31: Power of Perseverance with Sean Ackerman

Power of Perseverance | ADHD reWired

31: Power of Perseverance with Sean Ackerman

Sean Ackerman is the host of the motivation- and organization-based “You Leading You” podcast. Following a major life set-back three years ago, he hopes to use strategies, tips, and tricks he and his guests have learned to help others organize their lives and move forward. Currently preparing to launch a small workshopping and coaching conference, Move it Forward, Sean talks about his motivations, mentality, and some of the tools he uses to keep him going.

About Sean Ackerman:

  • Started “You Leading You” podcast in May, 2014

  • Husband and father of three

  • Background in operational management

Sean and ADHD

  • Used the phrase “being ADHD”

  • Diagnosed around 1979 at the age of seven or eight

  • Went though therapy, though wasn’t given any medication

  • By age 10–11 he was able to control his focus better due to therapy and special training exercises involving word and math problems.

  • Learned to identify situations where a singular focus was needed (e.g. word and math problems) and apply it there.

Sean: “ADHD is something to master”

  • Within the chaotic environment surrounding his energy industry job during the time around Hurricane Sandy, Sean felt his ADHD was an advantage that enabled him to manage the broad situation well.

  • Working extremely long hours in a retail job, felt his ADHD mind’s “tendrils” helped him reach out to various tasks and concepts more easily.

  • Eric: It can be like “conducting the orchestra”

Starting the “Moving it Forward Workshop”

  • Sean lost his home to a flood in 2011

  • Following a stress attack that left him in the hospital, Sean realized he had not taken time to lead himself towards reconciling his losses and rebuilding.

  • Sean started a blog entitled “You Leading You”, later realized that he really enjoyed talking more than writing, and then pushed to create a podcast.

  • From his love of helping people via teaching and storytelling combined with his like of personal coaching, Sean decided to start working towards a workshop-type conference.


  • Sean: “The human spirit is one that needs to go ahead and continue to persevere. The moment we actually give that up is when we [have], in essence, truly quit or become a failure.”

  • Perseverance is key.

  • Eric: Notes that even after a worst-case scenario like the flood, Sean was still able to realistically recover within three years.

Organization and Scheduling

  • Prioritizing and planning via a Franklin Planner – for the past 21 years

  • Not having to worry about forgetting tasks or knowing what his plan is has provided Sean a huge sense of relief.

  • Takes time each weekend to plan, review, and schedule all his upcoming tasks

  • Uses a combination of a paper Franklin Planner, Google Calendar, and Evernote to organize his life.

  • Advises to continually break each task down to smaller and smaller pieces in order to make it more feasible to manage.

  • Listened to the audiobook version of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he was a teenager and it still sticks with him today.

  • Eric: Weekly, monthly, yearly planning sessions from macro to micro scale

Products Mentioned

Random Question Round

  • If you had a time machine to go forwards or backwards in time, which way would you go and what would you do?

  • If you could be a comic book character, who would you be?

Find and Contact Sean Ackerman

Other information

  • Third Monday of every month at 6:45 PM

  • Grayslake, Illinois

(CHADD does not endorse this podcast)

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