Exploring Superchickens and Group Dynamics

Superchickens and Group Dynamics

Throughout my audit and finance career, I was part of some high-functioning, productive teams and part of some pretty dysfunctional teams. What made some of them more successful than others? 

Bear with me as I wend my way through this post. It has been a long and winding road to shed some light on an area of my career change that I struggle to explain.

Why Am I Making a Wholesale Change?

There were many times where I felt a little strange and out of place in my audit and finance career. Not a constant feeling to start, but definitely there. I used to attribute it to not being smart enough compared to my colleagues or rooting for the wrong team in a vigorous sports town. I know I’ve written about this a bunch.

At about the 11 year mark and several roles up the corporate ladder, the discomfort forced me to pause. But I couldn’t figure it out in a five-month sabbatical. I shrugged it off and jumped up the ladder, several rungs up from where I had paused. The discomfort was even worse and more immediate. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I hopped off the ladder all together after nearly two years of some of the most painful work I’ve ever done.

As I write more about my career change, I usually stumble when trying to explain the “why” of my story. Some of it is my own exasperation with feeling like I don’t belong. Some of it is concern about detailing too much of the drama before I hopped off the ladder. Or if it really was especially dramatic. Or if I somehow made a mountain out of a molehill. Or if or if or if.

On Superchickens and Group Dynamics

Flash forward four years to today. As I drove to Pembroke this morning to teach (holy moly, I teach!), I listened to the TED Radio Hour on NPR. The host was discussing the meaning of work and the first speaker sucked me in.

Margaret Heffernan is a keynote speaker and author who has worked in television and as a serial entrepreneur (CEO of FIVE businesses!). In the TED talk below, she discusses what it means to be successful. Have a listen as she discusses superchickens and group dynamics:

Favorite quote: “If the only way the most productive can be successful is by suppressing the productivity of the rest, then we badly need to find a better way to work and a richer way to live.”


What I was missing from particularly that last corporate role was a social connectedness to, well…anyone. Higher-ups lacked empathy and there was no way everyone was getting equal time. I had no idea how much I needed that in my professional life as well as my personal life. Even as an introvert.

This one 15-minute segment provided me with a springboard to break free from a spot where I’d become mired in the muck. Thank you, Margaret Heffernan.

Does this resonate with you? Do you have a similar or different experience? Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

More to come!

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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