Sam has identified his dyslexia strengths and uses them to successfully lead a team at Amazon
Thursday 8 April 2021
Sam received a formal diagnosis whilst studying at university, but he wasn’t going to let that hold him back, personally or professionally. Sam has identified his dyslexia strengths and uses them to successfully lead a team at Amazon.
“It’s not something that makes us inferior to others. It brings a whole new perspective that others don’t have”.
I discovered fairly late in my degree course that I was dyslexic. Given the intense levels of reading and essay writing that came with my course, I soon felt the struggle increasing and decided to see if my university had any official testing mechanisms in place. Luckily it did. I went for my assessment in my second year of university and was diagnosed with dyslexia. I felt embarrassed at first but knew this wasn’t going to hold me back personally or professionally and now I could get the support I needed. I didn’t share widely my diagnosis but informed my close friends, family, and professors so that my work could be marked accordingly.
I received support during my university degree with consideration during my exams and coursework of my dyslexia so that my work was marked fairly.
Finding the right coping mechanisms
I would say the impact has been primarily positive. I learned how to find the ‘quick win’ coping mechanisms that identified my errors quickly or allowed me to speed up my reading. I don’t let my frustration get the better of my when reading or writing and accept that it’s who I am. I feel I am more creative at times when compared to my peers and I am fully aware of my potential weaknesses but find other ways to strive to excel.
“I find myself in a position to lead my team with confidence”
I now lead a team of people at Amazon who have to raise the bar in their writing and dive deep skills. This means my day-to-day involves document writing and number crunching. These are two things that anyone with dyslexia might be fearful of. By embracing my job role and finding unique workarounds. I find myself in a position to lead my team with confidence and present my findings or insights to bring value to my wider team.
My advice to someone who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia:
Don’t look at this as a negative. There are some inspirational people out there, some of the most successful in the world, that have dyslexia. It should also not be looked at lightly and dismissed. You should accept it, find what works for you, and embrace it fully as a strength.