Chad E Foster, The Stories we tell ourselves – InnovaBuzz 539
Chad E Foster, Blind Ambition
Our guest in this episode is Chad E. Foster, a motivational keynote speaker, sales/finance leader, and inspirational change agent who works at Red Hat/IBM. He was the first blind executive to graduate from Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development and has been featured with NBC, CBS, Forbes, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, USA Today, and Chief Executive Mag.
“People are often surprised at what I was able to achieve in spite of being blind but to the contrary, I feel I am successful because I am blind, not in spite of it,” says Chad.
After losing his eyesight while attending college in his early twenties, Chad started at a top consulting firm, and has built a career in the technology industry where he has directed financial strategies and decisions resulting in more than $45 billion in contracts.
Determination, ambition, and resilience are the key drivers to his incredible journey. His first book, Blind Ambition: How to Go from Victim to Visionary, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Bookshop, Books-A-Million, Google Play, and other fine retailers.
Today, Chad speaks to corporate audiences and professional athletes to help them develop resilience in the face of uncertainty and show people how to overcome their own blind spots.
In our conversation Chad talked to me about
- How our mindset and the stories we tell ourselves shape our words, actions and outcomes.
- Using our gifts, even if they’re wrapped in terrible wrapping
- Happiness is a choice, a state of mind inspired by gratitude
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the Podcast
Show Notes from this episode with Chad E Foster, Blind Ambition
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- We all have gifts, some we want, some we wish we didn’t have, because they are wrapped in ugly wrapping paper. We can use ALL those gifts to impact others.
- We can’t control everything that happens to us but we can all control how we respond and show up.
- “Excuses are for losers and I’m not a loser.”
- Instead of using energy to make excuses, use that energy to find the will and the determination to fulfill your goals and dreams.
- Choose the stories you tell yourself wisely. Tell yourself better stories that set you up as resilient, strong and successful.
- Happiness is a choice we make every single day. Gratitude is the anchor for happiness and happiness ultimately leads to success.
- Practice the muscle memory of gratitude. We all have so much to be grateful for and some of that we take for granted.
- Self-deprecating humour is a useful tool to relate to people and to wrap important messages in.
- Lessons from a guide dog – treat them with love, hold them accountable and make everything fun.
Get comfortable with discomfort and different points of view. Talk to people with different opinions, because diversity of thought is the engine of innovation. @ChadEFoster on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Chad’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Get comfortable with discomfort and different points of view. Talk to people with different opinions, because diversity of thought is the engine of innovation. Be genuinely curious.
- Best thing for new ideas – Surround myself with people who are smarter than me. Key attributes are intellectual horsepower, curiosity and drive.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Audible, Google, Brazilian Jujitsu – all for learning. Also, mindfulness – sit with your thoughts and reflect, focusing on your breath.
- Keep project/client on track – Be prepared and listen to the client in a way that they feel heard and understood. Then focus on the objectives.
- Differentiate – Be comfortable with who you are and be unapologetically authentic to who you are. Own your situation.
Think about the stories you are telling yourself. Take control of the narrative that you have playing in your mind and make sure it is the narrative that you want. If necessary, choose to tell yourself a better story. We are all film directors of the movie that’s called “Our Life”. So let’s take control of writing the ending for our story.
You can reach out and thank Chad via email or through his website.
Chad suggested we have a conversation with Cole Baker Bagwell of the Kindness Corporation on future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.
- Blind Ambition: How to Go From Victim to Visionary, Chad E Foster
- Discover Your True North, Bill George
Cool Things About Chad
- Chad enjoys snow skiing and skis downhill on double black diamond slopes.
- Chad was the very first blind student that the Harvard MBA Program admitted.
- The Atlanta Opera has commissioned an opera inspired by his life story.
If you’d like a peek behind the curtain, of this show, go to innovabiz.co/flywheel – there you’ll be able to get your very own Digital Token which will give you membership of the Flywheel Nation Community, where you’ll have direct access to our amazing podcast guests, as well as a short audio program that walks you through the entire InnovaBuzz Podcasting Process. We have minted just 30 copies of this digital token so get in quick before they’re snapped up!