How To Be A Leader With ADD

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How To Be A Leader With ADD 2013-01-29T05:20:38+00:00

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  • #118742
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    How do you be a well respected, responsible boss with ADD?

     

    It’s almost an oxymoron, but, before anyone says, “Whaddaya mean, we can do anything!! With the proper help, etc etc…” please keep in mind that I, and I’m sure many others, fear that if called upon to take command, we’ll get caught with our pants down. There’s just no way, I think to myself… Unless I am in the game, successfully, long enough to have my own personal assistant to keep me on track and do virtually all administration and repetitive organizational tasks.

    Too many details and administration to keep track of, forgetful (often of critical information), indecisiveness, lack of present-awareness unless totally in the zone, time management of a TEAM of individuals (not just yourself anymore), dates, staying motivated when anything and everything else seems to always call your name, boredom with the mundane… which can be almost anything to an ADDer, the drive to drop everything and do something else, being eligible to promotion for a leadership position with already apparent typical ADD issues (time management, awareness on multiple levels) that are indicators of leadership potential…

     

    I could go on. Opinions? Insight? Stories of personal success?

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    #118745
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    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    @ensign,  @rick is probably the best person to answer this one, because he IS a successful leader, with ADHD.

    He’s created, written, and directed several TV series, as well as two ADHD documentaries, and, of course, TotallyADD.com.

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    #118753
    Rick Green - Founder of TotallyADD
    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
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    Post count: 473

    Great question! (And thanks for the compliment Larynxa!)

    This is an issue I’ve always struggled with. I’ll do a webinar about it in the next little while. Every project I’ve done, from my first magic show at age 17 to this website, has taught me something about leadership, management, and what it takes to succeed. (And everything I’ve learned is because I did something wrong. We don’t really learn as much from the stuff we do right as we do from our mistakes. The mistakes are what make the ‘right choices’ and ‘right actions’ so much clearer.

    One basic suggestion:

    Decide what a great boss would do. And do that. (Stupidly simple right? And yet how many bosses would agree screaming or humiliating people doesn’t work… but they lose their cool and do exactly that.) It requires you to act a certain way. Until you find it’s no longer an act. And if you think that makes you a phoney, consider that you are acting all the time. You act different with your buddies than with your parents, or with strangers, or your own boss.

    Secondly read books on what makes a great leader. Again some of the points will be obvious. Some won’t. But obvious doesn’t mean easy. The way to lose weight is obvious, right? Eat less, exercise more. And yet, what % of the population is fit and healthy?…

    Knowledge is NOT power. Unless it leads to enlightened action.

    Patrick and I did a workshop on leadership and entrepreneurs earlier this month. Some very powerful points. But I made a huge mistake in the presentation. One that Patrick tried to point out before we went in. So it’s not a matter of arriving somewhere, it’s about always improving and getting better. But you never get better at anything, unless you’re doing it.

    For example, you will never improve your tennis swing if you never play tennis. Practice. And in leadership you practice on the court. The game is on and you’re learning as you go. But the good news is, so is everyone else.

    More later. Preparing for the webinar at 6:00 EST tonight for Premium Members. A quick tour of the site and updates on what’s coming. If you can make it, do sign in.

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    #118795
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    MarieAngell
    Member
    Post count: 140

    @ensign, are you looking at ways you can advance into management in your company or field? When you use the word “leadership” here, it sounds like you’re referring to management positions. Is that right?

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    #119116
    Rick Green - Founder of TotallyADD
    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Participant
    Post count: 473

    @marieangell that’s a good question. If it’s a management position, then having support, a great secretary or personal assistant or staff is crucial.

    And I can tell you @ensign, having tools to track progress, clarify responsibilities, keep everyone present to goals, and so on, is huge. What a manager does is enable others. A bit like a coach. The football coach has 50 players each with specific skills and specialties and roles. The coaches job is to coordinate them (by creating the plays and making sure everyone understands them) and also seeing where someone is struggling and giving them advice, or seeing where someone might be more effective and make better use of their skills and talents in a different position. A coach has the job of motivating, and a lot of that involves finding a goal that the players can guy into, one that offers them rewards that matter to them. (Fame, money and a Superbowl Ring.)

    I had no training in management, so when I created my own series, History Bites, and was running the show, I had to learn a bunch of stuff very fast. I’m going to put some books in the store that I found to be useful.

    And one last thought, one way to find out what your employees, staff, partners, or even your spouse, kids, and friends want from you is to ask them. Rather than try and figure it out. “How can I help you?”  A great coach will ask you where you need help. And though you may think it’s “not being late for events” the coach may point out that there’s something else going on, an unconscious belief or attitude based on something from the past. That gets more into therapy, I would say.

