Learn more about Chad's book, Blind Ambition™

Innovation Speakers - Comfort Kills

Pursue Innovation 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 Innovation with Blind Ambition™: Innovation Speakers — Comfort Kills

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

Innovation Speakers - Comfort Kills

Are you looking for an innovation keynote speaker at your next event? No doubt a business innovation keynote speaker can fuel your organization’s ability to capitalize on disruption, because the best innovation keynote speakers know that innovation is a byproduct of change, and is inextricably linked to an organization’s culture.

Disruption creates the conditions for innovation, and often precedes growth. Innovation speakers come in all shapes and sizes, so, if you want to build a culture that’s ready to embrace disruption to power innovation, read on to learn about the psychology, experience, and ideas behind my programs as an innovation keynote speaker.


My life has been an experiment of living outside my comfort zone. When I was learning the limitations of my poor eyesight at an early age, it was scary and uncomfortable. The physical discomfort of slamming into objects was undeniable. The emotional discomfort of being questioned at the hospital was unusual—I was at the hospital emergency room so often that hospital staff questioned me and my parents in separate rooms because they suspected I was being abused.

As my eyesight began to fade while attending high school and university, it became socially uncomfortable. Then, after going totally blind at university, I was confronted with the bleak reality that I’d never be able to see again—not the most psychologically comfortable experience.

While attending Leader Dogs for the Blind to train with my first guide dog, I had an experience that became the inflection point in my life. Although it was remarkably life-changing, I returned to university with the discomfort of switching majors from premedical to business, losing nearly three years of work, and embarking on the path of relearning how to learn. And while my new guide dog, Miles, was a great guide and ambassador of my situation, I faced the discomfort of walking into university classrooms with a 100-pound German shepherd.

Soon I was walking into job interviews with my trusty guide dog, and after landing a job in the Atlanta offices of a top consulting firm, I faced the task of leaving friends and family behind in Knoxville and moving to Atlanta where I’d need to figure things out on my own. Things I’d taken for granted when I could see, such as learning the bus and rail system without a smartphone navigation app, getting my groceries (there was no delivery service back then), having my clothes dry cleaned, and countless other small challenges that added up to a big, daunting undertaking.

In addition to these personal challenges, the professional hurdles of going to new cities, client sites, hotels, and airports – all without being able to see – were all uncomfortable. On top of those challenges, I had to learn a new highly technical consulting job.

So, when friends and family would ask if I was ready, I lied and told them that I was excited. The truth that I hid from them – and even from myself – is that I was terrified. What if I couldn’t do all those things without being able to see? There were so many challenges, so many fears.

Stepping through those fears, soon I was going into boardrooms with my guide dog, traveling alone to Europe and Asia, where I’d still get up at 5 am for my morning workout. Sure, I didn’t know the layout of the hotel, couldn’t speak the language, and had zero certainty on how to find the gym, or the equipment in the gym that I wanted to use. But what I’ve noticed over the course of my life is that every time I moved slightly outside my comfort zone, my comfort zone slowly expanded.

Now I’ve grown so comfortable with discomfort that I learned how to ski at 38-years-old and regularly take on expert-level black diamond terrain – and sometimes, even double black diamond terrain. I also recently started practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to keep expanding my edges. And a funny thing happens when you move ever-so-slightly outside your comfort zone: your comfort zone expands and you start learning how you’re capable of more than you thought possible.


By starting small, you can learn, in low stakes environments that you’re capable of more than you gave yourself credit for. And these small successes breed confidence, which breed action. Action creates outcomes, and this becomes a virtuous cycle. Innovation isn’t always a big idea. It’s a series of smaller, incremental actions that drive behaviors and outcomes—and it starts with getting comfortable with discomfort.


It was these tiny micro successes over time that gave me the confidence that I could write software that Oracle, a Silicon Valley giant, thought impossible. I built a software solution between a large Customer Relationship Management system and the screen reading software used by the blind. Oracle thought it couldn’t be done, but I’d already done it.

