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A Leader's Journey From Self-Doubt to Self-Trust: Featuring Rachel Downey

Roadblocks are a given when it comes to leadership. But it’s how you deal with these roadblocks that matters.

In this episode, Rachel Downey, founder, CEO, and Executive Producer of Share Your Genius, joins us to share her personal story into leadership and valuable lessons that can help us navigate our own leadership paths with more confidence and resilience.

Join us as we unpack Rachel’s 5 tips to navigating challenges, seizing opportunities, and evolving through self-awareness and intentional actions.

After You Listen:

Key Takeaways:

  • Take bold steps forward, even in the face of uncertainty, to lead you towards growth and success
  • Empower your team and help them navigate their own hero’s journey, while providing guidance and support along the way
  • Build self-confidence and trust your instincts to make impactful decisions and achieve your goals

Things to listen for:

  • [03:06] Lightning round with Rachel
  • [08:17] Have the courage to act
  • [15:32] Overcome challenges of acting and timing decisions
  • [19:10] Thrive on stories and core values
  • [20:38] Acting impulsively leads to poor decisions
  • [25:33] Rachel’s biggest piece of advice she’d give her younger self

Rachel’s Transcript:

[00:00:06] Craig: Welcome to Executive Evolution. I’m Craig Anderson. After spending 25 plus years in corporate America, I learned a lot of leadership lessons the hard way. I created this podcast so you don’t have to

[00:00:20] Craig P. Anderson: early on in my leadership career. I realized that my gut was always telling me something usually that I was missing something. I truly believe what we talk about with gut is our subconscious telling us something that we’re just not seeing in our conscious mind. Or it wakes us up at three 30 in the morning.

We’re staring at the ceiling. And in the example that I’m talking about here, we’d made a big decision for the business, but I let myself get pushed into a place. I didn’t want to be by the team and I lost confidence in myself,

but my gut woke me up in the middle of the night and made me really rethink it. And when I did, I realized that where I wanted us to go was the right direction. And I had to change that decision the next day. Our guest today is Rachel Downey. She is the founder and CEO of Share Your Genius. And she has a great leadership story, an entrepreneurial leadership story.

And she shares today some discussions about going with your gut, but really a lot of great information. And as always, I like to break those down into the three key leadership areas of having confidence, confidence, and calm and where Rachel talked today about confidence. I really think she touched on the importance of having self awareness of knowing ourself, taking that time to know who we are.

So we know where we’re great and we know where we’re deficient. And when we know that, that feeds into our confidence and lets us make decisions with both confidence and accuracy. And that also feeds into what she talked about with competence. Where by realizing that about herself, realizing about her action orientation, she needs to surround herself with people who can check her, who can keep her in line.

By the way, you can only really have yourself surrounded by people like that if you know yourself enough to have confidence that that’s okay. And then the final piece she talked about in the area of calm when she shared the story of she wanted to act out in a really emotional point in a discussion with a subordinate that had done something wrong, and she realized she needed to break away from that.

So getting to that place of calm where you can get out of that urgent Anger or emotional driven decision and separate yourself from that for her. It’s going to the gym and burning off that energy and coming back in a much different place. Not always do we have that option, but when we know ourselves, we usually have that option more than we realize.

Rachel, welcome to executive evolution.

[00:02:52] Rachel Downey: Hey, Craig. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:54] Craig P. Anderson: Oh, absolutely. I’m really excited about spending some time with you today and diving into your leadership story and all the excitement that you have going on at Share Your Genius.

[00:03:04] Rachel Downey: I’m excited to be here.

[00:03:05] Craig P. Anderson: Well, let’s dive in. I always like to get us kicked off with a little bit of energy into the lightning round, which is never lightning because we get stuck into some really good conversations, but at least we’ll get it going from here.

Are you ready? All right. What is the best book on leadership you have ever read?

[00:03:22] Rachel Downey: one of the books that impacted me the most as a leader is, Stephen Covey’s, um, Seven Principles of Effective, I always mess up the thing. but that book, because if you can’t lead yourself well, you can’t lead other people well.

