Creative problem solving is a critical component to surviving uncharted adventures, whether it’s on a mountain, in a start-up cubicle, or in the everyday challenge of balancing self, family, work, and raising healthy, loving, and emotionally balanced children. And yet, coming up with those creative ideas and solutions often seems like a mystical, magical process. How did Mozart think of all those note combinations, anyway? How do entrepreneurs think of something radically new and different … the Google search engine, the iPhone, pantyhose, retractable dog leashes, or the iconic invention everything else is compared to: sliced bread (invented in 1928 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder). How do those people think of those things, while their next door neighbors didn’t?

The same goes for executives who think of creative, “third way” business strategies the rest of the pack didn’t manage to come up with. For example: we take mid-sized, upscale “boutique” hotels as a given, now. But once upon a time, the industry “norm” consisted of two very distinct models: big, urban hotels with all the amenities, and small, widely distributed motels that offered more basic services but in many more locations outside of urban areas. How did Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons hotel chain, in 1960, not only come up with the idea of of breaking that mold and creating a third option: a motel-sized hotel, in an urban area, with all the amenities … but also come up with the courage to pursue a model that everyone said couldn’t work, because a smaller facility wouldn’t have enough customers to make all those amenities pay for themselves? [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Back when I lived in Silicon Valley, I used to have tea, sometimes, with a very prominent and successful venture capitalist who’d gone to the same college I had. I would pick his brain on topics relevant to my writing, from the value of failure to the origins of passion, and he seemed to enjoy the discussions. I, of course, was getting valuable insights from an experienced entrepreneur and VC, but I wondered, sometimes, what he got out of our talks. So I asked him once. He said it was a refreshing change of pace to talk to a 47-year-old who understood more about persistence, life, passion, and the long game than many of the on-fire 27-year-olds with the next great software idea who were constantly pounding on his door.

“The thing about most 27 year olds,” he said, “is that for all their fire, they often give up when they hit the first really immovable obstacle in their path, and go looking for some other idea to pursue. A 47-year-old who’s motivated by deep passion and meaning, on the other hand, will look at that same immovable obstacle and start figuring out whether she’s going over it, under it, around it, or through it, and how to best do that.” [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Finding A Voice Amidst Threats and Fears

by Lane Wallace

I haven’t been posting very often, lately, because I’m deep underground, mentally, working on my book manuscript. A deep dive into a complex subject like authentic voice is all about momentum–allow yourself to be distracted by focusing on other writing, even for a few hours, and you’re likely to forget the train of thought you [...]

Read the full article →

The Importance of Curiosity

by Lane Wallace

I got an email from the Explorers Club last week, giving tribute to former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn, who had died the day before, at the age of 95. It included an excerpt from the acceptance speech Senator Glenn gave in 2013, when the Explorers Club awarded him its Legendary Explorers Medal. In [...]

Read the full article →

Theatrical “Authenticity” vs. a True Authentic Voice

by Lane Wallace

If posts are a bit scarce on this site, it’s because I’m currently immersed in the writing stage of my book on the power and importance of a woman’s authentic voice. Wrestling a complex topic into well-behaved words on a page can feel like a re-enactment of Hercules fighting the multi-headed Hydra … which is [...]

Read the full article →

The Importance of Hitting “PAUSE”

by Lane Wallace

While it’s still summertime, and some of us still have time for summer breaks or vacations left, here’s another reminder/insight that my book research has not taught me, but certainly has reinforced for me.
In searching for programs and professionals who help women of all ages discover, develop, or reconnect with their more authentic selves and [...]

Read the full article →

Is Being Authentic Terrible Advice?

by Lane Wallace

A few days ago, I was in the grocery store. It was mid-day, so there were a lot of moms and kids around. And one of those kids, whom I estimated to be a bit shy of two years old, threw a loud, dramatic and protracted fit when his mom denied him a candy bar [...]

Read the full article →

Dispatches from the Book Research Road

by Lane Wallace

Every now and then, I hear from readers who are wondering what I’m doing, now that I’ve retired my “Flying Lessons” aviation column. The answer is, I’m currently researching a book I hope to have completed by the end of the year.
The book is about the power and importance of an authentic voice: why it [...]

Read the full article →

Switching Jobs to Avoid Alzheimer’s

by Lane Wallace

I‘m thrilled that more and more study is being devoted to evaluating the impact of elements such as passion, purpose, meaning and having and expressing an authentic voice in our lives … even if the results often seem like a statement of the obvious. It seems almost self-evident, for example, that people who feel more [...]

Read the full article →

The Risks of Entrepreneurship: Silver Linings 2

by Lane Wallace

A few posts ago, I discussed a new study that concluded that people who attempt an entrepreneurial venture end up better off financially, regardless of whether the venture succeeds or fails. (The theory being you learn from the experience and return to a salaried job smarter and savvier, even if your self-employment doesn’t pan out.)
Well, [...]

Read the full article →