In all fields there are incredibly successful people who ascribe much of their success to their dyslexia, dyspraxia or neurodiverse thinking.
Richard Branson, the founder and CEO of Virgin Group attributes his success to his dyslexia. Hollywood film titan Steven Spielberg is dyslexic. Charles Schwab, the founder, chairman, and former CEO of Charles Schwab & Co struggled to take notes at school. Only when his son was diagnosed with dyslexia years later did Schwab realise he himself had the same condition. For a long time, John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco kept his dyslexia a secret, but over the past decade has worked to make his difficulty with reading more public. What’s more, he likes to emphasise how the disability has often been an asset to him. Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA founder. William Hewlett, Hewlett-Packard co-founder. The list goes on. Imagine for a moment that these individuals hadn’t been successful? What if they hadn’t made these contributions to society? Where would we be today?
Julie Logan’s research suggests that there is a significantly higher incidence of dyslexia in entrepreneurs than in the corporate management and general US or UK populations. Some of the strategies they adopt to overcome dyslexia may be useful in business. Being an entrepreneur gives a dyslexic the power to shape their working environment to maximise their strengths. With the correct help in the workplace dyslexics can embrace their entrepreneurial talents and deliver business value.
By raising awareness and ensuring that there is access to identification, assessment and support then there can be more innovations and individuals that can help society move forwards. Society needs the different thinkers that bring with them creative problem-solving skills. This can only happen if we work together to build a global understanding of dyslexia and the potential that comes with it.