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Do Typical ADHD Traits Offer Advantages to Entrepreneurs ?

  • Lindstrom & Partners.


The objective of this study is to evaluate -Do Typical ADHD Traits Offer Advantages to Entrepreneurs, or not? In recent years, in the debate on entrepreneurship and its nature of this, it has been stated that ADHD could provide special conditions for entrepreneurship and be an asset. Another aspect of ADHD and entrepreneurial management that deserves to be described is the demarcation and thus the debate needs to be nuanced. Our view is that the perspective of ADHD and entrepreneurship is of restricted importance as a general perspective. Given the complexity of the role of entrepreneurs and the requirements set by different stakeholders in the organization, ADHD and its effects offers several limitations for entrepreneurship. This, in conjunction with difficulties in disorganized behavior and difficulties in completing tasks, does not lead to an affirmation of ADHD as a resource in terms of entrepreneurship
Applied Psychiatry
Appl Psychiatry Volume 1(1): 2020
ReseaRch aRticle
Do Typical ADHD Traits Offer Advantages to Entrepreneurs?
Hans-Olle Frummerin1, Stefan Lindstrom2*
1Management Consultant and Licensed Psychologist, Sweden
2Management Consultant and Entreprenologist, Sweden
In recent years, in the debate on entrepreneurship and the
nature of this, it has been stated that ADHD could provide
special conditions for entrepreneurship and be an asset. This
may be true in various respects, but another aspect of ADHD
and entrepreneurial management that deserves to be described
is the demarcation and thus the debate needs to be nuanced.
We the authors: Hans-Olle Frummerin- Management
consultant and licensed psychologist and Stefan Lindström-
Management consultant and entreprenologist have under
different assignments made different experiences from the area
and in this post give their perspectives on the aspect ADHD
and entrepreneurship. The points of view we present are based
partly on familiarity with the conditions of entrepreneurship
but also on the nature of ADHD and how this can affect the
individual. Some of us probably associate ADHD with various
forms of restlessness and difculties in terms of attention
which means that one may have difculty concentrating and
focusing on what one is not interested in. This is related to
difculties in concentration and the fact that one cannot focus
on performing tasks for a longer period.
Besides, there are difculties for a person with ADHD traits to
organize activities of different types.
In essential respects to the problem of managing the time
dimension. This means that a person with ADHD is exposed
to a signicant challenge in enduring and reaching all the way
until the task is completed. In the everyday debate, there are
various related examples of prominent entrepreneurs’ exhibit
ADHD behaviors, which are stated as an argument that
ADHD people would have special characteristics to handle the
challenges of entrepreneurship.
It may be that these entrepreneurs have certain traits that
are commonly characteristic of ADHD and so it may be for
many people. Most people probably have some traits in their
personality that in some way associate with traits associated
with ADHD. It can be a lack of focus, disorganized behavior,
or forgetfulness to name a few traits that are typical of ADHD.
In parallel with describing symptoms and difculties for people
with ADHD, there are characteristics within the syndrome
such as “hyperfocus” or impulsive behavior, these are special
conditions for dealing with certain critical aspects of business
management, but otherwise one would not describe without
reservations that ADHD features provide particularly favorable
conditions for entrepreneurship except in special cases.
Numerous attempts have been made to describe entrepreneurship
and what characterizes a successful entrepreneur and today
we have a good knowledge of this area. At the same time,
there is still a lot to explore about the driving forces for
entrepreneurship and why some entrepreneurs succeed so well
while others do not. Here in this context, we limit ourselves to
making a summary of entrepreneurship to put this to the mind
of ADHD as an advantage in entrepreneurship.
As we understand it, the cornerstone for an entrepreneur is
to take the initiative for something new such as a product or
service. This includes being able to organize the effort, which
should lead to something new and possibly be innovative. An
important prerequisite for this is to have suitable creativity and
possess initiative.
Some components for creativity to lead to new business
1. Formulation and management of a good business idea.
A good business idea provides the conditions for the
business and its development. A business concept that
is not adequate gives rise to uncertainty and causes
energy losses in various respects. It does not have
to be 100 percent ready but should be able to offer
a focus that provides conditions for stakeholders to
describe business logic and future development. New
circumstances often arise that cause a change in plans
and strategy.
