Alicia Lanier was raised on a tobacco farm in Clarkton, NC. She spent her summers working in the tobacco fields with her parents and four sisters, and harvesting vegetables from their huge garden.
Now, in some ways it might seem like a long shot—from a North Carolina tobacco farm to an engineering degree at North Carolina State University all the way to a successful project management career in Portland, OR’s civil engineering world. But Alicia doesn’t find it all that far-fetched; over and over again, she’s found her early experiences to be vital in crafting her career.
“My parents have been my reference for what I consider great project managers,” she says. “Since farming requires a lot of planning, they were well-prepared, and organized, but also able to adjust their plans if something unexpected occurred, like a tornado for example. They treated their team (us five girls and our friends) well, making sure we were clear on what they expected, while giving us time to have mud fights and wrestling matches!”
Alicia has certainly done some striking out on her own (she was the first person on both sides of her extended family to attend a university and she started her own business—Lanier Consulting, LLC—when she realized she wanted more flexibility in raising her daughter), but she draws inspiration from her roots, knowing that where she came from continues to shape where she’s going:
“My granddaddy has been my role model of a successful businessman,” she says. “While whittling on a piece of wood in the evening, he would talk to me about prices of corn, selling half the harvest now and saving half for later when the prices might be better. He made sure that Grandma had plenty of cash in her bank account, a 200 acre farm, and nice home when he died. All with a 3rd grade education. Now that is inspiration!”
Alicia’s passion is all about engaging, inspiring, and supporting; her unique synthesis of multiple management frameworks and deep understanding of human systems enhances the way work gets done across a variety of industries. Click here to learn more about Alicia and Lanier Consulting!
Tune in to Solo Pro Radio this Wednesday, September 11th at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST (or any time after that!)–you are guaranteed to learn a lot from Alicia’s inclusive, collaborative approach to project management…not to mention her fascinating journey.