The Dyslexic Advantage
think of your dyslexia as an advantage. Okay? I'm horribly dyslexic. Couldn't read till the fourth grade told you that. And there's now a book out, and it is written by Brock and Fernet E. D. And the title of the book is the dyslexic advantage. It's a fabulous book. It's a fabulous book, and they really document the advantages that come with this particular orientation of your brain, which is very, very common with creatives. Any of you diagnosed with dyslexia? Okay, I'm the only one dime. I feel lonesome now. Got some folks in the chat room, okay. Who spoke up when you mentioned it earlier? Okay, good, good, good. Excellent. OK, so let's talk a little bit about what I've learned. What I've learned are my advantages from dyslexia. And the first thing I learned is that I'm hardwired for narrative. I am hardwired for narrative, so I immediately think of the story. Did you see I pulled up that story? It wasn't even in this show, but I knew it fit that moment. So and it relates to this ide...
a of getting a commitment by asking for a little bit of money. Well, I'm built that way. That's just sort of part of my nature. And so I use it. I use it. Number two. I have superior spatial reasoning. What that means is that I can see spaces and understand how they relate to each other. When I was in the Navy Reserve a 1,000,000 years ago and I was a just unlisted man, I wasn't an officer. I took the officer training test in, which was a requirement of reserves to take this test, and I totally laced ace the thing where they have all the little pictures of the boxes you have to fold up and stuff like that. And they asked me to go go to Officer Candidates School, which I politely declined because I didn't want to go to Vietnam. But so I have superior spatial reasoning, and that's an advantage. I've used it all my life. I'm visual three. I see the big picture very quickly, very quickly. I'm just hardwired for the big picture, so that's an advantage. I connect abstract concepts to real world stories, so tell me an abstract concept and I'll ask you some questions so I can understand it in a narrative form that's just a natural default for people with dyslexia. I know that I have to protect myself from my weaknesses. So, yes, I see the big picture very quickly, much quicker than other people. I have a terrible time with detail. I am horrible with detail. So I either, if I'm by myself, I have to be very, very careful and do it twice. Check it twice, go through it twice. But I have learned that I really need team members to help me. So I try to build teams to help me do things so that I'm Alison's on the team. And Alison helped me all the time. And, uh, and that's one of the techniques, one of the coping skills that I used to protect myself from those weaknesses. But Number six, I think most important, what was most inspiring for me, which I learned from that book, is that many of my heroes are dyslexic. Stephen King, writer, by the way, who who wrote one of the best books on writing I've ever read, and he's written these wonderful, horrible horror books and clearly is a great wider. But the guys, heavily dyslexic, have problems reading, etcetera, etcetera and has written of great book on how to be a writer. Steve Jobs, Apple dyslexic Whoopi Goldberg, dyslexic Chuck Close painter, dyslexic share artist musician extraordinaire Agatha Christie. And, of all people, Leonardo da Vinci, one of most celebrated creatives of all time, was dyslexic. So its again. Yes, it was considered a learning disability. It's not a disability at all. It actually is an advantage. And but you have to protect yourself from the parts that you struggle with. I have trouble spelling. I'll spell the word right once and then 10 minutes later have trouble spelling the word. That's a That's a classic dyslexic problem. So I just have to be careful. I'll type the word and I'll look and I'll say it's not right. I'll drop it into the browser window to see if it comes up, you know, as being as the right word with the right meaning. I do that all the time. So I you developed techniques for four you know, protecting yourself from the parts of your of your issue that are a problem. So it's a problem. That's the problem. Let's see here. I think I already told this story that here so we can see we have a lovely orange electric cord on the screen there and the word electricity. So we had been waiting in the reception room for two hours. I think it waas prior to this presentation, you know? And it was again one of those situations where we were there with all of our competitors. And there were firms from all over the world and us and, uh and it was an international competition and big corporate headquarters of a multinational corporation. And, you know, you're in this room and there's land or and there's Interbrand and there's future brand and there's us and, um, just being in the room with these people, I mean, it's the client, did it on purpose to make us uncomfortable, to make us vulnerable to, uh, acquiescing to whatever their needs were. And, uh, you know, it's really pretty rude to tell you the truth, but this was a big multinational, and this was a competition was run by purchasing agents who are professional negotiators. I had managed to get us to be the last presenter, which is always an advantage to make a note of that, always ask for the last time. You can always say that you have a dentist appointment or that you have jury duty or that anything or that your schedules