Posted on: January 14, 2022
Author: Casandra Blassingame, IACET CEO
The Wired-Side Chat: From the Desk of the CEO - January 2022 image

We are in the second week of 2022, so it’s off to the races! The first week was a bit of an awakening.

Some of you may still be seeing a family resemblance with 2020 and 2021.  It almost had me thinking, “is this week setting the tone for the rest of the year?” Well, I immediately decided that it would not. I took the opportunity to snap out of it and right the ship! I’m ready and I’m here for it!

In Tim Elmore’s The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership, he writes about the complexities of leadership during this volatile time in our society. He discusses the “Uncommon Leader” and shares some insights on the contradictory and illogical nature of leadership when the C-Suite gets hot. Truth, some step down – voluntarily or involuntarily. But underneath the rubble, or standing in the back of the room, or maybe in the front raising their hand and saying “Ooo, Ooo, Ooo,” like Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter (I’m dating myself - lol), just waiting for an opportunity to lead.

Successful leaders often lead in uncommon ways, difficult for staff or others to understand. Communicating the style can be a challenge, but what people need to understand is that this time, this day, is everything but common. Pope Francis said, “We are not experiencing an era of change, but a change of era.” During this great time of uncertainty, Elmore encourages leaders to 1) Balance both confidence and humility; 2) Leverage both your vision and your blind spots; 3) embrace both visibility and invisibility; 4) Be both a teacher and a learner; 5) Be timely and timeless; 6) Model both high standards and gracious forgiveness and recognize those attributes and characteristics about yourself that make you an Uncommon Leader.

Please allow me to go back for just a moment and thank you all for an amazing 2021! We appreciate our volunteer leaders and cannot do the work we do without your input, support, and engagement. We thank you for your leadership, advisement, and for being a Champion for IACET!

In December 2021, we conducted a Town Hall meeting to discuss the proposed IACET Bylaws changes that would create a stronger governance structure for IACET as a non-profit organization conducting the business of accreditation and as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standard Developing Organization. The voting for the proposed changes closed on December 17, 2021, and the Accredited Provider and Individual Affiliate voted to APPROVE the adoption of the IACET amended bylaws as recommended by the Board of Directors. Thank you again for helping shape a better IACET for the future.

Speaking of the future, we are in the process of developing the roadmap of the 2022-2026 IACET Strategic Plan. I will present the plan at a Town Hall meeting before the end of Q1. In the meantime, here are some of the strategic objectives that impact both our stakeholders and the organization:

  • Establish Standards, Best Practice Overviews and Designations to continually enhance the quality of continuing education and training that impact the learner experience.
  • Grow the CE/T Accreditation Community; providing a platform for knowledge-sharing and thought leadership to identify future needs, stimulate & celebrate innovation, and the collaborate in the development of new solutions.
  • Provide product and service offerings that support the accreditation process, and new lines of business that provide solutions for the CE/T Accreditation Community and, for some constituents, a competitive edge.
  • Serve as the Voice of CE/T Accreditation.
  • Increase IACET brand awareness; promote the brand “experience” and increase constituent connectedness.
  • Strengthen stakeholder engagement (get everyone involved in meaningful ways; move people along the engagement pyramid; especially encouraging knowledge and collaboration contributions; including cross-functional, generational & diversity inclusion.
  • Diversify revenue (sources) and build sales channels to attract and retain constituents who seek to purchase services and solutions to their business and personal development objectives.
  • Expand the IACET footprint worldwide (the “I” in IACET).
  • Strive for Organizational and Operational excellence.

I look forward to sharing this plan and the good works ahead!

Did you know that IACET has some amazing staff members? In December 2020, there was a proclamation proposed by then Director, Kristopher Newbauer that January would be IACET Staff Appreciation Month in recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff. On December 20, 2021, it was proclaimed yet again, by Chair Newbauer that January would perpetually be proclaimed as IACET Staff Appreciation Month! So, feel free to reach out to a staff member today. We would love the opportunity to further engage!

On January 17, 2022, we will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, I leave you with one of many quotes, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” I don’t know about you, but I want to throw some good vibes and excitement on 2022! I want to tap even further into my abilities to rise and be a part of transformation, uplift, and inclusion. We have accomplished so much, and I have no doubt that we are on the move. I am looking forward to the meaningful partnerships we have and have yet to develop. Collectively and collaboratively, we can adapt to the complexities we face, overcome, and step boldly into the new era.

Keep each other safe until we meet again.

About the Author


Casandra Blassingame, MEd, is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  She is a recognized leader in adult and continuing education and has over 20 years of experience in higher education, continuing and professional studies, and workforce development.  Prior to joining IACET as CEO, Casandra was the Vice President of Education Services for the American Gear Manufacturers Association where she led the organization’s effort in achieving and maintaining IACET accreditation.  She has also served as an IACET commissioner, reviewing dozens of applications, and an IACET Board Member.

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