Find a Common Purpose

Redefine leadership, a course by Dan Pontefract.

Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract

Chief Envisioner, TELUS

Find a Common Purpose
  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you


Meet Dan Pontefract, “Chief Envisioner” at TELUS, a $12 billion communications firm with one of the highest employee engagement rates in the industry. In this masterclass, Pontefract explores why and how to engage your talent with a sense of common purpose, and he empowers the individual to take the lead in finding purpose in her work. He also introduces you to his Collaborative Leader Action Model. It’s a 6-step process for humane and connected leadership on any project, and it begins, appropriately enough, with human connection. 

What You'll Learn

  • How to find a sense of purpose in your work

  • How to keep employees engaged

  • How to align the respective purposes of your organization and your employees 

  • The 6 C's of a connected Leader


4 Episodes

1. Find Your Sweet Spot—A Guide for Individuals and Organizations


Yourself, your job, your company—too often one or more of these things is at odds with the others. These unfortunate disconnects can lead to disengagement, disillusionment and a survivalist approach on the part of companies and the people who work for them. In these scenarios, everybody loses a little or a lot—customers, employees, businesses, and worst of all, society as a whole.But it doesn’t have to be this way. As Chief Envisioner for TELUS, Dan Pontefract, author of The Purpose Effect, oversaw a cultural shift that pushed employee engagement at that company from 53% to 87%. He achieved this by helping TELUS find the “sweet spot” where each employee’s personal sense of purpose and that of the company converged, producing enormous benefits for all stakeholders.Personal PurposeWhat am I about? What are my values? What am I doing to evolve myself?Who am I in life and work? Who am I trying to be?How will I show up? How will I operate and be perceived by others?Write a declarat...

2. Improve Employee Engagement, a Case Study of TELUS


How do you keep 60,000 employees in 8 countries engaged, connected, and collaborating with one another? For the telecommunications company TELUS, this wasn’t an abstract question: it was an existential threat. In 2008, their employee engagement score was 53%, with profound negative implications for their productivity, recruitment, retention, and more. They needed to turn the ship around, or face extinction.Dan Pontefract was instrumental in that turnaround, helping the company establish a more transparent, open, collaborative culture whose higher purpose was to serve the customer, the employee, the business, and the community. Had Dan simply articulated these values, sending out flyers to employees or announcing them at company meetings, nothing would have changed. Instead, he helped TELUS integrate them fully into the fabric of daily life at the company. The result? An employee engagement score that currently stands at 87%, over 300% shareholder return, and a 300% increase in year...

3. Recognize the Positive Effects and Inhibitors of Purpose Alignment


Let’s say you’re running a business that has historically had little time for lofty concepts like community and purpose, or has left it up to P.R. to craft that kind of messaging around what you’re already doing. Let’s say you’ve felt too busy trying to stay one step ahead of the stiff competition and staving off a shareholder revolt to rethink the culture of your company.Even from the standpoint of the bottom line, there are powerful reasons, says Dan Pontefract (and dozens of studies) to ...

4. The 6 C's of a Connected Leader


All substantial studies of employee engagement trends show the same thing: on the whole, people are increasingly disaffected and disengaged at work. And no studies are necessary to convey what this means in terms of productivity, hiring, and employee retention. Crisis is too mild a word. Since 2009, TELUS, a $12 billion communications firm, has been consistently, significantly bucking this trend. As its “Chief Envisioner”, Dan Pontefract has been responsible for creating a company-wide leadership model that aligns personal, organizational, and role purpose, giving employees a strong, personal stake in their work and the company’s future. It begins with redefining what a leader is supposed to be and do.ConnectReach out to others on an emotional as well as a transformational level. Who needs to be here? