Welcome to The Ms. Engineer Way website and blog!

Whether you’ve heard me speak, read one of my books, or attended one of my workshops, here you’ll find ways to stay connected and keep growing. I am passionate about helping people live (and work) with passion, purpose, and perseverance. Since most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work, I like to start there! If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

lll_pic

All that passion stuff sounds great in a perfect world. But we live in a broken world, full of broken people. So while I’m helping you create that dream workplace, I want to help you move past some things that may be holding you back. What do I know about pushing past hurt and brokenness? Read Love is a Catalyst. I pray that it blesses you, and that the strength God blessed me with can be of some service to you. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I speak, that’s why I write. That’s why I love!

Whether you stopped by to find insights and strategies for healing, leading through change, or family matters, you can use the navigation on the side to find what you’re looking for. Read the rest

What happens when we ASSUME?

Colorful Question Marks - 25630900

If you ask a room full of kids, what happens when we assume? They’ll all giggle and say “you make an ASS out of U and ME”. That joke never gets old. But it’s really more than a joke, it’s a life principle!

Recently, my youngest son got a job; this is a major milestone and one we were eager to support. Because he was saving up to get a car, he had to rely on us for transportation. Never before did the assumptions of a teen impact our family more than the day he assumed how long a test would take. Read the rest

Why Women Leaders Should Welcome the Challenge of a Difficult Employee

Did you know that leading difficult people can actually be beneficial to you?

We have all found times when we’ve had to lead difficult people. In retail or business operations, they can deliver poor customer service to your patrons. In project teams, they can slow down the progress of creativity. In any setting, they can drive you up the wall! You probably don’t have to think hard to identify someone you lead who is causing you trouble.

But there’s good news. Leading that difficult person actually has a positive side. Here are four ways that you can benefit from this challenge:  Read the rest

Remaining Positive When Your Project Is Taking a Turn

We’ve all been there. That point in a critical business project where the outlook appears grim. Even though you planned out the project, you engaged your stakeholders, and you analyzed what you thought were all the risks, but unforeseen challenges arose. As a project manager, it’s your job to rally your team. So, how do you accomplish that without appearing overly optimistic? Read the rest

When Promoting Change Costs You

There is a lot of conversation on social media (and in coffee shops) about the latest Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. Ours is a nation divided. Divided by ideals, when the mission of this country is clear…liberty and justice for all.  The early settlers and founding fathers came to America fleeing persecution of their ideals, namely their freedom of religion. They established a nation of principles, the preamble states it clearly: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Our nation was founded on the principle of sacrificing for just beliefs. Of standing up (or sitting down) for what you believe in. And the recent Nike ad is promoting that ideal…”Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”.  As a Christian, I can relate. Studying the early church is a history lesson in when the belief was justified, but the sacrifice was heavy. Lives and freedoms were Read the rest

Drift Happens – 3 Lessons About Sticking to Your Goals

Even the most disciplined people find times in their lives where they drift away from their goals. Life is consistently inconsistent, and it’s those people who catch themselves before they drift too far off course that excel and achieve their goals. I especially notice this when it comes to health and wellness. Over the course of my adult life, I’ve participated in several 5k and half-marathon races. During the training seasons for those events, I have found myself laser focused on my goals and motivated each day to accomplish them. But in the absence of an impending race, I become inconsistent. Runs turn to walks, and workout intensity drops to a minimum, and sometimes nothing at all. High performing athletes have an off-season, but it doesn’t mean being “off” from training. And because how we fuel our bodies plays a large part in overall health, I’m also mindful of what I eat (physically and spiritually). I generally eat healthy, but all I need is a birthday, vacation, or festive moment to throw caution to the wind. And in the summer, all of the above happen in a matter of a month. June babies rock!