[00:03:35] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah. Is that seven habits? Yes.

[00:03:38] Rachel Downey: of Highly Effective People. Ha ha

[00:03:41] Craig P. Anderson: know. I swear every book I ever read, there’s only one thing I retained from every book. And what I always have retained from that one is there’s a discussion when he’s getting his kid to cut the lawn and he’s talking about vision as a leader.

It’s lean and green, lean and green. And that’s, what’s always stuck with me from that book. If you think about those principles, what’s the one thing that really pulled out for you from that book? Yeah.

[00:04:01] Rachel Downey: it gave me a general playbook for how to like, live my life. And so I went from feeling like, Constantly overwhelmed with a never ending to do list and like, not understanding how I would ever get anything done to feeling like I had a sense of like control and calm around everything that I could do.

[00:04:19] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah.

[00:04:19] Rachel Downey: gave me back a sense of ownership over myself. And my calendar and my life. And so, that’s why I always go back as like, that is one of my favorite books because it truly gave me a roadmap for myself well.

[00:04:31] Craig P. Anderson: that idea of having a plan can give you that kind of centering, even when the plan goes off the rails, at least, you know, how far off the rails you’ve gone. Right. Cause you had a plan.

[00:04:41] Rachel Downey: it instills in you, like those principles of like, if you don’t plan for it, it’s not going to happen. You know what I Yeah.

even just like how you talk to your kids and how you talk to your leaders and things like that. I think it’s really empowering.

[00:04:52] Craig P. Anderson: Perfect. All right. Question number two. is your leadership crush?

[00:04:59] Rachel Downey: I mean, this is so weird because crush feels very. wrong, but honestly, like, they would be Jesus and I know that

[00:05:07] Craig P. Anderson: Okay.

[00:05:08] Rachel Downey: so weird, but the reason why, is just because it’s all about other people and it’s like very like servant minded, and there’s no like ego attached. there’s this feeling of putting others above yourself for the greater vision of what needs to happen.

[00:05:26] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah. And, and you are not the first person who has mentioned Jesus’s leadership crush. So yes, it’s not that far out of the ballpark. All right. Last one in 10 words or less, how do you define leadership?

[00:05:40] Rachel Downey: The words that come to mind for me when I think about that question, it comes down to, it’s really two words. It’s life giving.

So I think that leaders have an opportunity to give, like to help people like find their gifts and help maximize their strengths and help them find the purpose and like, How they are uniquely qualified to be who they are. great leaders, in my opinion, are life giving leaders.

They take the time to be present, to dig in, to understand. and life giving could also be, You’re not the right fit for this company. it’s having those hard conversations sometimes, but, that to me is what great leadership looks like.

[00:06:13] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah. And it’s so true when you think about life giving leaders, when you think of how many leaders are life draining, how many people are just sucked dry, either energy or emotion because the leadership of the organization is so poor when the leaders are instead pouring in and growing people and growing teams and finding ways to energize.

Those are the businesses that may take longer to ramp. Because no one’s really kind of really beaten them down, but they’re sustainable. And that’s really, you know, even when I think about your company and your growth pattern, right, it’s building a sustainable business and that life giving is what’s going to get you there.

[00:06:47] Rachel Downey: Yeah. And I, think that’s a good juxtaposition of like, life taking, because your place of work shouldn’t be taking from your life. You know what I mean? If you’re, if you’re truly like, doing great work and things like that, and you’re able to pour into other people, whether that’s clients or teammates or whatever, like it really should be giving life. that’s what comes to mind for me.

[00:07:06] Craig P. Anderson: Perfect. Okay. let’s kind of go back, you know, you’re a successful CEO of Share Your Genius. But that’s not your first leadership role. What was the first time, you know, I, I always go back and forth either when I was band president or even like third grade, when I was in charge of a group project, neither of which really was a great experience to be under my leadership in those times, but what was your first leadership role?

