Learn more about Chad's book, Blind Ambition™

Empower Your Association

Pursue Your Success with Blind Ambition™

  • Harvard-educated Executive Dealmaker, Billion$ Generator, Job Creator
  • Change-Disruption-Mindset-Transformation
  • Grit-Resilience-Accountability-Growth Through Adversity
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Pursue Your Success with Blind Ambition™: Empower Your Association

What Makes Chad Different?

The current rate of change is ERODING people’s resilience, grit, and commitment, leading to higher levels of anxiety, burnout, and attrition. The loss of organizational talent and resilience have created chronic organizational underperformance that affects internal productivity, as well as the value organization’s are able to provide to customers. As a result, organizations are falling behind, and are blind to the massive opportunities created by disruption.

Many thought leaders on resilience and change offer platitudes that create zero sustained impact on people’s behavior. Due to Chad’s firsthand experience with personal difficulty and building enterprise value, Chad understands the anatomy of resilience at a practical level — providing tried and tested tools that empower people to emerge from setbacks stronger, sleeker, and resolute to succeed.

Connecting inspiration to implementation™, Chad enables your team to embody the mindsets and beliefs for success, while adopting the narratives and stories that will change the meaning of the challenges they experience. They’ll have the tools to remain comfortable in the face of discomfort, equipping your organization to turn disadvantages into advantages, and your obstacles into opportunities.

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Chad Foster with his dog

Empower Your Association

In a rapidly changing world, industry associations face an array of challenges that test their ability to adapt, grow, and thrive. These challenges, including maintaining relevance to members, evolving business models, fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, driving member engagement, and battling burnout, are formidable problems that demand innovative solutions. Using Chad E. Foster’s transformative framework for resilient thinking, equip your industry leaders with the tools to emerge from setbacks stronger than ever.

As a leading authority in resilient thinking and the author of Blind Ambition, Foster’s insights have empowered countless individuals and organizations to overcome setbacks. Foster presented these on the main stage at the American Society of Association Executives annual meeting on August 7, 2023 to 5,000 industry association executives. So, without further ado, let’s dig into each of these challenges and explore how Foster’s resilience framework can illuminate a path forward.

Maintaining Relevance to Members: Choose Your Response

In an ever-evolving landscape, industry associations often struggle to remain pertinent to their members. Foster’s first pillar, “Choose Your Response,” underscores the importance of reacting deliberately to challenges. Instead of succumbing to uncertainty, association leaders can pivot their approach by investing in innovative technologies, providing tailored educational resources, and nurturing a community that thrives on collaboration. By embracing change and proactively shaping their response, associations can remain in sync with their members’ evolving needs.

Evolving Business Models: Tell Yourself the Right Stories

Transforming business models can be daunting, but Foster’s second pillar, “Tell Yourself the Right Stories,” reveals the power of mindset. Associations should reframe change as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat. By fostering a narrative that highlights the potential for innovation and progress, leaders can inspire their teams to embrace change and drive forward-looking strategies. This shift in perspective enables associations to craft business models that align with the ever-changing market landscape.

How can you make evolving business models work for you, instead of against you? Instead of defaulting to a doom and gloom narrative, tell yourself stories that power you forward. And, do the same for your teams. Get out in front of change and disruption to help your team create a narrative that powers them forward instead of keeping them trapped in a victim mindset.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility: visualize your greatness

Fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is a pressing concern for industry associations. “Visualize Your Greatness,” Foster’s third pillar, emphasizes the importance of envisioning an inclusive future. Associations can integrate DEIA into their core values and operations by envisioning a diverse leadership, promoting training that enhances inclusivity, and providing accessible resources. By envisioning a future that celebrates differences, associations can drive positive change within their communities, increase member engagement, and support continuity of leadership.

Burnout and retention: choose your response

Burnout and high turnover can hinder an association’s progress. “Choose Your Response,” the first pillar, encourages associations to address burnout by being intentional about how work gets done. Instead of doing more of the same in a reactionary way, pausing, stepping back, and thoughtfully rethinking how work gets done can help associates create space between their work and personal lives.


Associations often grapple with connecting members to their mission and purpose. Foster’s fifth pillar, “Take Advantage of Your Disadvantages,” demonstrates how challenges can be catalysts for unity. Associations should communicate openly about their setbacks and vulnerabilities, showcasing their authenticity. By acknowledging challenges, associations can build trust, foster genuine connections, and reinforce their commitment to their mission.


Member engagement is the lifeblood of any association. Using Foster’s fourth pillar, “Get Comfortable with Discomfort,” associations can renew their approach to engagement by creating a culture of experimentation, innovation, and new/different ways of engaging members.

It’s easy to keep doing “what we’ve always done,” but by embracing discomfort, leaning into the unknown, trying new approaches, and equipping associates to embrace the discomfort, associations can transform organizations into learning laboratories capable of staying curious, experimenting, and finding innovative ways of engaging its members.

