How to leverage ADHD strengths


How to leverage ADHD strengths. In this episode Judith Germain speaks to Claire Milligan about her experience living with ADHD and how it impacts her life and work. 

Key Takeaways

  • ADHD manifests differently in each person – it’s a spectrum. Claire has inattentive ADHD.
  • Getting diagnosed as an adult woman is difficult since ADHD often shows up differently than the “hyperactive young boy” stereotype.
  • Medication helps provide a baseline level of dopamine to aid focus and mood regulation.
  • Creating external structure and systems helps compensate for ADHD challenges. Calendars, reminders, checklists are common tools.
  • Starting small tasks can create momentum to tackle bigger, challenging tasks.
  • Focus on outcomes rather than process to leverage ADHD strengths like hyperfocus.
  • ADHD and autism have overlap – “audio HD” – and often co-occur.


Claire’s ADHD Experience

  • Claire has inattentive ADHD, diagnosed in her late 30s. Previously thought it was depression.
  • Struggled in college when external structure went away, but did well in school before.
  • Works well in reactive, client-facing roles where tasks come at her. Struggles to self-direct without that external push.
  • Sees ADHD as both blessing and curse. Enjoys hyperfocus but lacks baseline dopamine which makes starting tasks difficult.

Managing ADHD

  • Medication provides baseline dopamine, which helps tremendously. Stimulant dependency concerns are overblown.
  • Creating systems and structure is key. Calendars, reminders, checklists help compensate.
  • Starting small tasks can build momentum to tackle bigger goals. Switching tasks can help get unstuck.
  • Focus on outcomes rather than process to leverage hyperfocus strengths.

ADHD in Children

  • Important to teach coping skills to the young so they can eventually self-manage.
  • Be aware of life stage challenges like starting college.
  • Give space to fail and learn consequences rather than over-accommodating.

ADHD and Neurodiversity

  • Differences like ADHD provide perspective that improves systems and processes.
  • Hire for outcome over process to leverage neurodiverse strengths.
  • ADHD and autism overlap is common – “audio HD”.

Claire Milligan thrives on distilling complex problems down to their core issues – and turning these pragmatic findings into groundbreaking solutions. As the CEO of startup Aimably, she’s applying her unique superpowers to help businesses grow by spending smarter and dramatically reducing their cloud costs.

Maverick leadership is all about thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo. It’s about having the courage to take risks and the confidence to lead in a way that is authentic and genuine.

But amplifying your influence as a leader isn’t just about having a strong vision or a big personality. It’s also about having the right leadership capability and being able to execute on your ideas and plans.

The consequences of not having the right level of influence as a leader can be significant. Without the ability to inspire and motivate others, you may struggle to achieve your goals and make a real impact.

How Influential Are you? Take the scorecard at and see. 

Claire Milligan can be found on LinkedIn here. Her website is here.

You can listen to Episode 407 on any of the popular podcast platforms or apps (including Spotify, and Audible). If you prefer to listen to your browser you can do that below. Enjoy!

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Maverick Paradox Media is for the pathologically curious who seek to learn from lateral thinkers, including how to execute maverick thinking. We provide a Maverick perspective on the world arounds us. 💢 I am the leading authority on 𝗠𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 and Founder of Maverick Paradox Media. It is because I am passionate about demonstrating that Maverick Leadership exists everywhere and understand that we can all learn from diverse and differing voices that I founded Maverick Paradox Media. Maverick Paradox reaches thousands of leaders and business owners, empowering and inspiring them to think differently, challenge often and increase their leadership capability. 💢 Maverick Paradox Media consists of: ✅ The Maverick Paradox Podcast (on all popular podcast platforms/apps – available episodes here: ✅ The Maverick Paradox Magazine I also write for The Maverick Paradox Magazine and you can find those articles under my name Judith Germain.