just jammed or you have. You know, you don't have to make up things, but you can. You can find reasons why you should be the last presenter or develop a really strong relationship with somebody on the client team who wants you to win and see if they can arrange it. So you could be the last Bridget presenter. Because what happens in these presentations is the client learns from every presenter and the last person has the advantage because they're dealing with all the issues that the client learned from the other presenters. So it gives you a huge advantage towards winning the assignment. So anyway, so it finally became our turn, and we got to go down the hall passing one of our competitors on the way out, you know, and they're like, way knocked it out of the park. You guys toast? You know, that kind of all, the male wasn't back to the boys stuff that we do. And, uh, in fact, I have to go back a little bit I believe in in in staying in shape and stuff like that and and that morning we all stayed in the same hotel is another deal where we were all booked in the same hotel. I was in the hotel gym and the guy from Future Brand was within the gym, and I was just like, you know, just throwing the weights around, trying to be as imposing as possible anyway, So it's finally our turn, and we marched down the hall and we've got our, you know, our computers and our projector and all the stuff that we need to make our presentation, and we've gone to a lot of work. We made a little short film to show our point of view to the client and for them to really understand how we would address this assignment and to establish that our point of view would be the most helpful for them. Get into the room. There's no electricity in the room, no electricity in the room. It's one of those conference rooms where they had the movable walls, and so they had moved all the walls. So it was, you know, it was like it was about half the size of this room, but it had movable walls on each side. There were no power outlets in the room, so we couldn't do the projector. So we and and so we said, you know, where is the electricity? Said I Don't worry about it. Just use your laptop and, you know, after everybody else did will gather in the left. The client had like 10 or 15 people. I can't remember how many was. It was a large group, ridiculous, and we took all the effort to make this film and do a presentation. And I said, You know, it's I said, We've gone to a lot of work here and frankly, it's in your best interest if you see it in the best possible way. We brought speakers. We brought a projector. We're all said. Couldn't we just wait 15 or 20 minutes while somebody brings an extension cord, runs it down the hall and so on? And so we did. We waited and we got the court. Eventually, while we were waiting, what happened? We had a nice conversation. We heard about great restaurants in the city. We got to know about their Children and their dogs. They got to know about our Children and our dogs. All of these little human things that we do with each other. And then we got the cord, made the presentation. And of course, they never would forget us because we were the ones that have the courage to ask for the court. Now, if you're gonna hire a consultant to rebrand your multinational corporation, wouldn't you prefer to hire the one who has the courage to ask for what they need? No, the dollars actually couldn't be that much different from one to the other. We're talking large money anyway, you know? So simply demonstrating that you're confident enough that you could deal with their corporation and all the people who are going to be difficult to work with because you can ask for what you need. Ask for a power cord. When the assignment. I think it was a 1,000,000 too, by the way. Well, yeah, yes. Now here's the thing is should you ask Maybe Teoh, Maybe take. Maybe you can't do the power cord trick, but it's like maybe just straight up ask like, Hey, can we get 10 minutes toe? Get to know you before getting into? Absolutely. Yes, that's a great suggestion. Take 10 minutes. Any time you could do that before we present. Let's just let's just talk How you know, how are you? Where you from? Where you go to school, Give me kids there won't be suspicious or like the the guard that you know something feeling guarded because it's a little hot there, people, they're people. It's worth a try. Connect on a human level. I think that's a great suggestion. Great suggestion. Yeah, connect on a human level. You bet. Absolutely. Especially in a high stress situation like that. Because everybody, both you and them do understand that there's a lot of angst going on. I mean, they they engineered angst into it just by putting all these vicious competitors in the same room. I drew a cartoon of it once, and when I was drawing the cartoon, I could remember the pressure. You know, I drew, you know, all the Armani suits on the slick briefcases. You know, there was a wonderful aluminum cases that we like, you know? Yeah. Anyway, yeah, brought it all back, drawing the cartoon story. I didn't load it here. Next expertise is the answer. Ted tips always ask for what you need to succeed on the client's behalf. That power cord was actually in their best interest established report by demonstrating your expertise. I certainly did that, and so did Cindy. Use your feelings as a guide. Remember, your vulnerabilities help you connect, and they also give you the senses to understand what you could do in the room.