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Hit the RESET Button: NAED’s Leadership Development Program

2020 is coming to an end. It’s been a difficult year, and a lot of people can’t wait to hit the reset button and move into 2021.

But, if you are only going to flip the calendar to a new year, 2021 will be a lot like 2020. You need to take the right steps to position yourself for a better future. NAED and tED magazine want to help you make key decisions before 2021 begins.

Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting events, products, research, and strategies to put 2020 behind you and begin shaping your future. Whether you are President, CEO, manager, or future leader, there is a reset button waiting to be pushed.

We are kicking off the series of stories and information with testimonials from people who participated in NAED’s Leadership Development Program. This year, a number of key people, many of whom you have known and recognize in this supply chain, announced their retirement. The Leadership Development Program prepares your employees to fill those roles and move your company into the future.

2020 was difficult. You do not want to be caught in a situation where you have no strong leader ready to fill an open position in 2021.

A new Leadership Development class will begin in January. If you would like more information, visit

Read the following testimonials from past participants:

Rick Scates, VP of Sales, Stokes Lighting & Electric Co., Inc. commented: “I absolutely would recommend this course to anyone that wants to further their leadership skills! The reason that I think this course is so beneficial, is you get a good look into the mirror and find out what your weaknesses really are. And then you learn how to build these skills up. Therefore you come out on the other side, with stronger leadership skills that you can use in your career and become a better person.” 


“Given the COVID restrictions, I wondered how the program would manifest. The in-person meetings would have been great, but the adjustment to web-based meetings really did fill that void. Hearing what other professionals in different markets had to say was nice. The positivity that came from them as well as Jacqueline and Elizabeth is what I’ve tried to bring back to my branch as much as anything,” said Matt Hurley, Tri-State Lighting/Springfield Electric.


Michael N. Ofak, Purchasing Manager, Schaedler Yesco stated: “The NAED Leadership Development Program has been a great experience so far, and it is not over yet. Each time we meet, you always take away something valuable. The transition to an online format for our second meetup did not have any adverse effects, and I feel like I have gotten so much of the course. Jacque and Elizabeth from Dale Carnegie are great instructors and find ways to engage the whole class in person and online. The course brings in real life examples that we see in our industry and challenges us to answer some hard questions, which is great practice for when you have to do that in your own world. Along with all of the networking that the program provides, you also get paired with a peer that you talk with monthly about the course, your individual project and just business in general, it is great to have a good connection with other people in the industry!”

He continued, “I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone looking to improve their leadership skills. As a fairly new manager (less than 2 years) I feel that this course as invaluable to my personal growth. Thanks for putting together a great course, I really enjoy it and feel like I am getting a lot out of it!”


“I was very optimistic that this would be a great program having taken Dale Carnegie courses previously and tying in directly with our industry. I’m in a position in my career where these Dale Carnegie principles are hitting home more than ever.  The DISC and 360 assessments helped me to really hone in on my strengths and weaknesses.  The constant contact throughout the 1-year program have made a big difference in continuously working on sharpening these skills and keeping them top of mind,” said David DeSteiger, President of Ray Electric. “This is the best Leadership program I have ever taken.  It takes place over the course of a year, which allows for the principles to really sink in and the extended opportunity to work on them with the support of monthly calls with a peer, one-on-one calls with the Dale Carnegie trainer, and formal sessions every other month.  The format is much more impactful than shorter ‘crash’ courses.”


And Ken Callham, Senior Lighting Specialist at ConneXion had this to say about NAED’s Leadership Development Program: “Having participated in Dale Carnegie led trainings in the past, my interest was piqued upon learning at LEAD 2019 that NAED and Dale Carnegie were teaming up to offer an industry specific Leadership Development Program. As a new leader, I was excited to have the opportunity add to my Leadership Toolbox while expanding my professional network with other like-minded emerging and established leaders. This program has delivered on that and more. I have engaged in assessments to aid in identifying opportunities for growth, current competencies to leverage, and to gather the feedback of my colleagues. I have developed strong relationships with my classmates that have delivered profound insights and will last far beyond this year. And I also have had valuable one-on-one coaching sessions with our Dale Carnegie facilitators that have provided individual attention specific to my and my organization’s goals. I would certainly recommend this program to anyone that is considering participating. It has opened my mind to what leadership can look like, and the lessons learned will stay with me and influence my leadership style for the rest of my career.”

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