Treat the 3 symptoms of an ADHDM manager!

In my last post I addressed Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Management (ADHDM). I’m not remotely making excuses for this destructive behavior.  Instead, in this post I intend to explain what this syndrome is and offer some remedies to help move your company forward. After all, in business, success is measured by results, not by excuses.

The risk in listing symptoms of ADHDM is that you might be labeled as an “inferior” manager.  A huge mistake since many of the ADHD managers I’ve worked with are highly intelligent, creative people with strong business instincts.

But my hope is that listing these symptoms out will help business owners, as well as the people who work for them, identify the behaviors—if they exist—and then take steps to address them so they can move their businesses forward. The symptom list of ADHDM is long and varied.  However, here are three ADHDM symptoms that have a huge impact on cleaning and restoration companies.

ADHDM Symptom #1-  Having difficulty sustaining attention on a task or following through on a project until it’s complete. Frequently, this inattention is the result of distractions that grab the concentration of the ADHD manager and refuse to let go. These distractions don’t have to be big. They can be a simple phone call, a visitor to the office, or a question from an employee. Anything at all.

No matter how serious (or urgent) the project is the minute any distraction shows up the ADHD manager is off and running after it.  Just like a dog chasing a car he or she is not exactly sure why but they can’t resist the chase!   These poor folks will jump from project to project completely unaware of the disruptive effect this can have on their staff.  (Including the impact their constant requests [demands?] have on employee productivity and morale.)

According to Dr. Richard Kuendig, noted author and expert on ADHD, shouting at the person with ADHD to “pay attention” and “focus” is like shouting at a person who’s deaf, “Why can’t you hear me?” It’s not that they don’t want to pay attention. They can’t!

NOTE:  This constant jumping from project to project is why the ADHD manager will frequently have a spouse or family member working in the business. They need someone who can tolerate their disruptive behavior, or who’ll run interference for them with their staff.

ADHDM Symptom #2-  “Irritated impatience” and frustration with the work pace of the ADHD manager’s staff. They just can’t understand why everyone doesn’t move at the same frantic pace that they do!  (“Don’t they understand that time is money?”). This also extends to frustrations about just how long some projects take—which is understandable since the ADHD manager rarely takes the time to do all the details that are sometimes required of large projects.  ADHD managers also don’t understand why everybody doesn’t work 14-hour days like they do. (“Where’s their commitment?” or “You just can’t find good employees anymore” are constant comments.  Which of course leads to our final ADHDM symptom …

ADHDM Symptom #3-  Lousy time management and/or being blissfully unaware of the passage of time.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve received phone calls late at night from clients who were completely unaware of the late hour. I’ll receive emails that are time stamped at the wee hours of the morning, not because this was the only time they had to write, but because they had completely lost track of time.

So, do you see yourself in any of the above?  Remember that recognizing that you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Chuck Violand (more about Chuck)
SFS Instructor
CEO Violand Management Associates

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.