268: Neurodiversity in the Workplace with Todd Ellis from Microsoft

Todd Ellis joins me on this episode of the podcast.  Todd is 43, is a grandfather of one and works for Microsoft Corporation outside of Seattle for the past 18 years. He was diagnosed at age eight. He recalls being a “spark plug” for his parents. As the youngest of three and the only boy, his parents didn’t understand his behavior.  His parents moved around quite often because of his parent’s work, so he was often the “new kid” at school. He found school boring and dull, except for science classes. He skipped most of high school,

In the last few years, Todd has “discovered an inner joy in helping people realize and reach their potential. Through this crazy tenure I have found space to reflect and what I have discovered has shaken my core.” His fulfillment is expressed in more “humanistic ways” with CrossFit, cookies, mindfulness and service to others. His personal mission is “To inspire and cultivate within everyone I meet, the reality that we all can stretch and reach milestones which lay far beyond what we comprehend as our current limit.”

Todd has learned through trial and error that he doesn’t have to be pegged into a socially “normal” role. He gravitates towards others who will also “go deep” to solve a problem, find out more information as these are the people who will connect you to others in life.

Your Resources

You’ll Learn:

  • [02:02] Todd’s introduction and background.
  • [07:50] Todd learns that he doesn’t have to be the way everyone else wants him to be and gets off his medication.
  • [08:30] Todd chats about leaving high school before graduating and chasing his new girlfriend to Florida.
  • [10:12] Rebuilding after his relationship fails and moving back in with his parents.
  • [12:10] His current wife and others in his family who held him accountable for his actions.
  • [19:23] Todd’s family, including his four children and his wife’s family.
  • [20:50] Moving to Minnesota, his new job and the beginnings of his new family.
  • [23:37] Todd’s 21 jobs he had at 21 years of age.
  • [25:00] Todd falls in love with personal computing and his brother getting him into tech field.
  • [31:28] Todd’s typical day, driving 50 miles each way to work.
  • [38:40] What is going on now at Microsoft Corporation and the work culture.
  • [42:17] His engineering team switch and how that gave him a different perspective.
  • [44:35] The book “Hit Refresh” The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone.
  • [47:25] Workplaces and why they should make accommodations for their employees
  • [51:04] How does Todd “wear” his ADHD label in his work environment.

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