Chapter 2

Overloaded Circuits

Why Smart People Underperform

by Edward M. Hallowell

IDEA IN BRIEF

Frenzied executives who fidget through meetings, miss appointments, and jab at the elevator’s “door close” button aren’t crazy—just crazed. They’re suffering from a newly recognized neurological phenomenon called attention deficit trait (ADT). Marked by distractibility, inner frenzy, and impatience, ADT prevents managers from clarifying priorities, making smart decisions, and managing their time. This insidious condition turns otherwise talented performers into harried underachievers. And it’s reaching epidemic proportions.

ADT isn’t an illness or character defect. It’s our brains’ natural response to exploding demands on our time and attention. As ...

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