Creating Community Together

What Goes Around Comes Around

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Drawing of a globe encircled by various kinds of people holding handsWhen I began my own ADD journey, many things were very different: many were “worse” — but a few seemed much “better.”

One of the things I miss most is the closeness of the community “back in the day” when it was not so widespread.

Anyone who has read  The Goose Story** on my first website surely knows how VERY much I value community — and how “aggressively” I define that term.  Leading the charge toward its creation has been a spiritual calling — a mission, if you will.

It has been a real heartbreaker to watch the ADD Coaching field I gave up so much to build devolve into what often feels more like a competition than a community – battle of the coach trainings, battle of the websites, battle of the tips and tricks, battle of the treatment approaches, battle of the etiologies – even a battle between various approaches toward coaching in general and ADD Coaching in particular.

I’m hoping that what is beginning to emerge more and more lately portends more of a “coopetition” that means that others are a battle-weary as I.

Yes, we must each take care of paying our bills and supporting our families with what we do with some of the minutes of our lives.

But I have always believed that we would ALL have an easier time of that particular objective by joining forces, rather than “competing for market share.” How about you?

Co-creating the Kind of World We Want

I plan to add to this post with others on the same topic;
I invite those of you with similar views to lift your voices with 

Let’s work together for the mutual good of our communities and our planet – becoming resources for each other because it is simply the right thing to do – meaning the thing that will create the kind of world we wanta world that works for EVERYONE.

In addition to blogging about it, I plan to throw my own “shoulder to the wheel” of like-minded individuals in a practical fashion as well – by helping to publicize what they are doing in a number of ways, beginning with the following actions:
**If you are NOT familiar with Noyes’ free-verse poem, it’s really worth a look – click on it’s title (above, with the stars), and a new window will open to give you a chance to read it.  VERY inspiring!

MGH Support, exclusively for the Supportive

  • swapping content with like-minded sites
  • adding links to relevant articles on like-minded sites
  • reviewing those sites as a way of allowing those who are looking for information to have an idea of what to expect where (beyond the brief marketing blurbs available from the search engines)
  • offering discounts and scholarships to those who are actively engaged in the communal effort, AND
  • making some of my own stuff available ONLY on like-minded sites — to encourage everybody to check them out.
    (I’ll link titles with a short preview or description under the ADD Community Support category, to let you know where to find which specific content that I sprinkle around the ADD i-net universe. To find them, look on the lighter grey, lower menubar under the MGH Funhouse menu choice – my own little homestead in ADD blog heaven.  When you click ADD Community Support from the drop-down, the most recent posts in that category will line up on the page for your review)

More than Mutual Back Scratching

My intention here is really not in the same ballpark with affiliate marketing, nor is it a re-branding of the term “coventure.”  I want to be part of a coaching community that REALLY walks it talk.

If we truly believe in keeping our focus on what’s good for our clients, that “fit” is an important concept and that, given a relatively comparative skills level, FIT is the single most important predictor of success, then collegial support and a referral climate are no brainers!

“Competition” is non-existent in the context of FIT.  Right?

So the only way to “join” this particular club is to share it’s ground of being.

A New Beginning

Field competition was becoming more and more of  a toleration over time.  Competition is an obsolete model that sets into place a dynamic that takes on a hateful every-man-for-himself  life of its own.  It is fear-based, coming from a zero-sum, scarcity model that is out of integrity with what the coaching field says it stands for.

It really bugs me.  I was finding it increasingly difficult to get off my judgment about it, and I was finding it increasingly difficult to keep from judging myself for my judgment!

At one particularly low point, I considered “taking my football and going home!” — enforcing  my copyrights, pulling my content, and finding something else to do for a living.

Fortunately, my Higher Self prevailed.  I began to embrace the idea that shifting the paradigm made a lot more sense than abandoning a field that initially showed great promise for the planet, which seems to be losing its way as it ages.

I plan to begin by focusing on what I want to increase, making it highly attractive to join me in co-creating a new beginning for the coaching field overall and the ADD Coaching field in particular.

So if any of this rings a bell with YOU, chime in below – and leave me a link to check out your site for areas where we can engage in mutual support.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

7 Responses to Creating Community Together

  1. Pingback: Life in the Now Lane | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. I can understand your passion, the only real thing you can do is to provide what you can and continue to be passionate about your ideals. I am happy my ideas have helped spring others into action. However, I understand when intention meets the market, things change and not always for the better.

    I still have several ideas that I have decided to keep to myself for a while, because I know if I put them out there at this point they will be taken and used too quickly by others before I can flesh them out. I’ve learned my lesson and will not be so quick to display my plans in the future 🙂 – Coming up with ideas has been my full-time day job for years. I am a business manager, with expertise in marketing, sales and customer service. I have been fortunate enough to use my talents to build a career. In many cases my ADHD has been my greatest asset, because it gives me the energy to do so much and enjoy what I am doing. I have no clones 🙂


  3. One more thing, Bryan – I plan to “steal” your free ebook idea — I’ll even credit YOU for pioneering the concept!
    mgh — also blogging at ADDerWorld


    • Please do put together free eBooks! We need more free eBooks about ADHD and unique perspectives like yours. If you need any help, or input, please let me know! 🙂


      • Thanks for the endorsement. I already have written ONE – The ADD Lens™ – which introduces a Series of 12 total supporting my Challenges Inventory (the remainder of the series will be offered like a subscription to a magazine). But I’m thinking that putting together some “stand-alone” freebies might actually be a better way to distribute content that messing with html, etc. on the blog!


