Ahhh U2. But first, what's your leadership style worth? For example, what if you had terminal cancer? Would that make you rethink your leadership style and how you've treated others? What's it all really worth?

Now, think about a fantastic concert you attended a few years ago. It doesn't matter the band or artist—but do you remember the setlist track for track? I highly doubt it.

But I bet you can recollect how you felt.

You remember the vibe, the people you were with, and how those leaders/musicians on stage treated you—how their art lifted you to an extraordinary level of eudemonia.

I felt that on Saturday night. I attended a U2 concert in Las Vegas at the Sphere. I'm still buzzing. Extraordinary doesn't begin to explain how I felt—and the four days since. It could be the best concert experience I've ever been to—and I've been to over 100 concerts of the Tragically Hip, so that is saying something.

I felt like I mattered. Those leaders on stage welcomed me and ensured I would feel different throughout our time together.

Back to terminal cancer. What if, during your leadership years, you didn't welcome people in? What if you played for yourself and not the audience, the team? What if you were a power-tripping maniac playing B-sides and unreleased songs for two hours?

Now, as a leader in the present day, what if you treat people—whether you lead them directly or not—as though they don't matter? What if you are a consistently inexcusable jerk, pompously waving your power wand around just because you hold the title of "leader."

When that terminal cancer or illness diagnosis is given to you by the doctor, would you regret how you have been treating those people? Would you wonder why you never let anyone in? Would you then feel remorse?

I still don't remember the setlist track for track from Saturday night at the Sphere. I'd have to Google it. But I know how I felt.

I mattered.

I don't want anyone to be besieged by a terminal cancer or illness diagnosis. Still and equally so, I do not want to see leaders look back and regret how their leadership style was one of selfish, power-tripping, and stress-induced interactions when that diagnosis is delivered.

Everyone deserves to feel like they matter. Don't squander the chance. Every day can be a "beautiful day."



Find out if you’re currently blooming, budding, stunted or in need of renewal through the Work-Life Bloom Personal Assessment.



  • 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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