[00:07:31] Rachel Downey: So I had the peeling back the layers as you just said. So I remember distinctly really two opportunities, one in fifth grade. we were supposed to basically design the future life as if we all lived on Mars. And so we were all in these like projects and we were all a part of one specific piece of doing that.

And I remember distinctly my group of classmates and everyone, no one was taking the ball. Like no one was like jumping in to like lead. And so I just sat there and I was like, I don’t know the answers, but I’m going to organize this. And I remember like I had everyone come over after school and I would have snacks and like just work on all this stuff.

And know that I was not doing the best work. In terms of like outside of my peers, like there were other kids that were doing the better job, but I was the one stitching it all together. and sort of like delegating I remember that being like a taste of like, Oh, I guess I just do that naturally.

that’s one for sure. And then the other one I would say nonprofessional would be, when I was high school, I was the president of our, high school show choir. so that was like an opportunity. And I always joke about, I can’t really sing. I can’t really dance, but everyone liked me. And so I was voted president.

and so again, it just came down to like, I’ve had the ability to see. Talent and other people and sort of just like wrangle it together to do specific things.

[00:08:47] Craig P. Anderson: it’s so interesting because we, hear this story so often that I wasn’t the best at the thing, but I was really good at leading the thing. so you weren’t the greatest singer in the show choir, but you were the best person to lead the show choir. what do you think was kind of that difference maker for you because a lot of times we think, well, the best sales rep should be the best sales leader.

And they’re not, what is the difference in your mind of what makes that person able to lead, even if they’re not the best at do

[00:09:13] Rachel Downey: I think great leaders have a lot of courage and like they’re willing to sort of step outside of themselves and take leaps and make decisions and hope it’s going to work out. and so I think that that’s a distinction or distinctive quality in people who tend to lead is they’re the ones who are willing to put themselves on the edge in order to help the greater good move forward.

[00:09:33] Craig P. Anderson: yeah. I like that leaders are willing to put themselves on the edge to take the greater group forward. Right? And when you’re on the edge, you’re the one that’s taking the heat. And you’re the one who’s the 1st kind of running into the things and getting things out of the way. So I love that vision I can’t help but think when you say leadership is life giving.

And you said you were providing the snacks at that fifth grade leadership opportunity, right? I may not know the answers, but by God, we’re going to have enough energy to get through to the end of the day.

[00:09:58] Rachel Downey: That’s right.

[00:10:00] Craig P. Anderson: So, when you think about kind of those leadership experiences, it may be some of your early professional ones.

What’s kind of pulled through from those experiences for you into some of your more professional roles?

[00:10:10] Rachel Downey: Yeah. And I’ll say like, this is both a blessing and a curse, but I’ve never, been afraid to act. I’ve always acted, I’ve always taken action of some kind, bad or good. You know what I mean? I am not the kind of person who can sit in something very long.

[00:10:24] Craig P. Anderson: Mm hmm.

[00:10:25] Rachel Downey: crazy. Like that is just the DNA of who I am.

And so if we go back to that fifth grade experience, it was like, everyone was just sitting there and I, that made me uncomfortable. And so I was like, Oh, I’m going to act, you know what I mean? and even now in my, in my, professional career, always been act. And so I think that’s served me well, but it has also sometimes not served me.

[00:10:43] Craig P. Anderson: where do you compensate for that? So as your evolving in your own leadership role knowing that’s kind of both your strength and your curse how do you offset that and what you’re doing every day?

[00:10:54] Rachel Downey: So I think surrounding yourself with people who can check you. And so before I act, I typically will go check in with somebody and have them just validate or affirm or poke holes in the action I’m going to take. because the truth of it is I’m going to act like something is going to happen. I just need to make sure I don’t do something horrible.

You know what I mean?

[00:11:15] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah

[00:11:16] Rachel Downey: As a leader to be life giving, to have courage and be able to move things forward, having people who can like check you, I think is critical, to making sure you don’t start taking life. You know what I mean?

[00:11:27] Craig P. Anderson: So now, if we kind of think about today, right, in your role with Share Your Genius, the company you started, everything you’ve kind of done over the years and grown, how have you applied some of those early leadership lessons to your business? That have led to the success in the current role.

