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HCI Webinar: The Neurodiverse Leader: Leveraging Unconventional Traits for Exceptional Results, with Claire Milligan

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Claire Milligan about the neurodiverse leader and how we can leverage unconventional traits for exceptional results. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick Recap


The conversation between Claire Milligan and Jonathan H. Westover about neurodiversity in leadership highlighted the advantages of having a diverse workforce. They discussed the unique perspectives of individuals with neurodiverse traits, such as ADHD, and how these can enhance leadership skills. They also addressed the challenges faced by those with neurodiverse traits, particularly in decision making and navigating uncertainty. The conversation also touched on the importance of creating inclusive work environments, recognizing privilege, and providing avenues for team success. They concluded the discussion by emphasizing the importance of work-life balance and embracing neurodiversity as a strength.


Neurodiversity in Leadership: A Conversation With Claire Milligan


Claire Milligan, a co-founder and CEO of a business named Aimably, and Jonathan H. Westover, had a conversation about neurodiversity in leadership. Jonathan shared that Claire, who has ADHD, brings unique perspectives to her work. Claire, who describes her entrepreneurial experience as a 'roller coaster', advocated for the advantages of neurodiversity in the workplace. They discussed how individuals with neurodiverse traits, such as ADHD, can utilize their strengths to enhance their leadership skills.


Autism and ADHD in Society and Entrepreneurship


Jonathan and Claire discussed the challenges faced by individuals on the autism spectrum and those with ADHD in navigating societal structures. Claire shared her personal experience of transitioning from a corporate setting to becoming an entrepreneur and co-founder of her own business. She highlighted the similarities between the structured environment of education and the corporate world, which allowed her to excel. However, she noted that the transition to being a founder required her to make decisions and navigate uncertainty, which was a challenge she was not fully prepared for. Jonathan emphasized the importance of creating inclusive workplace environments where individuals can contribute and drive innovation.


ADHD Challenges in Decision Making and Structure Creation


Claire Milligan discussed the challenges individuals with ADHD face in decision making due to their high energy levels. She emphasized the importance of creating a structure to channel this energy, particularly in the context of a founder role where the structure is not fixed. Claire also highlighted the tension between obeying and creating structures, and the common counter-defiance found in those with ADHD.


Recognizing Privilege and Systemic Inequalities


Jonathan H. Westover discussed the importance of recognizing and understanding privilege and systemic inequalities. He highlighted that his own privilege as a straight, cisgender, white male often allows him to overlook certain challenges that people from different backgrounds face. Jonathan emphasized that acknowledging this privilege can lead to a better understanding of the obstacles others encounter and prompt changes to policies and procedures to create a more equitable environment. He also pointed out the positive impact of questioning the status quo, citing the Covid pandemic as a catalyst for challenging long-held beliefs and practices.


Entrepreneurial Success and Leadership Challenges


Claire Milligan and Jonathan discussed the importance of providing avenues for team success and establishing scaffolding and structures for entrepreneurial success. Jonathan emphasized the importance of focusing on people management issues before things get out of hand. Claire shared her approach to leadership and problem-solving, and the challenges she faces in managing her neurodivergent traits. She also discussed the seasonality of their business and the importance of self-awareness and acceptance. Jonathan stressed the significance of self-awareness, self-patience, and making small, incremental improvements every day.


Work-Life Balance and Upcoming Plans


Claire and Jonathan emphasized the importance of work-life balance and the benefits of simple tasks as a form of reset. Claire encouraged embracing neurodiversity as a strength, and shared her social media handle for connection.


Listen to the webinar here:



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