Living and Leading Eyes Wide Open
Isaac Lidsky, the blind Founder and CEO of ODC Construction & the New York Times best-selling author of “Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities In A World That Can’t See Clearly” joins Enterprise Radio.
This episode of Enterprise Radio is working in conjunction with the Author Channel.
- You write that going blind is one of the best things that ever happened to you. What do you mean?
- You were a very successful lawyer with an elite resume–including clerking for two U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Why did you leave that all behind to buy a small construction company?
- You encourage us to create the realities we want for ourselves. What does this mean–how do we begin to do that?
- Despite a very busy professional life and personal life, you decided to write a book. Why?
- If you had to summarize your philosophy on leadership/management, how would you describe it?
Isaac Lidsky may possess the most eclectic resume in business. Over the years, he has been a child television star (he played series regular “Weasel” on NBC’s “Saved By The Bell: The New Class”), a Supreme Court clerk (for Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and the co-founder of an internet startup. More recently, Lidsky has used his gift for logistics to build ODC Construction into one of the fastest-growing construction businesses,” transforming an unsophisticated $11 million concrete subcontractor that was hemorrhaging money into an industry-leading $150 million construction services company—in 5 years.” -Inc. Magazine, The Incredibly Inspiring Journey of a Blind Entrepreneur, October 1, 2015.
The full list of his accomplishments is far longer. Lidsky graduated from Harvard at 19 with an honors degree in mathematics and computer science. He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. As a U.S. Justice Department lawyer, Lidsky argued more than a dozen appeals in federal court on behalf of the United States and never lost a case. He founded a nonprofit organization to fund the development of treatments for blinding diseases and within 5 years grew it to a dozen cities nationwide and more than $5 million. The technology company he founded sold for $230 million.
In 2016 Lidsky set out to share with others his empowering approach to living and leading, and he was promptly recognized as a visionary thought leader. Penguin Random House acquired for publication his first book, Eyes Wide Open, and it hit the shelves as a New York Times best seller in March 2017. TED invited Lidsky to present a mainstage TED Talk at TEDSUMMIT 2016 in Banff, Canada, and it was viewed more than a million times in 20 days. Lidsky now speaks to and works with organizations around the world.
He has been recognized for his achievements dozens of times and his leadership is routinely sought after. He is an advisor to a $1+ billion tech “unicorn.” He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the world’s premier peer network of chief executives and business leaders, and was tapped to lead the Orlando Chapter and to serve on the Regional Executive Committee for the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean. He was asked to join the Young Entrepreneur Council. He has been appointed to State leadership positions by the Governor of Florida and to a federal position by a U.S. Senator. He sits on the Board of the Florida Hospital For Children. He was named 1 of 4 Temple Bar Scholars by the United Kingdom’s Inns of Court and brought to London for a month-long idea exchange with UK Supreme Court Justices and leading barristers.
Perhaps most striking, Lidsky is only 37, and he is blind. Born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare degenerative disease of the retina, from age 12 to 25 he slowly lost his sight. As his bio makes clear, neither his youth nor his blindness have limited him, however.
This is true in his professional life and personal life alike. Isaac married Dorothy, the love of his life, in June 2004. In September 2010 she gave birth to their triplets, Lily Louise, Phineas and Thaddeus—collectively, “The Tripskys”—and in December 2015 baby Clementine completed the family. The six Lidskys live in Windermere, Florida.
Unsurprisingly, Lidsky has been featured in numerous national media, including Forbes, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, 60 Minutes, CNN, Voice of America, Business News Daily, Daily Business Review, Business Insider, Men’s Health, People Magazine, the National Law Journal, and the American Bar Association Journal. He is regularly asked by the media to provide his commentary on the construction industry, leadership and/or entrepreneurship. Invariably, his story shines through his commentary, and with his story, great inspiration.