Non-Technical Competencies
Will Help You Earn
Career Success and Security

Whether we are an employee, independent consultant, or entrepreneur, technical competencies are necessary, but not sufficient, for personal success and fulfillment. This observation applies whether we serve in the private, public, academic, or volunteer sectors. Non-technical or “soft side” competencies enable us to work more effectively with supervisors, supervisees, colleagues, clients, customers, students, the public, other stakeholders, and members of our community, neighborhood, and family. Augmenting technical competencies with “soft-side” knowledge, skills, and attitudes is the key to earning career security, a much more viable life strategy than chasing job security.

Using my knowledge of and experience with non-technical knowledge and skills, I help individuals and organizations engineer their futures.

See the bottom of this page for over 60 of my essays, professional papers, and other documents.  These complimentary offerings touch on a wide variety of mostly non-technical (professional practice) topics and are arranged in 9 categories (e.g., Communication, Creativity and Innovation, Leadership and Change, Personal Development) for your convenience.

"Hard writing makes for easier reading."

-- Thomas J. Brown, management writer and speaker


COMMUNICATION BOOK READY FOR PUBLISHER – I am completing the manuscript for the book The Communicative Engineer: How to Ask, Listen, Write, Speak, and Use Visuals. The publisher, John Wiley & Sons, will soon receive it for publication next year.  The book is designed to serve two primary audiences: 1) Undergraduate and graduate engineering students and 2) engineering practitioners.

READER’S VIEW OF MY CREATIVITY/INNOVATION BOOK – “An excellent book, practical and excellent resource as support for a course - or part of a course. The author's approach is interesting yet simple and unpretentious. Thank you … for creating a very refreshing, useful tool and resource!” Learn more about Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers here.

BACK TO NATURE ARTICLEPE, the magazine of the National Society of Professional Engineers, published my article “Turning to Nature for New Ideas” in the winter issue. Want a complimentary copy of this biomimicry article? Contact me at  

INDIANA SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS (ISPE) ANNUAL CONFERENCE The ISPE accepted my paper, “The Engineer as Communicator: Why and How We Should Do Even Better,” for presentation at this year’s June 8-9 conference in Carmel, IN.

WEBINARS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION LEARNING NETWORK (TLN) – I am in my second year of working with the TLN, which is a partnership of the Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming Departments of Transportation and the Mountain-Plains Consortium Universities. I’ve spoken virtually about quality, innovation, project communication, and moving from project engineer to project manager. I could provide similar education programs tailored to your needs.

TWO PUBLIC SAFETY ARTICLES PUBLISHED BY THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING (NAE) – NAE just published, in the spring issue of The Bridge, my two public-safety articles.

“Engineering’s Grand Bargain vs. Licensure-Exemption Laws.”

Widespread engineering licensure-exemption laws unnecessarily increase risks to the public and undermine engineering’s benefits and commitment to public protection. Learn about the predicament and how the U.S. engineering community fell into it.

“Engineering Licensure-Exemption Laws: Suggested Reforms to Enhance Public Safety.”

Engineer employers, the federal and state governments, and the engineering community all have an important role in minimizing the risks of licensure-exemption laws. Consider suggestions for getting out of the predicament. 

Are You Looking For?

Looking for a gift for a recent college graduate who wants to have a successful career? Then consider one of these books: Engineering’s Public-Protection Predicament, Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers, Engineering Your Future, and Managing and Leading.

This Website Will Enable You To Improve Your "Soft Side" Competencies and Release The Leader Within You

So called nontechnical, “soft side” competencies are often devalued or diminished. They are said to be of little importance or easy. “Soft side” competencies are neither.

Too many professionals fail to advance in their careers – to acquire career security – because they lack “soft side” knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Sometimes they do not realize their liability. We need to know something is “broken” if we are to “fix” it. In other cases, individuals know they have “soft side” deficiencies but fail to see the value in taking corrective action. Either way, the result is the same – failure to realize individual potential, to find and release the leader within.

If you recognize the value of “soft side” competencies you also know that they are not necessarily easy to acquire. Mastering nontechnical competencies requires knowledge of best practices and then thoughtful application of them. This website provides resources to help you practice improved stewardship with your gifts and your personality profile and make better use of who you are and what and who you know.

Thoughts For Supervisors, Managers, Executives,
Elected and Appointed Officials, and
Human Resources Personnel
To Help You With Your Mentoring and Coaching Efforts

You are responsible for the development of supervisees and others. You are also busy. Please consider two suggestions.

  1. If study of specific nontechnical or “soft-side” topics is likely to be of value to certain supervisees and others, refer them to this website or specific portions of it, such as the Managing and Leading Books.

  2. Some “soft side” needs or deficiencies may go beyond individuals, that is, many individuals at one or more locations need help. For example, individuals may be working extra hard but not achieving as much as you and they would like. In this case, perhaps an on-site, face-to-face seminar or workshop about time management, effectiveness and efficiency, goal setting, and/or team essentials would be appropriate. Another option, and often a very cost-effective approach for simultaneous delivery to two or more locations, is a webinar, that is, use of the internet and a telephone conference call for which no one needs to travel anywhere. If the group mode of education and training interests you, for examples, please refer to the web page Tailored Education and Training. If you would like to discuss the feasibility of tailoring a seminar, webinar, or workshop to your organization’s needs, please call me at 219-242-1704 or contact me at

Final Thought

We seem to be under ever-increasing pressure to increase productivity, to accomplish more with what we have and, sometimes, to do more with less. At a deeper level, many of us aspire to be even better stewards of our time and talents. At the very deepest level, we yearn for more than personal success; we seek significance in what we do. We want to get beyond ourselves, positively affect others, and make a difference. This requires managing and leading ability.

You can improve your managing and leading knowledge, skills, and attitudes – your “soft side” competencies—so that you can remain employable, earn career security, and enjoy success and significance.

Stuart G. Walesh


Creativity and Innovation


Exemplary Engineers

Leadership and Change



Organizational Health

Personal Development

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Do you have a question, suggestion, idea, or other concern? If so, contact me at or 219-242-1704

Engineering’s Public-Protection Predicament
Engineering’s Public-Protection Predicament

Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers
Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers

Managing and Leading: 52 Lessons Learned for Engineers
Managing and Leading: 52 Lessons Learned for Engineers

Engineering Your Future
Engineering Your Future

Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers – Global Edition
Introduction to Creativity and
Innovation for Engineers -
Global Edition

Managing and Leading: 
44 Lessons Learned for Pharmacists
Managing and Leading:
44 Lessons Learned for

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