A Leader Of Leaders

To begin, I will write about myself and my life as best I remember. I will not, henceforth, write about others unless given permission. I am permitting myself full disclosure.

The title, A Leader of Leaders, is not a play on words but a reality I have come to recognize. To explain further, I must share more of myself. From about the age of 7, until I entered the service, I was part of a group but never a member of the group. They were important to me, and I participated fully, but I also know I felt no need for membership. I was then, and am to this day, independent. 

In the service, I made acquaintances but built no relationships with anyone until I encountered the Japanese prisoners, who became my family. I was their leader, and they were my dearest friends, caregivers, and mentors. Even after spending a little over a year together, their influence on me exists to this day.

At UCLA, I was a student that came to class and left afterward for work each day. UCLA gave me Lenette and education but no memories and no friendships. I know how much I must have missed. But my needs were not there. In 1948 I created a Day Camp. Little did I know that this would grow and become a large part of my life. At the Los Angeles Board of Education, I was a child psychologist, educator, folk singer, and storyteller.  I enjoyed each part I played, but being my own leader stole me from them, and I became a well-educated entrepreneur.

Together with Lenette, we grew our wings and our child work. Our firm (Youth Systems Unlimited) ultimately became world-renowned. We were a “one of a kind” youth organization for 27 years. Throughout it all, I have realized that my role was, indeed, a leader of leaders. 


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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