising that we go through to build consensus. Most importantly we do this by creating an environment that allows all people to fully engage and participate in the process. If everyone can contribute to the process and the product of our teams, we have a greater opportunity for coming to terms, and then a much higher likelihood of success.

Learning from mistakes. . . sometimes that is hard thing to do. But in terms of leadership it is essential.

As a leader, it is our commitment to foster collaboration and build trust among the people with whom we work. We do that by creating an environment where all people feel valued and safe to share a part of themselves.
As leaders, the saying holds true, when we work hard, we should play hard too. And for us, that means first, taking the time to celebrate our victories and second, to recognize the contributions of our team.

In making the commitment to be a role model for our groups, to look positively at the future, to encourage our members to be the best that they can be, then thank them for their efforts, we are fostering not only their development as leaders; but our own, moving our organizations forward positively into the future. (based off of Commitments of leadership

Leadership and commitment are intertwined. They go together. Leadership and commitment help create solidarity. Solidarity implies a unity within a group that enables it to manifest its strength and exert its influence as a group. Unity implies oneness, especially of what is varied of diverse in its direction of clarity. Unity describes the inner relationships of individual parts making up the whole. (the 3 Cs of leadership