[00:11:42] Rachel Downey: I, mean, I don’t want to like be too repetitive, but

truly having the courage to act like for one is like. I think a lot of times we sit on our ideas and we don’t actually do anything with them. And so then they just die on a vine. And that was an idea. but you know, having the courage to like put my foot out there and just like take steps forward to find clients to, enroll people in a vision that’s greater than myself doing those things requires consistent action over time. and even now, you know, one of the things somebody asked me recently is they’re like, Sherry genius is still a baby, by the way. Just context for like

[00:12:13] Craig P. Anderson: sure.

[00:12:14] Rachel Downey: We’re growing and like, we’re on our way, but like we are in it.

You know what I mean? It is the messy middle. It is very like gritty and but I will say I had somebody asked me, they said, what’s the thing you’re most proud of? And I said, not quitting because there are so many opportunities where I’m just like, I want to be done. I want to quit. This is just so hard. and I think all leaders face that it’s like, want to quit. And so, to me, it’s like, the thing that has propelled me forward over and over and over again is not quitting and is continuing to have the courage to act and, like, take steps forward, and not lose sight of. The vision and the opportunity that I’m trying to build for our clients, but then also like the people that we employ.

[00:12:50] Craig P. Anderson: And to dig into a piece of that, that what you were talking about, we get into kind of that big leadership role, right. Running our own company or being promoted into a big leadership role. I find that people don’t always realize the weight of that role and the isolation of that role, even though you’re surrounded by people and you talked about kind of that urge to say, Oh God, I just want to give up.

What do you touch on that sustains you and gets you out of that kind of dip and back into the go mode?

[00:13:18] Rachel Downey: literally you’re going to be like rolling your eyes, doing things. So acting. So the thing that, the thing I have to do is, I will go work out. because it is the thing that takes all the kinetic stress energy. and it, sort of like recycles it or something.

And like, it keeps me out of that feeling of I have to quit. and so I started doing that. I remember, you know, early on, I had a really challenging, time with an employee in the early, earlier days of Sherry Genius. And I remember, wanting to not be kind.

And like wanting to act in a way that’s like super negative or just like do one of those like gut reaction things. The outcome was still the same, but the way I did it changed because I stopped myself and I ran. I went to the gym and literally ran like, and it allowed me to just like clear my head, kind of level set my emotions and then get back in the game, if you will.

[00:14:06] Craig P. Anderson: So it’s kind of taking all that nervous energy or all that kind of energy is weighing in and redirecting into a different kind of stress, which then lets you clear your head to be more focused on being the leader. You want to be right? Because you talked about yet pouring. If you want to be life giving his leader, even if it’s to tell the person, as you said.

This probably isn’t the right role for you, so I’m going to help you, which I’m sure anyone who’s ever been fired will never agree that that’s what was going on, but it does happen is if this isn’t the right role, I’m doing you a favor, so you actually peel out that negative energy by letting yourself get rid of it and then going in and being the leader you want to be not the leader in that moment that it’s just like, I just want to unleash. we’ve never talked about that on here, but that seems very real as a way to do that.

[00:14:50] Rachel Downey: Well, and it’s something like, I think the great leaders have to become self aware. And I’m constantly working on my own self awareness, right? But one of the things I know about myself is kind of what we talked about at the beginning. It’s like I have a propensity to have to be moving, to have to be doing, to have to whatever.

If I am in Like stagnation or silence too long. I go crazy. And so for me, it’s like putting in those like buffers, if you will, of like, okay, I’m going to go exercise as a way to redirect. I love that. What you just said, should I build stillness into my life? Yes. And I do, but this momentum of like saving the outcome for when I’m in the right mind space. has been a critical learning as I’ve tried to mature as a human being.

[00:15:34] Craig P. Anderson: and especially for you as a person with a bias to action, I can see that being a challenge because where there is value sometimes in not acting, at least not right now. This is not the moment, this is not the time. So you found a way to kind of pivot out of that, but I do think that’s, you know, I’ve been thinking about another client that I have that, to deal with a problem, they made a fast decision.

