Learn more about Chad's book, Blind Ambition™

Leadership Keynote Speaker

Pursue Leadership Vision 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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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

Leadership Keynote Speaker

What kind of person makes a great leadership keynote speaker? Top leadership keynote speakers come in all shapes and sizes, but the best leadership keynote speakers know how to affect change in an organization.

Leadership is not having titles or privileges. Leadership is having influence, and anyone can be a leader. In fact, the best decision makers are often those who are closest to the action. They understand the challenges and opportunities that face the organization on a daily basis, and they are able to translate that knowledge into positive change.

Audience laughing

Leaders also enable people around them to reach their full potential. Going blind at 21-years-old taught me that circumstances don’t have to determine your outcomes. I’ve personally had the good fortune to win billions of dollars in contracts in the business world, build software that Silicon Valley thought impossible, become the first blind executive to graduate Harvard Business School’s leadership program, and learn how to ski black diamond terrain — all with my eyes closed. If you’re willing to do the hard work, stay accountable, and demand greatness from yourself and those around you, nothing is impossible. Today I’m a leadership keynote speaker because I want to empower others to reach their full potential.

So, what are some things you can do to build a culture of accountability so people own their role in pursuit of broader organizational goals?

Accountability Starts at the Top

Nobody can be exempt from being accountable and that includes leaders. Organizational leaders have to walk the talk and own up to their shortcomings and misgivings. Doing so will give others permission to own up to their humanity – none of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes from time to time.

Fewer things are more powerful in an organization than seeing a leader openly own their mistake, and lay out a plan to correct it. This creates an atmosphere where everybody feels comfortable owning mistakes instead of covering them up. Problems that are hidden can’t be solved, and if shortcomings are not culturally accepted, people will inevitably start covering up problems, blaming one another, and the highly-valuable opportunity to learn from mistakes falls through the cracks.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

People need to know that they can bring any problem to management without fear of repercussion, and having key leaders set that example goes a long way towards leading an accountable workforce. Organizations that reward problem reporting instead of punish problem reporting will create a workforce of problem solvers on the lookout for anything that could stifle business performance. We’re all human so it’s possible any of us can make a mistake, but what happens after the mistake is what determines whether or not the problem is a speed bump or full-blown catastrophe.

Clearly Define Roles and Expectations

Accountability demands having clearly defined expectations. For anyone to be accountable, they need to know what specifically they’re accountable for. The organizational priorities may change, but each person should know what specifically they’re responsible for, and how they’ll be measured in pursuit of that objective.

Align Team and Individual Objectives with Company Objectives

Once the organization’s priorities and objectives are defined, managers will need to translate those objectives for each team and individual. Beyond aligning with company objectives, each objective should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant , and Time-based.

Gain Commitment

It’s one thing to talk about accountability, but it’s another thing altogether to have each team member commit – verbally and in writing. This removes any shades of gray from the responsibility, and empowers both manager and associate to talk openly and clearly about progress towards objectives.

Empower Those Accountable to Make Decisions

It’s not uncommon to encounter well-intended leaders who want to hold an associate accountable, but don’t give the individual the authority to make key decisions such as the ability to choose his/her team – fewer decisions are more significant than who is doing the work. If you’re going to hold them accountable, then your associate should be empowered to make decisions that affect their ability to achieve their goals.

All key decisions that affect results should be delegated to the level of the organization where accountability lies. Effectively holding people accountable for results requires allowing them to make the decisions that impact their results.

Ongoing Coaching

Everyone needs feedback to know how they’re doing. Managers play a crucial role in providing each associate the input they’ll need to continue on their growth journey. This should be done as frequently as possible – in between meetings, when reviewing work deliverables, and during regular one-on-one meetings. Using the obligatory annual review as the only feedback mechanism is a sure way to ensure associates don’t grow – it’s too infrequent, has precious little chance to apply learnings, and can’t possibly capture all the learnings that would take place if feedback were given on the spot throughout the year.

Feedback can also come from associate or customer surveys, project updates, or from 360-degree reviews – where leaders, peers, and direct reports can help the associate learn how they’re showing up.

Create a Path for Learning and Growth

Gallup analytics show that millennials most value the opportunity to learn and grow in a job, above all other considerations – it’s also ranked highly for other generations. Looking at our personal obstacles as growth opportunities creates a positive mindset to confront these challenges head-on. Nobody needs to feel stuck in place. Everyone has the ability to learn, improve, and evolve to a better version of themselves – personally and professionally.

Creating an associate development plan that helps individuals gain the work experience, training, and company exposure to cultivate that growth is crucial.

Praise Publicly

One of the most motivating company benefits comes at no monetary cost, but carries the most organizational value. Who doesn’t love to have their hard work recognized? We spend one-third of our lives at work, so it’s understandably motivating when we hear how that sacrifice is making a difference in the organization.

And with incremental feedback so crucial to micro-improvements, positive feedback is even more necessary. According to John Gottman, a researcher who studied healthy relationships among couples, the Magic Ratio is 5:1 – meaning, we need five positive interactions for every negative one. Are you giving enough praise in your organization? Remember: It’s free!

The Benefits of Accountability

Companies with higher levels of accountability recognize and reward hard work, leading to associates who feel more valued by the organization. These organizations also enjoy healthier trust among team members, better productivity, and are more protected against liability.

Chad E. Foster video testimonial

"Made me inspired… empowered me to… coach, train, and develop others to reach their potential."

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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.

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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.