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once_uponLike my first book, Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization, Book Two has taken a decided turn for the better. Originally, Flat Army was written as a fable. The original title was "The Coffee Shop Leader". One day, I may even release the entirety of the book in its original format. But I received timely and magical guidance from a few people, most notably Don Loney, and the rest is history. The same can be said for this next book. I had written 45,000 words and through various pieces of feedback and counsel, the book has morphed. Originally, I had thought of calling it, "It's Work Not Jail: The Difference Between a Job and a Career with Purpose". The problem rested with its target audience. I was lost between leaders, employees and anyone in between. I was trying to win a Stanley Cup without properly drafting solid players and putting in the foundations for a winning team over time. I was trying, it seems, to buy an instant Stanley Cup winner without focusing on the right audience of players and mechanics to succeed. So, IWNJ has been altered to focus more clearly on the actual target audience that needs assistance. (at least in my opinion) Leaders! The next book is focused on leaders. The title will remain a mystery (the original has been scrapped) but it's fair to say leaders of any stripe could use a refreshing jolt of reality when it comes to developing the careers of those they serve -- the employees of the organization and thus the team(s) they lead. As I've personally pivoted during the writing stage of this next book, I've found my writing mojo once again. Interestingly, I wasn't enjoying the writing process up until the past month or so, and I'm a year into it. Three target audiences were causing me strife. I was trying to address too much, and as a result the writing seemed to be less specific than it ought to be. The following paragraphs are from the new Chapter One, to help position what I'm up to:
This book is about hope, and it’s written for one reason, and one reason only: to refute career development mediocrity and workplace leadership melancholy. I want to see you break free and realize your responsibility as a leader is to find (and define) purpose in the careers of those you are leading, whether your profession is in finance, travel, entertainment, mining, high-tech and so on. I care that you have the skills to help others define what a career with purpose ought to feel like.
You must recognize you have a responsibility in the development of your people and their careers. The dynamic that is at play here is the innate desire of employees to be creative problem solvers and meaningful contributors to the organization against the restraints of their organizational culture and leadership misdirection. It’s time to remove the shackles. It’s time to help foster a purposeful career with the people you are leading. This book aims to not only define the difference between the mindsets of a job, a career and one with a purpose, it showcases the methods to help others build up the skills and muscles to achieve such role-based satisfaction.
The quest a leader should be on is to not only help employees build their careers  and achieve purpose in their employment role ... it should be to properly redefine the purpose of work itself. This is why I've defined the word "work" as follows:

“The link between individual remuneration and workplace effort, that creates personal and organizational value through a career full of purpose.”

I'm excited. (again) The journey continues. (again) More to come. Thanks for reading.
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Testimonials

  • Dan is a conference organizer’s ideal speaker. Not only did he inspire and energize our group, but he also masterfully adapted his content so it resonated with the audience and our conference theme. As a bonus, Dan is able to nimbly navigate to adjust to a reduced time slot when other speakers went over time without sacrificing the impact of his session.

    Director and General Counsel
  • Dan accomplished what we set out to do, which was not only to be inspirational, but also to leave everyone with tools and food for thought / self-reflection to improve their personal and professional lives.

    Hermann Handa, FCT
  • Dan challenged us to have clarity of purpose, both as individuals and as an organization. He related inspiring stories drawing on his experience in business, technology and academia. As he said, ‘There is no ownership without belonging.’

    Christian Pantel, D2L
  • Dan Pontefract suggests leaders must be transformational and transactional, collaborative and considerate, daring and decisive, inclusive and insistent, playful and formal, harmonious, and humble, encouraging and results-driven. In a word, Flat.

    Robert Morris
    “How to strengthen engagement, empowerment, and execution, then leverage them for a decisive competitive advantage”

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