Lane Wallace has spent the past 25 years writing, speaking, and working with individuals and groups on topics related to creating a more meaningful, authentic, and fulfilling life.
Lane’s most recent work has focused on helping women develop and leverage strong core knowledge of themselves to create happier and more fulfilling career paths and navigate male-dominated environments more successfully. In addition to providing individual career development coaching, she writes a regular magazine column called “Core Strength” for Women in Aviation, International, and she is nearing completion on a book entitled Surviving in a Man’s World: The Power of a Woman’s Authentic Voice.
Much of Lane’s expertise comes from having forged her own pioneering path in aviation as an editor and the first woman columnist at Flying magazine. But she’s also spent several years researching women’s struggle for authentic self and voice and the role that self-knowledge plays in women’s success and happiness, including more than 100 in-depth interviews with educators, professionals, and women with first-hand knowledge of the subject, all around the country.
In addition to her work with women and at Flying, Lane has written six books for NASA, published over 150 articles and essays for The Atlantic, and has written for national and international publications including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, Outside, and ForbesLife. She’s also worked as a writer and producer on a number of television and video projects and won a Telly Award for her work on the documentary Breaking the Chain.
In 2009, Lane expanded her work online by founding No Map. No Guide. No Limits.—a website offering thought-provoking content and support for anyone trying to carve their own, authentic path through life. Since then, she’s also written two books on the lessons of adventure Surviving Uncertainty and Unforgettable.
Lane has also worked with a wide range of corporate, non-profit, educational, and community groups on topics related to embracing adventure and change, creating more meaningful career paths, surviving uncertain times and circumstances, and building stronger, passion-inspired teams. She’s a compelling and inspirational storyteller who writes and speaks with humor and a thoughtful, honest, and grounded voice that allows her to connect powerfully with her clients and audiences. But what really sets her apart is that the knowledge and insights she shares come from unique, first-hand experience.
Lane became a pilot at the age of 24 and, five years later, made the decision to leave a lucrative corporate management job to pursue a more meaningful and passion-inspired, if far more uncertain, career as a self-employed adventure writer. After eight years of freelance writing for numerous magazines and organizations, including NASA, she became the first woman columnist in the 72-year history of Flying magazine—an internationally acclaimed publication with a readership that was 96% male.
As a result, she became a path-finder on two different levels: first, as a woman adventurer exploring experiences and distant places and cultures in the world; and second, as a woman navigating challenging and uncharted territory in an overwhelmingly male industry.
As an adventurer, Lane’s work took her to six continents and from 120 feet below sea level to 70,000 feet above the Earth. She flew an Air Force U-2 spy plane and was part of the first crew to ferry a blimp successfully through the Alps. She went wreck diving in the South Pacific, landed on glaciers, flew relief supplies into conflict zones in Africa and the Amazon, explored the Australian Outback, piloted a submarine, and climbed mountains in Nepal and the French Alps. She also flew her own airplane all around the U.S., Canada and Mexico. But whether it was interviewing women in Darfur refugee camps about how, and at what cost, they survived such extreme violence and loss, or interviewing people in communities around the world about what mattered most to them, she explored not only places, but also the lives, perspectives, values and experiences of everyone she met along the way.
Her stories were never just about the adventures. They were about the
important insights and lessons all those experiences taught or revealed.
More recently, Lane has focused on sharing her hard-won wisdom as a woman pioneer in a male-dominated world. The insights she shares with other women aren’t theoretical or gained through observation of others. They come from having battled for respect and influence in a male-dominated culture and world, and from the lessons, scars and knowledge she acquired along the way. Importantly, her success at Flying (she quickly became one of the magazine’s most popular and well-respected columnists and editors) came after her initial attempts to succeed in aviation, in her 20s and early 30s, failed. It was only by learning and applying the lessons she now teaches—by becoming stronger and more grounded in who she was and what mattered most to her—that she was eventually able to successfully navigate that world without losing herself along the way.
Lane has seen enough of life to recognize that there are no easy, prescriptive answers or formulas to figuring it all out. And she would be the first to admit that she herself is still a work in progress, on a lifelong journey of learning. But she’s also a passionate explorer who excels in sharing invaluable lessons, insights, and explorer’s notes with others; a scout who’s ventured ahead and can speak—as only one who’s been there can—about what’s important to remember, avoid, and look for along the way.
Lane has been interviewed on NPR, BBC, and other TV and radio outlets. Listen to Lane's interview on Minnesota Public Radio here.