A Road Map for Navigating your Next Crisis: Nine Creative Leaders on Overcoming their Greatest Challenges

From career quandaries to financial lows, nine designers explain how they overcame career-defining dilemmas.

We all encounter defining challenges in our careers. It’s unavoidable. But it’s how we handle them that matters most. Whether it’s using unconventional ways to keep the lights on when the bank account is empty or explaining to corporate America that the role you aspire to is ‘Dad,’ the experiences of our subjects will help you traverse your next career challenge.

Being 50 percent excited and 50 percent terrified is a good place to be.
Duncan Wardle, former Head of Innovation and Creativity, Disney

My most daunting challenge was walking away from Disney last year, after 30 years. The moment of realization came when they handed me the bronze Jiminy Cricket Statue for 30 years of service. I had always preached getting out of your own expertise, trying something new, being brave. But I realized that I hadn’t really ever stepped out from my own comfort zone. If I was going to do it, now was the time.

I looked at a few in-house roles and was approached for a few. But one of the key challenges you face is: the more senior you get inside any organization, the more you manage the politics, not the work. I left Disney to create my own startup, helping companies embed a culture of creativity throughout their organization...more