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improve it! Podcast – Professional Development Through Play, Improv & Experiential Learning

May 26, 2021

I wasn't responsible for my blindness, but I had to be accountable for my life and its outcomes. It's my life. I have to own it. It's your life. You have to own it.” - Chad Foster


Failed it! Fam, on today’s episode we have inspirational speaker, Chad Foster with us! He truly took lemons and made lemonade with the visual impairment he acquired in college. With his blindness, he has done so much more than thought possible – a Harvard Business School Leadership Program graduate who climbed the corporate ladder and only wants to share his story so people don’t have to go through what he’s gone through to learn what he’s learned. Please give a warm welcome to Chad Foster!

In today’s episode, Chad talks to us about:

  • Living life blind
  • Overcoming challenges through resilience
  • “Ambitionitis”
  • #SargeTheGuideDog


Links from show discussions:


About the Guest: Chad Foster is a husband, a father, and an avid snow skier who is not just competing with his condition, he is competing with the world's most successful people. Chad believes he is not successful in spite of being blind, but rather he is successful because he is blind. He embraced his problem and turned it in to a solution. Can you imagine going blind as a teenager? When most people were preparing for the adventure of adult life, Chad Foster was watching the world he grew up in fade to black, but that didn't stop him from becoming the first blind person to graduate from the Harvard Business School Leadership Program and climbing the corporate ladder as a successful sales executive throughout his career. His financial strategies and decisions have resulted in the creation of countless jobs. Billions of dollars in revenue industry leading growth and best in class margins. He works at Red Hat, one of the most innovative tech companies and the world's largest open source software company, which was recently purchased by IBM for 34 billion. With determination, ambition and drive, he created what Oracle said would be impossible. He gave millions of people the ability to earn a living by becoming the first to create customer relationship software for the visually impaired. While with speaking invites from London to Beijing and the Atlanta Opera commissioning an opera inspired by his life story, Chad inspires people to overcome their own blind spots.


About the Host: Erin Diehl is the founder and Chief “Yes, And” officer of improve it! and host of the failed it! Podcast. She’s a performer, facilitator and professional risk-taker who lives by the mantra, “get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Through a series of unrelated dares, Erin has created improve it!, a unique professional development company that pushes others to laugh, learn and grow. Her work with clients such as United Airlines, PepsiCo, Groupon, Deloitte, Motorola, Walgreens, and The Obama Foundation earned her the 2014 Chicago RedEye Big Idea Award and has nominated her for the 2015-2019 Chicago Innovations Award.

This graduate from Clemson University is a former experiential marketing and recruiting professional as well as a veteran improviser from the top improvisational training programs in Chicago, including The Second City, i.O. Theater, and The Annoyance Theatre.

When she is not playing pretend or facilitating, she enjoys running and beach dates with her husband and son, and their eight pound toy poodle, BIGG Diehl.

You can follow the failed it! podcast on Instagram @learntoimproveit and facebook, and you can follow Erin personally on Instagram @keepinitrealdiehl here. You can also check out improve it! and how we can help your organization at We can’t wait to connect with you online!