Unmute Yourself and Lead Others

“When we unmute our relationships, our jobs, our bodies, and our joy, we have fuller, more vibrant lives. We feel more fully ourselves so we can show up and do our best.”

Rachel Druckenmiller, CEO and Founder of Unmuted, is on a mission to help people move past the fear that blocks them so they can become “joyfully alive” and courageously expressed individuals. Rachel discusses the pain of hiding parts of yourself and the work it takes to overcome that. You’ll learn steps you can take to help those you lead speak up and gain insight on continuing your own personal development of self-expression.

Truth You Can Act On

1. Find What’s Blocking You

There are certain things we tend to silence or not speak up about or not advocate for, and it’s often because of our fear of what other people are going think of us. It’s a fear of being seen as incompetent. It’s a fear of being seen as inadequate. Fear shows up as doubt and insecurity for people. And so what I’m after is to really help people at their core move past the blocks they have around their insecurity around doubting themselves and what they’re capable of and what they’re worth. Because I’ve struggled with these things myself, so it’s not like, ‘Hey, I’m the expert, I have this all figured out.’ No, I’m sharing these things from a place of, ‘I have been there, and I know how painful it is to silence yourself when you have something to say, when you have something to share.’ I think people are feeling this sense of wanting to break free but not knowing how, and I want help them do that.

2. Ask For Input, Don’t Assume

One of the things leaders don’t do is ask their people for their insights. They just go to a core team of people that generally make decisions. They don’t go to the people who are going to be most affected by the decision to ask them for their input or to say, ‘Hey, if you could wave your magic wand and change one thing about the way we do this, what would it be?’ Or, ‘What’s something that I should consider that I’m not considering?’ You could have people that are interns that might be able to give you insight into that. Everyone has the potential to contribute something, but we so infrequently ask. Have conversations with your own people. Putting yourself in that position of being curious and humble and asking for input is one thing leaders could shift to help their people speak up more.

3. Share Your Story

Share the experiences you’ve had of navigating the things your people have had to navigate. For instance, talk about when you were starting out in your career. Tell people, ‘You may not realize this about me, you may see me now as like CEO or VP, whomever, but here’s a moment where I really screwed up, and I had to find a way to redeem myself.’ Or, ‘Here’s a time when I was really struggling with doubt and insecurity and felt like I didn’t belong. And I here’s what I did to work through it.’ People are so encouraged by hearing the stories of other people, especially people they admire who are willing to be vulnerable and share that kind of stuff. It’s so powerful. If we can’t lead honestly, I don’t think we can lead effectively.

4. Lean on Coaches and Counselors

I really love the takeaway of if you don’t have a coach or consultant or a therapist, someone in your life that is speaking truth and really helping you to dive deep, consider finding one. I’ve never said this on this show before, but one of the most integral ways for me to change my life has been having someone that I trust to be able to really go deep with me. And sometimes that includes shedding tears and screaming. But it’s important to get to those things because the other side is I want to live alive. I want to feel those things. And so, as leaders, we have to pave the way by doing the work in order to lead that for other people. We have to lead what we want others to follow.

5. Borrow Other’s Belief in You

May 31st, 2019, was the day I told my CEO, who I had known for almost 20 years, that I was leaving my job on September 1st. And I got two text messages a minute apart while I was in the meeting from two people that do not know each other. And one of them said, ‘Hey, I think you’re in the meeting. I’m praying for you, have a blessed meeting.’ And somebody else texted me and said such kind things. He said, ‘I think today’s your conversation with your CEO, be well differentiated. You don’t have to prove anything. You don’t have to defend any decision. You don’t have to convince anyone of anything. Stay focused on the decision you need to make for you and your husband. Be gracious but courageous. You’ve got this.’ So the point being is the importance of what I refer to as borrowing other people’s belief in you. I think making investments in ourselves and having people around you that see the potential in you and speak into that is really, really powerful.

Book Recommendation:

Listen to the full episode: Episode 154: Unmute Yourself and Lead Others with Rachel Druckenmiller

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