Susan Drumm uses the power of music and neuroscience to inspire leaders

SusanDrummBookPhoto (1)

Maybe you’ve put together a playlist for a vacation, or to get over a breakup, or to cheer up before an event, or as a backdrop for a romantic dinner. If yes, then you have already begun to find out what Susan Drumm, CEO coach, writes about in her article. leader playlist.

The book, published in October 2022, is based on brain research. In it, Drumm describes how early life experiences shape pathways in our brains for the rest of our lives. She then talks about how we can change these pathways to specifically improve our leadership abilities.

With degrees from Harvard Law School and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and over 20 years of consulting and coaching experience, Drumm brings a unique perspective on the intersection of leadership and music. As CEO, Director of Empowerment and Founder of Meritage Leadership, a coaching and consulting firm, she educates her clients in neuroscience-based techniques.

She inspires her clients and readers with the fact that they can shed old habits that prevent them from becoming the best leaders they can be. Here’s what her recent book teaches executives about how to use the power of music to become better.


Drumm’s view of creating change in leaders is that you can only change yourself. You cannot change the people who work for you. And to change yourself, you have to go deep… very deep.

She dives into neuroscience to explain the “old playlists”—that is, the inner attitudes or mantras we repeat to ourselves over and over again. She uses this concept to describe the paths of neurons in our minds that are stuck in loops. These loops first formed during childhood.

These mantras have a deep meaning for leadership.

For example, a leader may have a secret fear: “I’m not enough. I’m not enough. I’m not enough.” This mantra, repeated in their subconscious day after day, can make them make decisions out of uncertainty. Their employees may have trouble trusting them.

Another leader might think deep down, “No one really cares about me, so I have to do everything myself.” This belief or old playlist causes them to subconsciously push employees away and not delegate. This results in poor employee retention and team communications.

Another leader might say, “Achievement deserves love.” And as this leader pushes himself and his team, the team can teeter on the brink of overwhelm and burnout.

Drumm attributes these negative mantras to childhood wounds or how our formative experiences affect our personality and abilities. Drumm teaches how to create a new playlist to shed those old patterns, freeing people to lead with vision and passion.

Use the power of music

In his book, Drumm teaches how to create a new playlist. One that uses music to force the brain to reprogram its pathways.

“Basically, it’s a brain hack to help you make changes faster and stick with them,” says Drumm.

It will help you change your life and your leader mindset.

Think of children who fall asleep to the same lullaby every night. Their brain understands that familiar tunes mean it’s time for bed. Likewise, athletes use weekend playlists and songs to cheer up and focus before games.

This is a logic based science app. When you choose to listen to songs that give you confidence and inspiration before weekly meetings with your team, you can go to those meetings with more confidence and inspiration. Leaders can choose songs that have helped them strengthen their position in the past. Or they can explore brand new songs to add to their personal playlists.

The book contains practical advice and a neuroscience-backed 7-step process to increase your productivity, confidence and efficiency.

shake it

Drumm cites research on music’s ability to increase oxytocin levels, affect heart rate, induce dopamine release and reduce stress. But just as old thought patterns can hold us back, old music can also hold us back. Leaders must listen carefully to the stories they tell themselves while listening to music (or chanting a mantra, or spending time with a particular person) to determine what is helpful and what is hindering.

However, leader playlist it’s not only about how to use music to energetically change your state, but also how to use music to interrupt old deep-seated patterns and build new, more enlightened neural pathways that will not only serve you, but also influence everyone around you.

With that in mind, Drumm teaches specific methods for creating your own playlist and applying it to a guide. She teaches people how to overcome old ways of looking at things based on ingrained neural pathways.

Applying the concept of playlists helps leaders see the big picture, lead with joy, and attract like-minded people to their teams. Then leaders can inspire others to become better. By using the concept of a playlist to bring strong emotions, generous thoughts, and clear vision into their work, leaders can succeed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here