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    #119121
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    shutterbug55
    Participant
    Post count: 430

    When I was in the military, I had a first sergeant, a clerk, and my XO. I picked these people, because they were very good at what they did, we got along, and we could communicate. In the civilian world, as a manager, I built my team on those same principals. I delegated authority and retained responsibility, meaning I allowed them to do their jobs. Especially the ones I had difficulty doing. If anything messed up, I was there to pick up the pieces. As a person with ADD, I am VERY experienced at picking up the pieces.

    Moral of the story: As a manager, you have to delegate. Delegation is not absolution of knowledge or responsibility.  Your people come first and if anything goes wrong, and it will, you are there to make things better. You will be rewarded. Many people get thrown under the bus by their bosses. The  words “I am right behind you” translates to “I am using you as a shield”

    When looking for a boss, and a working environment, those are the things I look for. Everything else, I can adapt.

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    #128238
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 9

    I was a senior executive at a F100 company, have serious ADHD and after leaving corporate life I joined with my wife (a licensed psychologist and expert on ADHD) to do both executive coaching and business consulting for people with ADHD. I also worked for ten years with one of the leading success coaches in the country, going through his highest level programs. This is just context for my suggestions…

    One of the workshops I teach for people with ADHD is called Managing Your Life as a Project. This is something I learned early, from several of my mentors in corporate life. I was a success nerd and had my first real management positions at a F100 company at age 19. Eventually I moved up to other companies, eventually running a division of one large company and turned around a failing division of that company to be three times more profitable than any other at that company. All using the idea that, with ADHD, it is a requirement that we manage our lives just like a project.

    Start with the End – Yes, understand the desired outcomes for yourself and your job. This is basic, but unless you keep the outcomes in clear focus it is easy to be distracted.
    Outline the Tasks – Yes! Its basic project management. Outline what needs to be done and by who. Put it on a timeline or calendar. Track the progress every day.
    Distraction is NATURAL BRAIN FUNCTION – The ADHD brain functions like all brains in most fashions. Distraction is also curiosity. When you are distracted your brain is sending you a message that “I need more data” to solve a problem…even if you don’t know what the problem is! Yet!
    Assistants are a Crutch – Before you shoot holes in my statement. I am not suggesting you don’t delegate. When organizing your office, etc. use your assistant to help you stay focused and on task rather than avoiding difficult tasks. This is a technique from cognitive behavior therapy to teach yourself better focus. Do this for about a year and you’ll actually be better at focusing when nobody is around. It works.
    Use An Assistant for the Right Thing – It is a challenge, but before getting an assistant (its not a magic bullet) you will need to define the systems and processes involved. We have an internal process engineer and he helps define those processes so the assistant will know what to do when the show up. I guess you could let them figure it our for themselves, but that is not productive.
    Read Your Body – What? Yes, many of the things we see as behaviors such as rocking in our chair or wiggling a foot is NOT excess energy. It is emotional! Our behaviors are driven by emotions. Ask yourself “What am I feeling?” That emotion or feeling is tied to the source of your behaviors. Listen to your body and recognize that it is talking to you.

    Do you need to read books or get a coach. Duh! Neurotypical people that are successful do this. However, leadership is part intuition, wisdom, experience and skill. My son has extreme ADHD too. He has a stack of books in his house that he is always reading. Everything from thought leaders in leadership to marketing & manufacturing. Most of my reading is more advanced in psychology, etc. Whatever feeds your abilities to perform at the highest level.

    Most of the things you list like “details and administration to keep track of, forgetful (often of critical information), indecisiveness, lack of present-awareness unless totally in the zone, time management of a TEAM of individuals…” is all learned behavior. Very few behaviors in ADHD are hard wired. Any deficiencies you may see like emotions and feelings are learned. Nobody with ADHD is hard wired to have anxiety or fear. In fact, a recent study at Syracuse University appears to demonstrate people with ADHD naturally have many of the core elements required to run a business in excess. The things you listed are cake for someone with ADHD. It is your personal beliefs that are the issue.

    There is too much more to outline here, but I also teach another workshop on Lean ADHD Production. It applies many of the techniques used in lean manufacturing processes in your daily work life. (Yes, even my house has labels on the counter where the salt and pepper go.) It is the subject of the current book I am writing. Many of the obsessions of the Japanese that have been leaders in lean are great for us.

    Success to you!

     

     

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    #128239
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 9

    Thanks to the sceptics that have made negative comments about my introduction, I will clarify. I am a bestselling author, but I give away our books or donate the money to charities for youth mentoring. Yes, my wife has been asked to be on Dr. Phil and is well known. I was an executive at one of the top defense contractors and a one of the top four tv networks. The information was presented for context and to demonstrate experience in leadership, not to plug our work. I usually say that in my comments. I achieved the fame and recognition in those jobs and I am at the age where I am giving back.

    I was taught something when I was young…people make negative assumptions about others because presented with the same situation, they would act out in that negative way.

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    #128244
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    shutterbug55
    Participant
    Post count: 430

    Just one. Me.

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