Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract
Author and Chief Envisioner, TELUS

Why is Purpose the Path to Success?

The aim of any leader ought to be to help develop sustainable and flourishing roles for employees in the organization. To develop talent is to help establish purpose in an employee's role. If an employee feels a sense of purpose in her role, she is likely to do amazing things for the organization and its stakeholders. This is the right thing to do for any leader and for any organization. This form of leadership fuels a more engaged workplace for everyone. There is a difference between a job, career, and purpose mindset. The HR function should be committed to helping employees achieve the latter state. It's a form of leadership that is arguably missing in our organizations today. It's the type of role for an employee where she feels valued, and has the latitude, autonomy, and support to develop her skills and talents. She is empowered to do what's right for the customer and her personal objectives. Ultimately, leadership is an obligation to develop and deliver purpose. To achieve an organization's many goals and objectives, leaders at any level must help employees bring purpose into the workplace, but so too it must be committed to enabling purpose at the organizational level. When an organization and its leaders decide to benefit all stakeholders through a purposeful culture, the employee, leader and organization all can enjoy "the sweet spot."


Dan Pontefract is Chief Envisioner at TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company, where he heads the Transformation Office , a future-of-work consulting group that helps organizations enhance their corporate cultures and collaboration practices. Previously as Head of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS, Dan introduced a new leadership framework–called the TELUS Leadership Philosophy–that dramatically helped to increase the company's employee engagement to record levels of nearly 90%. He is the author of THE PURPOSE EFFECT: Building Meaning in Yourself, Your Role and Your Organization as well as FLAT ARMY: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization . He is an adjunct professor at the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria. A renowned speaker, Dan has presented at multiple TED events and also writes for Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today and The Huffington Post.  Dan and his wife, Denise, have three young goats (aka children) and live in Victoria, Canada.