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What Every Leader Needs to Know about ADHD in the Workplace

Screenshot of a tweet from Sarah Noll Wilson

I inadvertently started a Twitter firestorm this week. Don’t worry, it was a positive Twitter firestorm! I hit on a topic that I didn’t expect to blow up, but I’m happy it did because it’s a topic deeply personal to me, and clearly, to many other people.

It’s no secret that I have ADHD. I’m very open about it and one of the 25 books I want to write is Running a Business with a Busy Brain. I have my own personal experiences with being a leader with ADHD and an employee with ADHD. So, I was thrilled when I was approached to present to HR personnel and leaders about supporting those with ADHD in the workplace. I turned to the Twitterverse to add insight to my own experiences:

The response was massive. And I don’t mean massive in relation to the metrics of the tweet. I mean massive in the insight that people were sharing. The thread is still stretching on and on with so many people sharing what they wished their managers would know, tips for working with ADHD, and some very heart wrenching anecdotes about past experiences in the workplace. The general consensus, and one that I strongly agree with, is that ADHD can be misinterpreted as lazy, incompetent, and slow. But in reality ADHD can be a strength. Our minds are still gifts and we bring unique aspects and perspectives to the table!

The outpouring of messages and comments from this one question sparked so much curiosity in me. I’m eagerly looking forward to my presentation in October, and I’m even more eager to engage with the data and discover key takeaways from this discussion.

This topic is too important to just share some screenshots of tweets and leave it at that. I’m planning a two-part newsletter to really dive into this topic. This week I’ll be sharing some of the responses to my tweet. I also encourage you to view the thread in its entirety. Next week, I plan on going deeper and creating some infographics that are shareable and easy reminders to leaders and managers.

Know the Facts


I strongly encourage you to read this article on Medium. It has a great description of what ADHD is, how it can present, and some tips for managers.

ADHD is a Strength


Invisible Disabilities are Real


Our Processes are Different, and That’s OK


This discussion and the ideas brought up go beyond the workplace. It extends to those you know, and even to the strangers in line with you at the grocery store. We’re all humans. We all need a little grace, perhaps now more than ever.
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