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Dan Pontefract, Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Culture, Employee Engagement, Purpose and Thinking
Dan Pontefract, Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Culture, Employee Engagement, Purpose and Thinking
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All About Dan's Keynotes

Dan really loves to talk. So much so, he completes about 50 or so keynotes and discussions a year based on his books, research, and professional experience. Every talk is tailored to the audience.


He has delivered his unique presentation style of humour, analogies, metaphors, stories and wicked graphics to the likes of business executives and team members in Europe, America, Australia and of course his home country of Canada.


He has enjoyed sharing the stage with the likes of Susan Cain, Marcus Buckingham, Peter Mansbridge, Chris Hadfield, Dave Ulrich, Charles Handy, Clayton Christensen, Roger Martin & Dan Pink to name a few.

Speaker Reel

Dan has also delivered four different TEDx Talks. You can watch them over here.

Inc. named him one of the top 100 leadership speakers.

Download Dan’s SPEAKER OVERVIEW document in PDF format that outlines what to expect, and why you would use him at your event.

Contact Dan to discuss booking him for your next event. Book discounts are available for all three of Dan’s books, too.


Collaborative Leadership

Purpose of Self and Role

Organizational Culture & Purpose

Employee Engagement

Open Thinking

Pervasive Learning

Collaborative Technologies



Leadership Conferences

HR / People & Culture / CHRO

IT / Technology / CIO

C-Suite / Boards

Learning / CLO

High Potential / High Performer

Offsites & Meetings

Upcoming Public

HRPA (Jan 30 – Toronto)

AACSB Dean’s (Feb 12 – Vancouver)

CAIS NLC (April 8 – Toronto)

MIABC Conference (Apr 16 – Vancouver)

CPABC Summit (Sept 26 – Whistler)

Sample Keynote Descriptions

The Locked-In Leader: How A Genuine Leader Delivers Better Results


Genuine leadership—how leaders act as human beings in their daily and strategic work with employees, customers and stakeholders—is arguably missing in many of today’s organizations. The reasons are all too familiar.


  • Command and control leadership tendencies.
  • Lack of collaboration amongst and between internal teams/departments.
  • Hoarding of information, content and intellectual property.
  • Power, as a sense of entitlement and the means of execution.
  • Failure to empathize or to recognize the humanity of getting things done.


It has to stop. Author Dan Pontefract recommends several leadership strategies and techniques that are sure to get you thinking about your own leadership habits and track record. The Field Guide to Genuine Leadership tackles the many taboos of bad leadership, while outlining practical, meaningful ways in which to become a more humane and effective leader.

HAVE YOU CHECKED FOR FROWNS? The Critical Importance of Engaged Employees 


Ever wonder why global levels of employee engagement in organizations continue to wane and remain so incredibly low? For leaders in any organization seeking to improve productivity and business results, they must first start with its own operating culture. To improve organizational culture is to build up and unleash behaviours that permit employees to connect and collaborate with one another effortlessly and full of goodwill. An employee only becomes engaged when the culture is open, transparent, communicative, collaborative and trustworthy.


These are just some of the behaviours that must define how an organization operates. Author Dan Pontefract implores organizations to rethink its workplace culture by instituting systemic-wide behaviours that encourage one another to work together versus in silos or competitively.


Engagement of employees occurs as a result of how they feel about the organization’s culture and its purpose. There is a way to fix it, and Dan has a way to help you out.

PURPOSE FUELS PEOPLE: Why a Meaningful Role & Purpose-Driven Organization Matters


Leaders may not know it yet, but having a sense of purpose has become table stakes for many employees at work. Equally important, today’s organizations are being pressured to begin exhibiting purpose in their operating practices. If there is a positive interconnection between the three distinct categories of purpose–personal, role and organization—the benefits will be felt by all stakeholders. Dan Pontefract refers to this balanced state of purpose as the ‘sweet spot.’ The alignment of purpose between self, role and organization is critically important for both employees and leaders.


The more a leader can assist employees to understand this alignment of purpose, the quicker everyone will recognize how important the ‘sweet spot’ is to an engaging and fulfilling lifetime of work. The quicker an employee defines, develops and decides their purpose—alongside how bought in they are to the organization’s purpose—the more engaged and innovative they will be in their role … and in their life in general.

DREAM, DECIDE, DO, REPEAT: We Are Losing the Ability to Think and What to Do About It


Many of our current systems train us merely to function. We learn the routine. We master the process. The regiment starts at school, continues at university, and goes into overdrive when we begin to work. The problem? Ultimately we have lost the ability to think critically, to be creative, and to contemplate ideas of the unknown. Standards, procedures, technology, and incessant demand for short-term results over long-term planning are the big winners. In order to mitigate such calamities including the relentless pursuit of action and the pressure to “do more with less,” individuals must return to a state of balance between the three components of productive thought: dreaming, deciding, and doing.


In this talk, author Dan Pontefract introduces tangible, actionable strategies to improve the way we think as organizations and individuals through the cyclical process of Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking and Applied Thinking. To become an Open Thinker, one must understand the relationship between reflection and action, and how it can negatively or positively affect an outcome. Dream. Decide. Do, Repeat.


Loved Dan!  I think he is the best speaker that I have heard from at the breakfast series.  Engaging, relevant, powerful  speaker.

~Event Attendee

Dan’s talk was one of the best closing keynotes I’ve ever seen!

~Conference Producer

Dan’s relaxed style of delivery and fabulous ideas encouraged me to consider doing something at my workplace that I likely wouldn’t otherwise.

~ Conference Attendee