The Best of Suzan's Fieldnotes
Yes, I'm playing favorites
After 38 editions of Suzan’s Fieldnotes I’ve developed some favorites.
I know, I know.
I’m supposed to love them all the same but I just…don’t. Some weeks I bash out the words and other times they float to the top of my brain. Whatever the process or outcome, I publish just the same. The selected editions aren’t necessarily the most popular. They’re the editions that I enjoyed writing or are on topics I think about a lot.
Here’s a peek inside my mind.
“Feeling like you're always being watched and yet never really being seen creates a confusing sort of dissonance. It's hard to reconcile, the lack of resolution exhausting. It can make you question yourself, wonder what's really true. Loneliness can beckon.”
WHY: The first edition of Suzan’s Fieldnotes. Part of why I started publishing on substack was to feel more freedom in writing. It felt glorious to feel this free with a topic like leadership that’s been written about ad nauseum.
“Leadership voids are gaps that no one feels responsible for or they're land whose ownership is in conflict…Lingering leadership voids can become black holes pulling the entire team into a vortex of negativity. This kind of emotional contagion can sink cultures and companies.”
WHY: It was so much fun to think about the black holes of organizational life and why they occur so we can navigate them better.
“Leaders have an outsize influence on emotional contagion. When their energy leaks it's like wild fire burning through the organization, the embers lighting everyone on fire. When the energy is positive it energizes everyone.”
WHY: This one was actually well-liked on Twitter. It surprised and delighted me because emotions play such a huge role in organizational life. I was thrilled that others wanted to talk about it too.
“I remember the day I announced my first unpopular decision. We made it as a group but it was my job to share it. The next two days my slack DMs filled with disappointed messages, Zoom calls punctuated with pointed questions. Their unhappiness stayed with me all weekend.”
WHY: Another one where I really played with form, making it a blast to create.
“There isn’t one way to reach an outcome. Many paths can get us there. A sea of sameness isn’t the best way to lead a modern organization. Difference is a powerful multiplier that brings results. Plenty of research backs this up.”
WHY: This topic is closely aligned with my Leadership Masterclasses so it was easy to write and fun to think about leadership theories.
I’m going to sneak in one more. Traversing Liminal Space wasn’t terribly popular but I put my head into social science research for several days for this one. Thinking about anthropology and psychology is my idea of fun.
Until next time, be well.
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