Monday, November 10, 2008

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Making Money

Twenty years ago, in Germany, I approached my Troop Commander, I was supposed to communicate an important message to him. He was a very busy man, we all were on those days, and the pace has not slowed down yet. His opening statement to me was direct and to the point: “I have ADD, if you cannot tell me in less than two minutes, do not waste your time or mine”. His ADD did not slowed him down. He went to become a very successful leader, and he taught me a very important lesson. “Objectivity” + “Purpose“ + “Specificity“ = “Success“. Let’s see if we can apply that lesson to making money.

Objectivity: I have a degree of Attention Deficit Disorder myself, and like my old Troop Commander, if you describe every single detail of a conversation, you will drive me nuts, you will bore me to death, and even though I will try to be polite and listen to you, the bottom line is that I will probably be thinking of something else within the first few minutes. I have limitations. I know that. As a Martial Artist, I know that my ground fighting abilities are not as good as I would like. As a writer, I still have trouble differentiating between the word belief and believe, you see, English is my second language.

It is important to be objective and know where your weaknesses and strengths are. So, when I listen to an audio class, and the speaker is talking about wiggling his fingers, I start shaking my head and doing something else, like right now, I’m writing, and trying to listen to a class. I have learned to overcompensate for my weaknesses. I’m a ferocious fighter, and will overwhelm you in the first few seconds of the fight, that is enough for me to win. In combat, you just need to win the fight and survive, it does not need to be pretty, you just need to keep yourself and your party alive. Some people cannot see their weaknesses, and cannot see how to overcompensate in order to accomplish their mission, whether it be survival, or making money in business.

Understand that you need to know what your weaknesses are, and figure out a way to overcome them, or go around them. If you are lousy at Statistical Analysis, find a friend that is good at that, and is willing to help you. If you are a lousy teacher, find someone who can teach. If you don’t know how to make a website, learn.
Purpose: What do you want to achieve? I have talked before about William Tell and how hard, if not impossible, if for good ole Mr. Tell to hit the apple on his son’s head, if he was blindfolded. Remember my old Troop Commander? I figured out that if I could tell him what I wanted to do in three sentences or less, he would always say yes. You need to know what your goal is, and the more that you can narrow it down, the easier will be for you to achieve your purpose.

Specificity: This is a quality that you need to cultivate. How many of us do hate meetings? How many of us like meetings? My main problem with meetings is the wanna be leaders that cannot say what they need to say in three sentences or less, shut up, and sit down. I found that I can finish a meeting in 15 minutes or less, if I am objective about what we need to do, what our limitations are, what our capabilities are, and what resources we can muster; if I know what my purpose is, and if I can narrow our goals as specifically as possible.

In every organization, you can find people that have incredible capabilities, your only problem is that you need to get to know them. If you are a lone wolf, like me, I try to learn how to do everything; we call that cross training in the Army. But you can always find someone who can give you a hand. Remember the story of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Making money is easy, you know how to do it, you just need to figure out a plan of action, put everything together, involve the right people, take action, and voila…
In short, “Objectivity” + “Purpose“ + “Specificity“ = “Success“.

Think about your previous experiences. Has this article given you new ideas? The way you do business, could you use new ideas? Can you change the way you do certain things in your day to day operations that would save you money, and improve your output? Share your ideas with us…

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For more information on ADD, follow these links:

NHS Blog Doctor: Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder : AAADD

Treatment Options for ADHD

Virtual ADD ADHD Conference

The Looming Attention Crisis

What I Said May Not Be What I Mean

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