Since Elon Musk “coming out” as autistic (Aspergers) on Saturday Night Live, there is currently a lot of buzz on social media about rich and successful world leaders who are #neurodivergent (have neurological conditions or differences).
Richard Branson has always been open about his dyslexia, and Bill Gates more recently about his ADHD, but there still seems to be a reluctance for people in leadership roles to acknowledge #autism – even if it seems obvious.
One of the reasons people who are Autistic and/or ADHD people can become mega successful is by finding a way to combine our passionate highly-focused special interests with work.
I would be the first to admit autism brings some challenges to me at work, but it also brings many advantages in my role as HR Systems Analyst. There is no shame in admitting to struggling in certain areas of work, as it helps others to understand and support us, so we can thrive and do our best work.
It can be so helpful to be open about our neurological conditions, to tackle the stigma. ND role models can help others know they are not struggling in isolation.
It would be great to see more people, especially in leadership positions, being open about their neurology – if they feel secure enough to do so (a personal choice).