By Blythe Grossberg Perigee, 2005 Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H. on May 1st 2007
Making ADD Work shrilly trumpets the inspiring message that working adults with attention deficit disorder ("ADD") characteristically have special talents that may be molded craftily into the shape of outstanding workplace success. The author, Dr. Blythe Grossberg, has a doctoral degree in organizational psychology, and is a New York City based career consultant with a particular professional interest in ADD. As envisioned through the discerning lens of Grossberg, ADD is a two edged sword in the sense that the different set of skills that adults with ADD bring to the workplace may contribute mightily to occupational success, while, concomitantly, potentially complicating the achieving of success. But Grossberg embraces the sanguine view that, even if particular differences may potentially impede the workplace success of adults affected by ADD, any such impediments very likely can be overcome.
The book's overarching purpose is to provide practical focused, inspirational counsel to working adults affected by ADD. Anecdotal fragments of the real life stories of sundry adults with ADD who have achieved career success are the straw used principally by Grossberg to make the bricks forming the book's substantive contents. Importantly, these anecdotal snippets provide a basis, drawn from real life, for the multitudinous strategies and suggestions proffered by Grossberg. And collectively, these anecdotes function as a highly instructive roadmap for working adults with ADD seeking to hurdle nettlesome obstacles strewn along the path leading to career success. This wonderfully uplifting book, imbued powerfully with real life practicality, is a greatly enriching contribution to the self help literature in the psychological sub niche of adults with ADD in the workplace.
Grossberg has no patience for career impairing stereotypes concerning ADD. Throughout the book, Grossberg exudes infectious optimism and displays steely determination in propounding heartily her trenchant view that adults with ADD can harness their special talents in career enhancing ways. The book's strength is embellished by structural appendages, in the form of "chapter highlights", which are attached to the end of the respective chapters and pithily summarize, in outline fashion, the principal lessons imparted by a particular chapter.
The widely ranging gamut of practical advice embedded in the textual matter cuts across a wide swath of career ground. The crux of Chapter Two is on identifying strategies that may be helpful to ADD adults with regard especially to developing efficacious time management and organizational skills. In Chapter Three, the overcoming of workplace travails associated with concentration related problems garners the close attention of Grossberg. Chapter Four helpfully gives practical advice germane to ironing out special challenges adults with ADD may encounter when interacting with coworkers which, otherwise, may wrinkle such relationships.
In the view of Grossberg, adults with ADD are suited naturally to successfully tackling some of the daunting challenges associated with exercising solid leadership, and she fleshes out this view in Chapter Seven. Grossberg believes, also, that ADD adults have the potential to be incredibly successful entrepreneurs, and this ardent belief is the thematic glue holding together the substantive contents of Chapter Eight. The optimism of Grossberg extends, as well, to adults with ADD who have subordinate workplace positions. And the essence of Chapter Nine is on devising practical strategies for workplace success for ADD adults who are not bosses.
Skilled author Grossberg has also tailored the textual body so as to fit the needs of adults with ADD who may covet specialized assistance. In Chapter Ten, for instance, Grossberg discourses insightfully and informatively on some of the potential real life advantages and disadvantages with regard to ADD adults seeking the professional counsel of "coaches" as well as career counselors and professional organizers. The cynosure of concluding Chapter Eleven is a succinct discussion of legal related concerns impinging potentially on working adults with ADD.
A structural feature in the form of "helpful resources" is joined to the body of the text, and is comprised of: briefly annotated descriptions of some entities tethered to ADD, as well as terse descriptions of some technological tools and an alphabetized listing of several books relevant to ADD.
Readers insistent on academic style research may warily look askance at a perceived aura of research informality enveloping the substance of the text. Uncompromising proponents of academic rigor may critically complain also that this anecdote laden book is devoid of the usual rigors associated with peer reviewed, blinded, placebo controlled academic research. And further, that the anecdotes are collected from a relatively small sample population of ADD adults who may have work experiences unrepresentative, in important ways, of the workplace experiences of the vastly larger cohort of working adults with ADD.
But the book very refreshingly is a wellspring of practical directed, career advancing strategies and suggestions flowing copiously from the real life work experiences of ADD adults with successful careers. The book's highly illumining contents should be an especially helpful beacon for ADD adults searching for direction in the workplace. Those with an interest professionally in ADD, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, should also be luminously enlightened by the book's glowing contents.
Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from Columbia University. His area of special professional interest is healthcare.