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How Employers get it so wrong with their ADHD staff

I have been a 'gun' sales person most of my work career, 'leading the state in number of sales' type of results... but my Employers all lacked the leadership ability to get the most out of my skills, not just for my sake, but for their own bottom line.

Image is of Rob standing on a paddle board playing out his strength with the face to face work he does with clients

With my ADHD brain, sales came easy. I can talk about what I am passionate about really easily, and can sweep you up in my enthusiasm no problems. It makes sense that face to face sales was something I really excelled at and now talking about creating neurodivergent-affirming lives has the same flow for me.

My Employers, if they were effective leaders, could have really taken advantage of my strengths skill set, if they didn't insist on ableist policies like having to have me also do the administration side of it too.

I even worked with people who absolutely detested reverse marketing and all of the sales related parts of their work, and instead of playing to the team's strengths and matching the gun sales people with a gun admin person, they implemented end-to-end requirements with those roles. It literally makes no sense. I could have made them 3 times more sales, if they just had released me from the things I wasn't good at.

Image is of Rob playing out his strength with the face to face work he does with clients

When I combined forces with Tan she just had this stuff down pat - she insisted we play to our strengths and that that's how we get the best outcome for our clients. My strength is working face to face with clients, and talking with Carers about their children. If you give me administration responsibilities, organisational responsibilities, or the business credit card - it will take me 3 times as long and it just won't get done properly (especially if I am expected to keep and send in receipts!)

This is not a laziness thing - my brain literally is not wired to do well in these areas. As for the finances, well let's just say we have a lot of great assets for our clients way before we were in a position to do so thanks to my ADHD impulse brain thinking it was a good idea at the time!

When I was a teenager I was told that I would "grow out of" my ADHD - I clearly did not. If you worked with me you have experienced that. So why, when I am exceptionally good in a particular set of areas, would you rate my performance on the parts that I really struggle with. It's ableism plain and simple. I have valuable contributions to make if I can play to my strengths, and my life's purpose is to mentor neurodivergent males and empower them with self-honesty, self-awareness, self-confidence; and self-love... and that's why when I partner up with someone like Tan who is a bit of a genius at administration systems, I can use my focus and energy to really excel at what I am doing.

All effective leaders know that you play to your staff strengths, just like you do in a team sport... and if you have an awesome person with ADHD on your team, let them play to their strengths without punishing their weakness, then really watch their confidence, results, and your profitability soar!

- Rob

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