2. Starting ability and ability to understand the need for
the service or product. The ability to perceive that
the described needs can be satised through the new
business. It is in this respect where the ability to nd
Correspondence to: Stefan Lindstrom, Management Consultant
and Entreprenologist, Stockholm Country, Sweden, E-mail: stefan[AT]
Received: Aug 06, 2020; Accepted: Aug 11, 2020; Published: Aug 13, 2020
Reviewed by: Malakeh M Z
Lindstrom S (2020) Do Typical ADHD Traits Offer Advantages to Entrepreneurs?
Appl Psychiatry Volume 1(1): 2020
out wholes and patterns that others may not see comes
into being expression. This aspect often contains an
intuitive ability or “silent” knowledge that is difcult
to describe in any other way than that it is invisible and
difcult to comprehend in a rational way.
3. The ability to organize the new business and see what
is needed to develop the company. This houses what is
usually called “management ability”. It is about leading
and giving the organization conditions for the future
and succeeding in the business idea offering conditions
for business and interaction between the production
Based on this framework and the description as well as our
perception of entrepreneurship: an entrepreneur can be
described as - a person, who acquires an idea for a product or
service, reects on the risk or rather the opportunity, identies
the possibilities, gathers resources, plans, and implements the
idea. The above described was elaborated as a management
perspective on entrepreneurship. The description of the
conditions for how the entrepreneurial role is to be handled.
But how to relate these characteristics and components to the
traits that characterize a person with ADHD syndrome? We
should then examine what characterizes a person with ADHD.
In this context, we cannot avoid noting that the syndrome seems
to be increasing sharply in the western world but also other
parts of the world. The reasons for this are multidimensional
and related to the fact that it is a new diagnosis that causes
a lot of interest and attention. To get an idea about what
ADHD means for an individual, we want to refer to what
some institutions describe as characteristics of ADHD. An
appropriate description of ADHD has been developed at the
Mayo Clinic Minnesota USA. According to this description,
ADHD is often characterized by the following features:
In general, people with the diagnosis suffer from problems
when it comes to focusing on tasks or in terms of concentration
of attention. This manifests itself in more detail as effects in
the following psychological reaction areas.
In short, this concerns the following areas:
-Restlessness and impatience
-Impulsivity and changeability
-Difculties in completing tasks of different nature
-Disorganized behavior
-Low frustration level
-Repeated mood swings
-Hot temperament
-Difculties in managing and mastering stress
-Difculty establishing stable and long-lasting relationships
This list provides an overview of the problems that ADHD
patients face. It can be developed even more with a degree of
intensity and seriousness of time with it offers an illustrative
illumination of what ADHD means.
The studies on ADHD, which describe the connection and
connection between ADHD and entrepreneurship, are is in
several cases worked out in the United States. In that respect,
you should keep in mind that ADHD is a more general term in
the US and that up to 10% of young men report ADHD traits
while in Sweden only 4-5% has been termed ADHD. This
provides different input values in a discussion about ADHD
and entrepreneurship. There are also other problems with
ADHD diagnostics. Traditionally, it has been required to be
able to get an ADHD diagnosis since you must have shown the
problems since childhood. At the same time, various studies
state that many adults who meet the diagnostic criteria did
not have problems during childhood. This demonstrates the
difculty in diagnostics. Some thoughts on this subject are that
it can be about different types of ADHD and describe that a lot
can happen during an individual’s life course. The dynamics
of ADHD development thus need to be highlighted even more
in future research.
If we leave the general description of ADHD, interviews with
people diagnosed with ADHD can give a clearer picture of
what problems they experience at work, and other activities.
Several of these individuals state how important it is to
manage the forces and to be able to do this there is a need to
take frequent breaks. Other aspects of this are working with
perseverance and long-term behaviors. There is, of course, a
general need to obtain support and help in dealing with the
perceived weaknesses of the individual.
The ability to deal with ADHD problems of the nature
described by the Mayo Clinic requires a so-called “coping
strategy”. This provides conditions for the individual to handle
problems through a different approach. The above described
may have bearing on different entrepreneurial situations but
still does not diminish the overall picture that ADHD causes
complications in the context of entrepreneurship.
It may be that the general image of the entrepreneur is
characterized by a traditional image of a Startup that with
different whims makes a business work. Sometimes there can
be a picture of a person with a magic wand who with invisible
forces starts a business. It is this image of successful innovators
that has often dominated the image of entrepreneurship
although there are so many more dimensions to it. This can
be linked to the fact that one often searches after a model or
one model and will grasp any explanation that seems to offer
a simple explanation.
