476 | When Potential and Opportunity Misalign with Nate

476 | When Potential and Opportunity Misalign with Nate

Today, Eric is joined by Nate!  Nate is a program manager for the Department of Defense and a graduate student at Columbia University.  He received an ADHD diagnosis in 2016 at age 24 and a bi-polar diagnosis in 2022.  After better understanding his mental abilities and inabilities, he realized how incompatible he was with the person the world expected him to be.  This experience has led Nate down a path to highlight the tremendous potential and value that neurodivergent individuals can bring to an organization despite the story someone’s resume may or may not tell.

You’ll hear about how Nate found success despite being ‘punted’ from 5 schools, how education and opportunities are geared towards the ‘majority’, having a responsibility to our community to enable the changes we’d like to see, and how Nate received his ADHD diagnosis during active duty.  Then, you’ll also hear how being neurodivergent can bring different perspectives to the table, why age or rank doesn’t increase or decrease the worth of someone’s perspective, being curious and resilient, and that you don’t have to have a degree to offer a valuable insight.

Other Questions/Topics Answered in this Episode:

  • [00:02:16] How did Nate, a late-diagnosed ADHDer, become a program manager for the Department of Defense?

  • [00:03:09]  “Quantification does not equal the qualification”

  • [00:5:55] Why was Leadership as Nate’s undergrad important? What about college?

  • [00:18:34] What does it take for someone who’s been fired multiple times, tried higher-education multiple times, to have that resilient spirit to keep on going?

  • [00:26:52] “I never looked at your rank or your position and thought that made you smarter or have a better opinion than me.”

  • [00:27:12] Speaking up and presenting a different view of the world in a diplomatic way

  • [00:29:14] Experiencing pushback, managing those encounters, and reflecting on those who are pushing back

  • [00:31:09] How does one navigate a scenario where they’ve pushed too hard or misread a situation?

  • [00:35:53] Nate shares his experiences with bi-polar and how it shows up for him

  • [00:42:28] How does Nate manage the cyclical nature of bi-polar?

  • [00:48:14] Closing thoughts, the importance of curiosity and resilience, and how you can reach Nate

Resources & Honorable Mentions:

  • “Your Potential can only rise to the occasions its presented” – Nate

  • “Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” – Alan Turing

  • Book – – An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison (on Goodreads)

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