BSE's Lindsey Cernik: The NAED Leadership Development Program

Lindsey Cernik, Organizational Development Consultant–Human Resources at Border States Electric (BSE) discusses what she received from the NAED Leadership Development Program.

Throughout the last year, curiosity has served me well. As you can imagine, it came into play in a big way when finding the NAED Leadership Development Program’s description online. I mainly wondered how the experience would impact my leadership ability and how my company would benefit. A conversation with program leaders and my supervisor quickly solidified my decision to enroll in the program.

Soon after our initial in-person connect as a cohort, the decision was made to transition from in-person learning to a virtual experience. Curiosity crept in again as to how this change would impact my learning experience and growth journey. With the exceptional guidance and energy of program leaders, a seamless transition followed. The level of participation from cohort members remained high, as did program leaders’ expectations.

Highlights from the program are many and include: participating in a 360-degree review to bring attention to my strengths and blind spots, creating my leadership vision statement (which remains in easy eyesight as a sticky note on my desk), and of course, connecting with cohort members. This was my first experience connecting with others within the industry that worked outside my organization on such a large scale. Whether connecting to review our capstone projects or to check-in on work-related projects, the support I received (and still receive) from my peers is the most standout part of my experience. While we differ in our roles, we all bring similar questions and desires for the industry to the table. I very much value the environment created by program leaders to foster those relationships.

As a result of the NAED Leadership Development Program, I find myself more confident in my decisions, and am more willing to step outside my comfort zone and be a vulnerable leader. This vulnerability shows in my more transparent communication and through accepting failure as a learning opportunity. While it can be uncomfortable, certain failures allow us to grow and often result in a product that’s better than originally imagined. I have also seen transformation in my ability to deal with the ambiguity my role and the industry’s environment so often provide. I now take more risk (when appropriate) in my work and help others work through the unknown.

Ultimately, I credit this program to my leadership now being more well-rounded and more effective. My lens has widened to focus on the personal side of leading in conjunction with maintaining project expectations and deadlines. Because I am more confident in my ability to serve as a leader, my company has benefited by a quicker turnaround of my projects.

I continue to be a curious person, one who thinks about what’s next and how we can get there. The NAED Leadership Development Program gave me guidance in how to turn that curiosity into action. I cannot thank those involved enough for such an impactful and rewarding experience. 

If you are curious if this experience is right for you, I encourage you ask questions about the program (I’m always up for a chat!). Also ask yourself if you’re ready to be challenged for growth on multiple levels. After gathering your answers, I have no doubt your curiosity will lead you to a great next step.

For more information on the NAED Leadership Development Program or any other offerings from NAED, visit or contact the Member Engagement Team at 888.791.2512 or touch base with a team member through Live Chat



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Lindsey Cernik

Lindsey Cernik

Lindsey is the Organizational Development Consultant for Border States Electric (BSE). She started her industry career with BSE in January of 2018 as BSE's Learning and Development Specialist. Lindsey attended NAED's Leadership Development Program in 2020.