Susan C Foster

Conscious Leadership: Why I Write

– Posted in: Leadership

This is a totally different blog than you usually see from me. I have been invited to participate on a Writer’s Blog Tour on Why I Write by an awesome Master Coach I know. Her name is CrisMarie Campbell, and her blog on Smack Back Attacks was one I could have written about my own life (had I had her writing wisdom!). It’s really worth the read, and she writes at

Answering “Why I Write” has helped me explore why I do what I do, and where my own journey has taken me to get here.

I have always been a reader, and fascinated with the way authors could put down words—the same words used by others—in a way to suspend me in a story for hours. Nancy Drew was my favorite, and I wanted to be Carolyn Keene.

The first time I knew I was a writer was in fourth grade. Mrs. Myers gave us an assignment to write a story. Mine was about a boy in Mexico who saved his family from some awful fate (I think it may have been a rattlesnake). I can’t even remember the exact story. But I worked on it with diligence and enjoyed every minute of it.

What I remember vividly was Mrs. Myers scolding the class the next day because no one did a good job, except for one person. One person wrote the best story she had ever gotten in a class. I was crushed. I had put so much of myself into that story, and she didn’t like it. Then I heard her calling my name. I was that person! I remember her encouraging me after class to write more stories.

I wanted to write to entertain and be validated.

I never lost my love of reading—mostly mysteries and Seventeen magazine short stories. I attempted a couple–sent off a story to a magazine as a young adult and still remember the rejection letter (which I hid away in shame). I signed up for some writing courses, and made the mistake of telling my Mother about it. I remember her answer, which basically said she’d be surprised if I ever published anything.  I’m sure she didn’t mean it like it sounded, but I never did finish that course (I was still trying to be validated).

What I never lost was my desire to have a career. I aspired to be an executive one day. The subject of leadership was my new reading “love”. In my work for the Army for over 20 years, I learned to write like them (tell them; tell them why; tell them you told them). Succinct, efficient, knowledgeable—“military” writing. And I was very good at it (even though my “creative” side was pushed in a box and opened seldom).

I wrote to inform and persuade.

When 9/11 happened and I was 25 feet from impact at the Pentagon, and the plane went under my butt, people wanted me to write about it. But every time I tried, it sounded stilted and without the emotions I suffered through, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the sleepless nights. It took 10 years for me to be able to write about that, and I’ll save that for another post.

Then I got it. THE executive job I’d been striving for! And it was the job from h-e-double hockey sticks. It came with the money, the office, and a culture that was foreign and unwelcoming.  Think of a goldfish who jumped from fresh water into salt water.  What followed was one of the biggest growth periods for me, and why I write today.

My blog is for executives and manager who are struggling to lead. It’s for leaders who don’t always feel like leaders. Who don’t have all the answers about how to be successful.  It’s for leaders who need some confidence every now and then.  It’s for leaders who want to do better, and who want lead so people will follow them, but don’t always know how. It’s for leaders who have too much to do, and have no balance in their lives–like me (I am a recovering 24/7 workaholic)!

I write to tell them about all the many mistakes and what I learned, so maybe they won’t make them too.

I write to tell them the outside world can’t validate them, no matter how much money is offered.52434685

I write to help them create great organizations and get their people to follow them with commitment, not just compliance.

I write to heal organizations, and the people in them.

I write to help them believe in themselves.

And I write to tell them they will be just fine.


I’d like to introduce three new bloggers on the tour:

Scott D. Speight is a faith-based life coach that works with individuals and couples to Live Beyond Their Limits.  Scott loves to watch people achieve goals they never thought possible.  He blogs at

Eric Banister is an internationally published freelance music journalist who writes on everything from rock to country, blues to bluegrass. He has published two books and is currently working on numbers three and four.  He blogs at

As a former IT Manager, Bob Wilson knows what it’s like to be good at something but not really love what you do. Now as a coach, speaker and author, he’s good at what he does and loves it too. In addition, he finds that his background in management, education and technology allows him to help individuals and businesses in a wide variety of ways. Bob is here to help you reach your goals and dreams.  He blogs at





10 Comments… add one
Robbi Hess July 20, 2014, 2:09 pm

I love this post and the comments on why you write, really resonate!

Susan July 20, 2014, 9:48 pm

Thanks so much, Robbi. It was very cathartic to write, and I’m glad it resonated with you. Are you a writer? It’s hard to actually call ourselves that sometimes.

Debbie Weil July 21, 2014, 6:14 pm

Susan, terrific blog post. Thank you!

Susan July 21, 2014, 8:20 pm

Debbie Weil, I am thrilled! High praise coming from such a great writer as yourself.

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