Attention Disorder – A curse or an Entrepreneur’s Greatest Strength
What is common between highly accomplished business people like Richard Branson, Ingvar Kamprad and John T. Chambers? Besides being highly successful, they all have ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In fact part of their success is largely owing to their “diagnosis”, rather than in spite of it. When scores of people are suffering from productivity issues pertaining to attention deficit disorder, what makes these people emerge out from the lot and make their dent?
These highly accomplished business people have mastered the skill of using most common positive-characteristics of ADHD such as creativity, multi-tasking, high energy, risk taking and even resilience to their advantage. They have made the symptoms of ADHD their strength by leveraging it in the right way and in the right career. Today it has become a common scene to see many high profile achievers publicly embracing their diagnosis of ADHD.
We live in a society that prefers to focus only on negative aspects of ADHD such as procrastination, forgetfulness, disorganization, inability to concentrate and easily distracted. Those having trait of ADHD become frustrated with routine, they hate being chained to a desk performing office routine tasks. Highly successful people with ADHD have realized that there is much more to this trait which can be leveraged to an advantage.
Studies have shown that people with ADHD are often at their best in crisis mode, intuitively reaching a solution and multi tasking. If they find something truly interesting, they can be found focusing for hours on end. They in fact thrive under pressure. Studies have shown that people with ADHD are no better at multitasking than the general population.
The key remains in the fact that they like multitasking, which for most of the population is quite stressful. This especial trait or call-it-strength lends itself perfectly to entrepreneurship where a typical day is filled with juggling with multiple tasks at one time including sales, admin, R&D and payroll etc. for as long as an entrepreneur can afford to have enough staff and infrastructure to be able to delegate efficiently.
No two entrepreneurs are alike, but their ability to leverage their ADHD traits as their strength is the common thread. Neeleman once told in an interview for ADDitude Magazine that he can distill complicated facts and come up with simple solutions. He can look out on an industry full of all kinds of problems and his ADD brain naturally searches for better ways of doing things. He went on to say that if there exist a pill which could free him of the symptoms of ADD, he’d refuse to take it. He said he wouldn’t be where he is today without it.
(Taken from The Prosperous Leader)