Another place I see the drift Read the rest

Every Chameleon Knows Its Color: Being Adaptable AND Authentic

When I was in college, I worked at a pet store in the mall, and I fell in love with a cute little chameleon. I wore my hair in a bun on top of my head at the time, and I would place him on my bun and he’d hold on while I walked around the store greeting customers (talk about your conversation starter).  I got a kick out of placing him near my brown apron and watching him change colors…sometimes. When he wasn’t clinging to my bun or my apron, I would observe him in his terrarium.  As I watched little “Charma Chameleon”, I wanted to know more about those fascinating creatures. As someone who moved around a lot as child and adapted to repeated change, I could relate to my tiny friend. And as I reflect, I see that we have some important characteristics in common. We both knew:

Being adaptable doesn’t mean not knowing who you are.  Chameleons change color only as needed. If they are on a leaf, they are green if they need to be green, and if they are on a branch, they are brown if they need to be brown. But when Read the rest

We Honored His Wishes But Broke Their Hearts

When my boys were young, they loved to climb up and down each other…isn’t that just like boys? If they weren’t climbing, they were balancing or just rolling on the floor. With four of them, there was no shortage of playmates, and my husband and I enjoyed countless hours of watching (and participating in) their playfulness. It created a bond that could never be broken.

On January 11, 2014, that bond was tested. After 3 battles with cancer in 3 years, Malcolm received his wings at 21 years old. But they came at a cost to their bond, they came at the cost of trust. When Malcolm received confirmation that his cancer had returned and was inoperable, we began to brace ourselves for the worst. He had made it clear after his first bout with the deadly disease that he would never agree to chemotherapy again; so that left surgery. This saved his life when the cancer returned and was just centimeters from his heart, but when it came back “with a vengeance” in the fall of 2013, there was no knife made to stop it.

So we begged him to consider chemo. He refused for months, scouring the internet  Read the rest

If You Want Something Done Right…

I was guilty of finishing this sentence incorrectly; the common way: If you want something done right, do it yourself!.  But that is a sure fire way to end up overwhelmed and frustrated, surrounded by demoralized people. I grumbled it in the kitchen to my children (and my husband) and I said it to more than one colleague at work. Ouch! Thankfully, I learned not only to not say this out loud, but to not believe it in my heart. You see, even if you don’t utter these words, they will ooze out of your pores like the venom from rare toads in the Amazon. It reflects a heart condition of pride, piousness, and perfectionism. The proper way to complete this phrase is “If you want something done right, teach someone how to do it”. Now there is an impactful statement. Consider the following points as you begin to impart into those in your charge:

  1. You’ll have to repeat what you said – I was looking at the cooking utensils in my kitchen one day, and I wanted to complain about the improper placement of them. But instead I gently called for my youngest son and offered
Read the rest

Speak Up and Be Like Rudy!

When I was in the fourth grade, I was the new kid (again!), and this time it was close to the end of the year, so I wasn’t going to bother making new friends. Well, to my surprise, my parents bought me a 64 pack of Crayola Crayons! This made me an instant hit in the classroom, and one girl, Esther, always wanted to borrow my crayons. The problem was, she kept breaking them! One day, with palm sweating and heart racing,  I mustered up the courage to tell her she couldn’t use my crayons anymore. She didn’t yell, but through clinched teeth she told me she was going to beat me up after school. And she was apparently a woman of her word because she did just that…slapping me right across my face!

Scared and upset, I boarded the bus and when an older girl named Rudy got on, she asked me what was wrong. I told her what happened, and she stormed off the bus to go find my assailant (it was a city bus, so the driver was, well, a driver). Rudy told the bully in no uncertain terms that she would regret it if she ever Read the rest

Houston showed me some love!

It’s one thing to call yourself “inspiring”, it’s another to be recognized by a local periodical as such. Like any “inspiror” (OK, that’s not a word), my motivation is to help people have hope in the possibilities of life. To have hope that their last challenge won’t take them out. To show them that life has seasons, and some of them carry some really ugly weather, but that with faith, hope, and love, they can weather that storm.

So I was honored to be featured in Houston’s Read the rest