And now they’re kind of anchored by that decision, right? It it felt right in the moment, but now a year later. Maybe if I had not done that, where would I be today? could I have waited? What’s the best time to wait? So it does make a difference of, Hey, maybe I need to do something, but this is not the thing to do just right now.

which is hard because you know, you talk about, getting some of that insight and the calm and the moments, but where do you, what have you built around you as a leader? As a network to, say, well, it’s not just me. I’m not just alone. How have you kind of offset that for yourself?

[00:16:29] Rachel Downey: So I think there’s a couple places, and I always think about your relationships as not one person can be all for you, right? And so like finding people that can catch you and some people are there for a season and some people are there, forever. but I have like a ongoing Rolodex in my mind of like people I’ll call.

If I have like a question or a concern or an issue or whatever, and so basically based on the situation at hand. It sounds kind of silly, but I kind of have a gut of like, who could help me. and like I said, some of it could be somebody on the team, I have a president on the team who I helped validate action before I completely take it and run with it.

but then I have like different mentors and based on different scenarios, and that has taken intentionality. So if I were a brand new leader, again, doing it over again,that’s the thing that I think I have done well. and I remember that advice was given to me early on by a leader who at the time was phenomenal.

It turns out it wasn’t such the case, but the time, the advice that he gave was so good because he said, and go on LinkedIn. Look for people who from all like appearances the people that you would want to be one day from their lifestyle, their job, their leadership position, et cetera, et cetera.

What they talk about, how people respect them, et cetera. And so I did that and His advice was, and then see if they’ll meet you like pour into you and like give you advice and things like that. And so I did that. and even when I started Share Your Genius, there was a company.

That, is big and amazing they’re not a competitor, because there’s just so far ahead, we’re just not the same companies. I had the gumption to call the CEO of that company when I was first learning podcasting. I called him, somehow I got a phone number.

I have no idea how now I called him and I said, my name is Rachel. This is the company I’ve started. Will you mentor me? And he. He was like, I have never had anybody willing to call me and just ask me like that.

[00:18:19] Craig P. Anderson: Wow.

[00:18:20] Rachel Downey: that relationship. for a few years as I was trying to figure out what the heck I was building and who I was building it for and how I should talk about it.

And so whole point is like, leaders have to take action and be courageous and, being willing to hear nos or yeses or maybes or not right now. And like, That’s something that I will say like has served me well.

[00:18:38] Craig P. Anderson: and the other thing want to talk about, because that, intentional building of a mentor relationship is so significant and so important. But the other thing you mentioned was, you know, you’ve kind of growth. You say you’re kind of small still, you’re not really big, but you guys are growing fast and you’re kind of at that pivot point where I used to be able to do everything.

Now I’m kind of removed from it, but you have this vision for where you want to be as a company. How are you managing to kind of keep that vision moving forward when you’re kind of not in it every day?

[00:19:10] Rachel Downey: I think one of the things we’ve done well again, we’ve not been perfect It’s like our core values are part of the story of our company. And so one of the things that we do Every year and then we, beat it into the culture on a weekly basis as we pick a core value of the year then what we do is we take that core value and every week we do a weekly regroup and I attach a story to that core value.

As a reminder of how critical it is to success of the company. and every decision we make from a hiring perspective, from how do we talk to our clients perspective? It is all anchored on our core values. and we do that on purpose because the thing that clients have told us that make us special is the humanity that we bring to the table.

And the only way that we can bring that humanity is if we’re anchored back on the things that bring us all together, which for us is our core values. so that’s something that I’ve been really intentional about and I did it by accident. and the reason I did it by accident is like, one of the things that I always try and do is I look for anchors I can go back to because then I can tell stories from those anchors. And so that’s why, I mean, I kind of did it by accident because I just needed a cheat sheet. And I was like, well, if I anchor her on these, then it gives me a framework and how to like talk to the team and like set priorities and things like that.

[00:20:24] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah.

