#248: Embracing Uncertainty with a Serving of Lasagne and Spaghetti with Susanne Liepmann

with Susanne Liepmann

Our Guest Mentor:

Susanne Liepmann is a seasoned international CFO of German-French background and trilingual F/D/UK with extensive experience in international Corporate Finance, spanning LBO, C-level positions, corporate and field finance, external Audit, M&A / due diligences.

She is a trusted business partner, team manager and most agile in multi-national / multi-cultural environments and took her Master in Change from INSEAD. Combined with a pragmatic financial approach, her added value results in a unique blend of Finance acumen paired with soft skills.

Susanne is also the President of Fi Plus a meta-network of Finance Clubs across 14 major French Business Schools, Universities and Professional bodies containing >21,000 network members global reach with over 250 events organized and/or put to knowledge since inception in 2011.

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

“Finance is a language that helps to connect all actors of the enterprise” [6:51]

“[The why CFOs have to be neutral] the CFO has to be ferociously neutral and independent and that is a difficult thing if you’re someone who needs to be included.”[15:10]

“[Go to the balcony] look what happens to you or at the business in other perspective.”[17:09]

“Finance has to evolve in a way that embraces uncertainty.”[25:09]

(Other resources and how to connect with Susanne below).

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Key Points From the Episode: 

– Adopting to different working environment at LBO and B2B company

– Some of the things you do to play that balancing act better by going to the balcony

– Removing anxiety in the business by;

        – knowing the “why” in doing the right thing

        – providing valuable information & show what this looks like

        – building trust with business partners

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[03:51] – Susanne’s DNA is in business finance with much passion about Change in Finance and transformation offline. We touch on Susanne’s career journey from Audit at Arthur Andersen to being Director of M&A; Corporate Controller; Director of FP&A, CFO, her work with LBOs as well as being a seasoned networker by linking professionals and cultures while living in France for past 30 years. We also discuss Susanne’s reasons for going back to school to study human behavior.

[11:33] – Having the love for business and for you to adopt the different working environment at LBO and B2B company.

[15:00] – The things you can do to play that balancing act better by going to the balcony.

[20:0] – Asking ‘why’ to understand our client needs and as a way to accommodate their business requirements.

[24:06] – Removing anxiety in the business by;

o knowing the “why” in doing right thing

o providing the valuable information

o building trust with business partners

[25:55] – Finance has to evolve in a way that embraces uncertainty by moving from the Lasagne plate to one resolving complex issues like Spaghetti on a plate.

[29:37] – Learning as you go during COVID-19 is a bit like spaghetti in a plate.

[30:45] – Best bit of advice Susanne ever received learning from her experience of not reaching the top position as quick as she imagined.

[33:34] – Susanne shares her recommended resources for our audience

[36:14] – Best way to connect to Susanne: LinkedIn and please state that you come via SITN.

[37:15] – Susanne’s parting thoughts to the audience


Resources Mentioned:



Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love,

Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Greatly-Courage-Vulnerable-Transforms/dp/1592407331/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Working Identity – unconventional strategies to reinvent your career by Herminia Ibarra – https://www.amazon.com/Working-Identity-Unconventional-Strategies-Reinventing/dp/1591394139


TED Talk

The Smell of the Place https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUddgE8rI0E

The power of vulnerablity: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability?language=en

The gift & power of emotional courage: https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_the_gift_and_power_of_emotional_courage?language=en

5 ways to lead in an era of constant change: https://www.ted.com/talks/jim_hemerling_5_ways_to_lead_in_an_era_of_constant_change?language=en

Master Thesis “From Leveraged Buyout to leading balancing officer – the hidden in CFO turnover under private equity ownership: https://www.academia.edu/42212544/The_journey_to_Nirvana_From_Leveraged_Buyout_to_Leading_Balancing_Officer_._The_hidden_in_CFO_turnover_under_Private_Equity_ownership

FiPLus network (France): LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8231502/

Twitter: #fiplus

Youtube: Fiplus1 Website: www.fi-plus.com

Connect with today’s guest: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanneliepmann/


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