So, what fueled my confidence? It was perceiving agency in the situation, combined with hope and optimism. If we think we’re powerless, we’ll learn hopelessness. And it’s pessimism that causes inaction, and inaction leads to extinction. But by incrementally improving over time, we create sustained progress while building our agency, optimism, confidence, and results.


The concept that got me through the darkest times (pun intended!) was the idea of fears and counter fears. Sure, I was scared of failing, but I was more scared of not reaching my full potential, or worse yet, living a life with regrets. So, when these very natural fears bubbled up to the surface, I did the same exercise that I do today.

The Future You Exercise

The question I like to ask when dealing with these types of dilemmas is: What decision can future-you live with? When you’re old and gray - if you’re so fortunate - which fear can future you allow to influence your life path? Failing in pursuit of your life vision, or never knowing how wildly successful you could’ve been?


Did you know that fear is the most powerful motivating force in human behavior? Studies have shown that people will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. In fact, the Loss Aversion principle says that the psychological pain of losing something is twice as powerful as its equal possible gain. According to this principle, in order to risk losing $10, we’d need to potentially gain $20.

This loss aversion and bias towards conformity explains why, according to Harvard Business Review (HBR), as of 2016, of the 30 companies that made up the Dow Jones Industrials in 1991, half of them are gone—extinct. And, that was as of 2016. So, what can we do, as leaders, to manage through the fear and avoid the inaction that inevitably leads to extinction?


A company that places emphasis on avoiding mistakes at all costs can’t sustain the kind of behaviors that lead to innovation. If associates are always worrying about making a mistake and avoid taking chances, new ideas are suffocated out of the organization before they even have a chance to flourish. Does your organization tolerate experimentation? Even better, does your organization encourage associates to explore new ideas and ways of doing things so they can innovate?


In order to innovate, organizations must empower associates to take chances. Mistakes are part of the learning process. If associates are managed away from mistakes, they’ll learn to only come up with ideas that are inside the lines. Just like associates, organizations need to get comfortable with discomfort—leading to experimentation, innovation, and growth.

I’m an innovation keynote speaker because of this experience and passion to help organizations realize their full potential. I help people understand how our mindsets limit our potential. My presentations are full of anecdotes and strategies for stepping outside your comfort zone, and empowering your leaders to build a culture of experimentation to drive business innovation. Connecting inspiration to implementation, I’ll leave your team motivated to take action.

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To inquire about speaking, call 855-GET-CHAD and press Option 1 to connect with Brandy Gibson at Executive Speakers Bureau.

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What is a Great Keynote Speaker?

An uplifting keynote speaker doesn’t just inspire - they open hearts and minds to a new perspective, allowing them to color outside the lines and change their perspective. If you’re ready to shake up the status quo and inspire your audience to take action based on new learnings, look for a keynote speaker with powerful storytelling, entertaining delivery, and differentiated content. This ensures audience members hang on every word while being entertained and moved by an experience they’ll never forget. If this sounds like the kind of keynote speaker you’re interested in for your next event, read below to see how Chad E. Foster can help.

Audience clapping for Chad E Foster

Chad E. Foster’s Keynote Programs

Impactful Storytelling. Powerful storytelling that creates unforgettable experiences while keeping your audience members engaged throughout the entire keynote program.

Entertaining Delivery. It’s as much about entertaining and engaging your audience as it is about educating them. What good is great content if noone is listening? Chad will elicit laughs, inspire with deep knowledge, and motivate attendees beyond the keynote program to take action.

Differentiated Content. Chad will demonstrate concepts, language, and methods that are simple and easy to apply. And, they can absolutely transform individuals to generate a quick positive culture shift within your company.

Accessible and Based on Experience and Science. Chad has spent years understanding the characteristics of human behavior that powered him forward in the face of overwhelming obstacles, which are simple and easy to apply – so anyone can start using them right away. Although the content aligns with the science of human behavior, It won’t feel like a science lesson because everything is explained in everyday terms and without the use of complicated technical jargon.

Chad’s keynote programs are motivating and informative, leaving his audiences wanting more. If you’re looking for an inspiring keynote speaker who can create a high-impact experience for your organization, contact Chad today.

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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.