[00:20:25] Rachel Downey: been really helpful for us.

[00:20:26] Craig P. Anderson: So it kind of keeping everybody both grounded, but then also compelled to move forward because it’s within the values and we’re focusing on this. And then that helps us tell the story of how we’re going to move the business forward.

[00:20:39] Rachel Downey: That’s right. Because the thing that I think that I’ve done accidentally, and this goes back to acting before, like thinking and all those kinds of things is like, I’ve given people whiplash. And I’ve been like, we’re doing this, we’re doing that. We’re doing this. Let’s know we’re doing this because when you’re building, everything’s messy and you’re trying to figure out what’s going to work and we’re still shifting our business model today to get it to where it needs to go to have a sustainable business.

and so by me going, okay, no, Rachel, you have to have anchors. It allows me, like you said, to like, go back to that and go, but this is why we’re doing it. As

[00:21:08] Craig P. Anderson: right.

[00:21:09] Rachel Downey: oh, Rachel’s just on one of her ideas again, and it’s not going to last. so I’ve had to fight against that really intentionally.

[00:21:15] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah. And I love that idea because that is, you know, you’ve got a little bit of like, when I do core values assessments with people, innovators, one of those things, and I’m not right. And it always feels like you’re all over the place, right? Because you want to act and you want, you’ve got these ideas and there’s a thousand ways to do something and that can drive a team crazy.

But if you’re anchoring them in these core principles. You are still kind of saying, Hey, you know, we may go off this direction. We may go off this direction, but we’re still tied here. So we’re never going to stray that far. We’re never going to be something that we’re not trying to be long term.

So that’s great. And when you have a business like yours, that’s so focused on storytelling, how do you kind of build that in the value without, I mean, it is a core value. It is what you do, but at the same time, how do you keep it? So it doesn’t just feel like, Oh yeah, this is just a silly thing that we’re talking about, that this is actually embedded story in our business and story and how we run the business.

How do you kind of keep that real for people? Yeah. And,

[00:22:07] Rachel Downey: makes up a good story, I think we live in a, content creation world where people don’t actually know what a story is. like a story has a beginning, it has an end. but typically there’s like a takeaway, like a functional takeaway. and it evokes a feeling of some kind. And so if I’m anchoring back on my core values, then I can tell the story. Every single time we make a decision and I can be like, this is what we did. This is where we’re at. This is where we’re going. This is why we’re making the decision today. And this is the outcome of what that’s going to look Like that’s all businessy, but it’s woven through a story. It’s not just saying these are our priorities. Here’s some to dos, peace out. It’s like, you have to tell the evolution. And I think the other thing I think a lot about what people say is like, great leaders are vulnerable. and then people are like, well, how do you show up vulnerably?

And I’m like, vulnerability is just being honest. And being honest requires you to sometimes peel back the layers of where you were wrong or what you were thinking and what has changed. Like, what are the new ingredients? Um, and so I think it is the role of a leader to be able to unpack and tell that story.

And if you can’t tell that story, then you might not want to be making the decisions you’re making

[00:23:16] Craig P. Anderson: so interesting. And I’m a big lover of like Donald Miller’s story brand framework where he talks about the guide. And I think. In the context of being the leader of the business, right? You’re not the hero. If you’re the hero of the business, I think that becomes a problem. But if you’re the guide, if you’re Obi Wan and your team is all the here is all Luke and Leia and Han, right.

And you’re giving them the journey. That is such a more powerful place to be as the leader, because now I’m the guide and you guys are the heroes. You guys are the ones driving it forward because someday I’m not going to be here. And I need you to stay, learn these lessons and stay the course. and I don’t know if that kind of aligns with where you’re thinking, but that feels what I’m hearing is we’re talking about.

[00:23:55] Rachel Downey: Yeah. So Donald Miller’s premise is the hero’s journey. and if we, if we go back to the conversation of Jesus at the top, take the religious side of it. But. Yeah. The Bible is the greatest story ever told because it’s, it is a hero’s journey over and over and over again. And so as leaders, the hero’s journey is critical to how you can communicate to your team, how you can help your team and how you can help yourself.