Associations Keynote Testimonials

"Chad’s presentation was unique, interesting, emotional, and, dare I say, spellbinding. In an auditorium of over 4,000 people, we could have heard a pin drop. The way Chad laid out his story kept the audience engaged until the last word. Not only did Chad make us look good, but he was attentive prior to the meeting to assure he was “on point,” great to work with the day of the event, and gracious with his time after his presentation. Chad was an absolute home run for our Annual Meeting. I would not hesitate to recommend Chad Foster to any organization looking for something different and special."

- American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

"Chad's key pillars resonated with me personally and professionally. We all need these reminders as we're navigating through life. Very inspirational."

- National Association for College Admission Counseling

"High scores, well received, has a motivational and powerful story. Good use of humor in his delivery. Would strongly recommend. Many wanted him to come and speak at their facility."

- Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN)


In the face of these industry challenges, Chad E. Foster’s resilience framework emerges as a beacon of hope and empowerment. The five pillars - Choose Your Response, Tell Yourself the Right Stories, Visualize Your Greatness, Get Comfortable with Discomfort, and Take Advantage of Your Disadvantages - offer a roadmap for associations to not only survive but thrive. By embracing these principles, associations can transcend adversity, build cohesion, and emerge sleeker, stronger, and more resolute in their pursuit of success.

As you stand at the crossroads of industry challenges, consider the transformative potential of Chad Foster’s insights. Discover the full spectrum of Chad Foster’s keynote programs and learn how his empowering messages can catalyze your association’s journey. Take the first step towards a resilient future – inquire about booking Chad Foster for a keynote presentation today. Your association’s transformation begins now.

"I was impressed with Chad's ambition in life. His message could not have been more clear. He truly has a gift to open the eyes of those who can see, when he himself can not!"

- Keynote Attendee

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Business Keynote Speaker

Identifying a keynote speaker with corporate experience is important as audiences face an onslaught of challenges. As a Keynote speaker and business leader, Chad E. Foster has extensive experience leading corporate teams and speaking at events and conventions for a number of leading companies in the corporate arena, including Google and Salesforce. Industries throughout the world are experiencing unprecedented disruption due to a number of factors. Digital transformation is affecting all sectors of the economy, and the recent global pandemic has reshaped how we transact, go to market, and work – even how we live our daily lives.

Chad E Foster speaking on stage

Given the velocity of change and its impact on commerce, it has never been more important to improve our ability to adapt to changes, shift our mindset, and reinvent ourselves and our businesses.

Adapt and Thrive Amid the Uncertainty

Reinventing oneself and one’s organization takes a combination of factors. But one thing we know for sure, having the right tools/technology is not enough. In order for organizations to navigate these uncertainties, it takes an alignment of technology, processes, and people.

Creating a Resilient Culture

So, how can you create a culture that prepares your people to deal with the onslaught of changes coming at them? Empowering associates to thrive in change isn’t easy but it’s not impossible either.

It starts with creating a culture that’s prepared to turn obstacles into opportunities so you can take advantage of your disadvantages. So how can we take advantage of our disadvantages?

Case in Point

One such example in the business world may be found in the retail sector. In 2012 Best Buy was facing intense pricing pressure from online retailers when its new CEO, Hubert Joly, decided to look at its portfolio of brick-and-mortar stores with a fresh set of eyes. Instead of viewing them as a liability, he chose to use them as assets in an innovative business redesign that created the stores-within-a-store model where supply chain partners would invest in retail point of sale storefronts to enhance product and sales expertise for their products, leading to higher customer satisfaction, reduced cost for suppliers, and reduced cost for Best Buy through supplier investments. The company also started using these storefronts as distribution centers in order to beat online retailer delivery times. Had the company thought about its network of stores as just a liability, it would’ve never been able to reimagine its future and take advantage of its disadvantages.

Unlocking your organization’s possibilities starts with influencing the mindset of every individual in your organization, so you can leverage the collective potential of each person. The power lies in having an organization of forward thinkers who can reimagine ways of doing business in a differentiated way.

Individual Mindset and Company Culture

We know that Our mindset affects the language we use and the actions we take. Knowing that holds true for each individual, the collective behaviors of our organization are affected by the way each individual thinks and acts.

So, if we want a resilient company culture, we need a workforce made up of resilient individuals, which is why it’s so crucial to influence how each person in your organization thinks about navigating change, turning obstacles into opportunities, and reaching their full potential – so your business can reach its full potential.

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Blind Ambition book cover

Blind Ambition™

If you don’t feel like you’re reaching the levels of happiness that you see others enjoy, or your goals seem out of reach, you’re not alone. Life is too short for regrets. Learn how to use your mindset to reach your most daring dreams. Chad’s stories and lessons will inspire, empower, and prepare you to face uncertainty with hope and optimism. Want to be mentally tough, strong, resilient and prepared to adapt and thrive in changing circumstances? Self-confident to become your best you? It’s time to break free from the self-destructive thoughts that hold you back.

Ready To Turn Your Biggest Obstacle Into Your Biggest Advantage? The stories we tell ourselves either limit us or propel us towards our goals.