  4. Excellent post Madelyn! I personally have no desire to be an ADHD coach; however, I can relate to much of what you have written. Competition is what it is and it is everywhere, with communities, with ADHD coaching, with book authoring and well, everywhere. One of the ‘problems’ with the internet is that when one group sees another group doing something successful they want to copy it, one up it or just take advantage of it. I know this all too well, having created one of the first ADHD Social Networks. As soon as some found out about it, social networks started to pop up one after the other, basically trying to offer the same thing. The problem is that people who join such sites can’t keep up with them and the quality goes down for all of them. However, ADDer World has always been unique in its approach and although it can be copied, over and over again, it always remains true to its roots of being a positive approach to something seen and felt so negatively. In the end only the ‘value’ survive in any competitive market. One of the good things about the internet losing its ‘free’ model is that we will see more quality and less copying. People have always been more apt to copy when it is easy and free to do so, less so when they must pay for it. I don’t mind the copying and competition so much in that I do not feel the necessity to compete in reverse, well, because my income doesn’t come from the ADHD field 🙂 = Follow me and I will lead, but those that follow are always following, waiting to see what I create or come up with next. My free eBooks I think threw some for a loop, because they are free and their quality has only gotten better over time as I learn how to add more value to them. What I have done is made sure that other people’s paid for books have at least the same equal or better quality, but you don’t see too many copying my ‘free’ eBook model 🙂 and that’s where the wind meets the sail, and I think displays the true meaning of competition – if they want to copy, give ’em something to copy that will make them think twice. Actually, in all honesty, my eBooks did not come about via such thinking, I just think it is humorous that not too many want to copy that example 🙂 Then there are the pirates, but that’s another story! Don’t worry about competition, in the end the cream always rises to the top! And besides, sometimes great things come from competition that wouldn’t have developed otherwise.


    • OK, unless the reason your income doesn’t come from the ADD field is that your last name is really Rockefeller, Mellon, or Gates, Jr., I’m more convinced than ever that you either do not sleep EVER or you have clones!! You write, you run a huge community site supporting a population of ADDers (known for our, how shall I put this, “maverick” tendencies), you find time to read and respond to every post I’ve been to so far, AND you do something ELSE to pay your bills ???? 🙂 Seriously, Bryan, you must share your time-management secrets!! (by the way, it’s unfortunate that you have no desire to be an ADD Coach — because you ARE an ADD Coach, whether you realize it or not — a very GOOD ADD Coach, I might add.)

      Re: [ADDerWorld] “always remains true to its roots of being a positive approach to something seen and felt so negatively.” For anyone else reading this thread, I want to attest to the fact that Bryan’s statement is not simply marketing hype. Get over to ADDerWorld to see for yourself. It’s really a GREAT place to play and *extremely* positive in tone.

      ———————- and now, my reply – Rant warning!

      Thanks, Bryan, for your thoughtful response. Few things, competition included, are ALL bad (or all good, much as we hope to create same), but when you are talking about a field whose entire reason for being is to no kidding BE THERE for our clients, competition not only makes no sense, it’s as wrong-headed as heart-doctors setting out shingles as podiatrists because that’s where the money looks greener.

      In a climate of competition, support has little meaning. “Business as usual” is a sorry frame of mind, if “usual” means “as long as I get mine, who cares? It’s just business.”

      I say to my coaches when they are candidates — investigating my training (not offered currently, btw – and not slated to BE offered in 2011), something that bottom-lines to, “If you need to sell something ‘for the money,’ go sell cars or real estate — not LIVES. I train coaches — please train elsewhere if your goal is closing sales.”

      It’s fine to ‘do well doing good’ – in fact, like any field, coaching *must* offer a way to pay one’s bills, feed one’s family, and save for the future, or we will have very few people who can AFFORD to “do good” — but that doesn’t include license to use marketing technique to take advantage of ADD impulsivity, to market individuals who would be better served elsewhere, or to be so focused on the almighty dollar you say you cannot “afford” to reach out in support.

      The few hundred of us who pioneered the coaching field donated, literally, thousands upon THOUSANDS of hours over many, many YEARS to building the careers of those “behind” us – unbillable hours that we understood were never going to line our personal pockets. The paradigm that was our vision (and that we hoped to instill by modeling) was that of climbing success mountain with one hand reaching up for support and one hand reaching down TO support – reframing business norms.

      I wonder if we would have been so generous if we could have used a crystal ball to foresee that COACHES, for heavens sakes, would eagerly accept our support then selfishly cut the support line rather than offering others a place to tie on.

      I, for one, would have done more than a few things VERY differently had I foreseen even the POSSIBILITY that the “children I raised” would not do me proud.

      And I am NOT proud of what I see in those who have embraced the competition model.


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