[00:24:18] Craig P. Anderson: Yeah.

[00:24:18] Rachel Downey: like you have to be the guide, but then you are technically the hero of your own journey and dragons that you have to slay, which is part of that hero’s journey.

[00:24:28] Rachel Downey: are actually not external forces. And I think that’s a misnomer, what the dragons are, are the things that your brain is telling you.

So my dragon is not acting it’s holding, right?

[00:24:40] Rachel Downey: that every day. My dragon is like calming down and asking better questions, right?

[00:24:47] Rachel Downey: and things like that. So it’s like, when I think about the story arc of what we’re talking about, it’s like, if you’re a leader, you have to know the hero’s journey you’re on for a guide for all of the other heroes that you’re helping lead and help them understand the dragons that they need to slay to be great. life giving and that is not easy.

[00:25:06] Craig P. Anderson: But I think those are the leaders that people remember. You know, if you want to be a leader, I’d rather be remembered as that leader versus the leader that you alluded to before, well, it turned out they weren’t that great of a leader. Right. And I have leaders like that, that I have some great things I learned, but they were not great leaders.

And sometimes those letters were doing the opposite. that’s an important piece to think about is there’s an opportunity to learn from everyone, but you can decide the leader that you want to be and, where you want to be that inspirational leader for your team. So I love it. Well, we always like to wrap up cause you’ve got quite a journey, if you could go back in time and I don’t know if you have a favorite time machine, everybody does.

Well, I don’t know. I do. but if you could go back in time to you in That early leadership journey, what is the one piece of advice that you would want to give young Rachel that would make the burden a little easier to bear?

[00:25:55] Rachel Downey: it goes into this conversation of the hero’s journey and the dragons you have to slay. I think one of the dragons that I had and I still have it sometimes, is self doubt is like the lack of trust in your own abilities and capabilities. and so I would play that dragon sooner and just, like, stand more confidently in. knowing that what my gut is telling me is usually the right thing. Even if I need to slow down and the execution of it, paying attention to what it’s telling you is going to serve you well. I found myself. Not doing the thing that I should have done and being mad that the thing that I didn’t do wasn’t done, instead of just doing it. And so that is the thing where I’m like, no, no, no. Like you know what to do, and so that’s what I would do.

[00:26:38] Craig P. Anderson: and that’s so true. You know, I, I used to have a different podcast with another guy and we used to fight all the time about gut. Because I’m a huge believer in gut and he’s like, no data, data, data, but in my opinion, gut is your subconscious telling you you’re either missing something, be that an opportunity or problem, and you just can’t see it.

And your guts usually driving you in the right direction. And you just have to have kind of that self awareness and put your mind to it and say, no, my gut’s right here. I just have to figure out why and then go, because if you don’t, that’s where the regret comes in. That’s where it’s like, oh, well, if I had, would we have, right.

And that’s. Such an important piece. And that’s, you know, ties into your themes of, self awareness and, resting in yourself as a leader and having that confidence. So that’s a great way. And it’s a great lesson to take back. So Rachel, you’ve got a lot going on. If people want to follow you or learn more about what you all are doing at Share Your Genius, what are the best ways for them to do that?

[00:27:31] Rachel Downey: Sure. So, uh, you can find me on LinkedIn. I throw my maiden name in there so that you find this Rachel Downey, not a 400 million. So it’s Rachel Else Downey on LinkedIn. and then we listen to podcasts like this and you’ll see what we’re up to.

[00:27:45] Craig P. Anderson: Perfect. All right. We’ll drop links in the show notes for all that. Rachel, thank you so much for coming on and sharing the story of your executive evolution. I really appreciate it.

[00:27:53] Rachel Downey: Thank you, Craig.

[00:27:54] Craig P. Anderson: Thanks for listening to the story of Rachel’s executive evolution. It was really great to have her join me as a guest. Just remember you can go from being the accidental leader to the greatest leader of all time. It just takes developing your confidence, competence, and calm. See you next time on executive evolution.