Dr. Temple Grandin is an internationally known expert in the field of autism. She has written a dozen books on the topic, speaks widely about the condition and has been featured in a film.

Just knowing those facts, guess what her “day job” is. Therapist? Psychologist? Doctor? Professor?

If you guessed professor, you would be right, but what I doubt you suspected is that she is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. In addition to being an expert on autism, she is also well known for her work in cattle handling!

You may think the two are unrelated, but Dr. Grandin has used her own autism to have insights about the environment in which livestock live. She has created protocols for reducing visual distractions and adding enrichments in the animal environment and championed many improvements for more humane livestock handling. Her autistic sensitivity has translated to how to improve conditions and animal behavior. On second glance, autism and animal science seem like a natural connection.

How can you pair a diverse set of interests or insights to shape the world in ways that others cannot fathom? Your unique combination could be just what is needed to see the world more humanely.

Source: Wikipedia Temple Grandin

Source: “Speaker: A little bit of autism gives you an advantage” by Bennet Goldstein, Telegraph Herald, April 27, 2018, p. 3A


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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