An additional reason for associating entrepreneurs with a
character may also be that some recognized personality tests and
behavioral prole tests demonstrate one typical prole for the
entrepreneur. DISC and DISA report this as the unit category -
The Entrepreneur. Myers Briggs presents one of its 16 proles,
as the Entrepreneur or ESTP in their MBTI letters. Extrovert,
Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. We cannot resist stating that
there is a general image of the entrepreneur that can lead to
mistakes with quick conclusions in the area. Entrepreneurship
contains different archetypes that, for example, have been
Lindstrom S (2020) Do Typical ADHD Traits Offer Advantages to Entrepreneurs?
Appl Psychiatry Volume 1(1): 2020
reported in a test EPT (EntrepreneurProleTest) developed by
Lindström, Frummerin. Other types of entrepreneurship tests
also describe how complex entrepreneurship can be designed.
In short, proles include the professional entrepreneur,
inventor, lifestyle entrepreneur; this is described in the world’s
rst EntrepreneurProleTest - EPT. Stockholm 2010.
Entrepreneurship and the development of this associated
with ADHD is a central issue for society regarding the need
for innovations and development of organizations. In this
perspective, it is interesting that one-dimensional images of
what entrepreneurship is, and an ignorance of what it really is,
and the functions involved in it, are often exposed.
Another aspect is that the ability to think in a different way
than some ADHD termed can expose solutions that otherwise
would not be possible. This perhaps reects more of the
desire that exists among some to break down the company’s
traditional structures and achieve something different than
usual. The approach is quite understandable but rather naive.
There may also be an effort among some to somehow use
ADHD personalities’ way of thinking and bring it into the
organization’s way of functioning. It can be about breaking
with the organization’s traditional way of functioning and being
part of a renewal. Here, the non-conformist ways of certain
ADHD personalities as well as unbounded actions can form
a basis for utilizing their capacity. The above arguments for
components must be carefully examined with it require much
more concrete experience for them to be used as arguments for
ADHD to be a resource for entrepreneurship.
Our view is that the perspective of ADHD and entrepreneurship
is of restricted importance as a general perspective.
Given the complexity of the role of entrepreneurs and the
requirements set by different stakeholders in the organization,
ADHD and the effects offers several limitations for
entrepreneurship. This, in conjunction with difculties in
disorganized behavior and difculties in completing tasks,
does not lead to an afrmation of ADHD as a resource in terms
of entrepreneurship.
At the same time, society must have more focus on managing
how the ADHD-diagnosed people’s resources and abilities
can be used in a constructive way for society. This should
lead to an improved adaptation of the school system with a
better adaptation of pedagogy and vocational preparation. In
this respect, there are limitless development areas. This is
important because there is a clear increase in people diagnosed
with ADHD in the world. This increase in ADHD leads to
many obstacles and challenges. The needs probably include
increased support efforts and an adaptation to everyone’s
special circumstances that must be assessed carefully. Within
these initiatives, one could develop and individualize various
initiatives to develop future ADHD entrepreneurs with the
special conditions required.
EPT – Entrepreneur Prole Test – is developed by Stefan
Lindstrom specialist in Entrepreneurial management, and
Hans-Olle Frummerin licensed Psychologist, after an idea by
Nicklas Mattsson at that time, editor in chief of the Swedish
magazine Entreprenör.
Lindstrom and Frummerin have created the test, based on
Lindstrom’s knowledge of and research about entrepreneurs,
and use of behavioural tests as well as Frummerin’ s knowledge
within psychology, and personality & psychology tests. Both
as management consultants within organizational development
Since 2010 EPT has been updated by Lindstrom in 2017 as
well as launched in English 2020.
We all recognize that improving self-awareness can be
extremely helpful to entrepreneurs who wish to improve their
performance and that of their companies.
Developing a successful company requires the development of
the organization. For an entrepreneurial company, this process
needs to start with the entrepreneur, or as our research says,
the entrepreneur needs to develop oneself. But gaining the
insights necessary for this development is not easy. We have
developed a set of proles, enabled by our research, which
greatly facilitates the process of identifying and motivating the
Citation: Lindstrom S (2020) Do Typical ADHD Traits Offer Advantages to Entrepreneurs?. Appl Psychiatry 1(1): 001-003.
Copyright: © 2020 Lindstrom S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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