Unstoppable: How Chad Foster overcame blindness to become aVP at Red Hat

Yitzi Weiner
Sep 29, 2019 · 12 min read

When children would tease me about my eyesight limitations in school, grit gave me the ability to fight back — physically and emotionally. It gave me the desire to prove others wrong. Grit fueled my unrelenting workouts, which allowed me to productively channel my frustration — using my anger to improve myself. When I had to relearn how to study at university, grit is what gave me the commitment and determination to keep on going. You see, I had always been a visual learner, but after going blind, my visual memory was of no use. I had to adapt, and relearn how to learn — using just my ears. I ended up making straight-As at university and even making the Dean’s List. Later when entering the workforce, I discovered that the technology that I needed to use a computer did not work with all types of enterprise software. In order to be able to do my job, to even enter my time into our corporate timesheet system, I would have to learn how to engineer my technology so that it would talk to the other software we used at work. Grit is what gave me the patience and drive to learn how to engineer software without being able to see the screen, and code the screen reading technology used by the blind to interoperate with the sighted world, even though I am blind myself. As a Business Management major with a concentration in Finance, I had zero experience with computers before losing my eyesight, but grit gave me the confidence that I could chart a path ahead. And after mastering my computer, grit was the foundation that allowed me to excel in the business world. To create innovative business architectures and pricing strategies that resulted in over $45 billion in contracts, industry-leading growth, and best-in-class margins amid tightening market conditions.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path

Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?

Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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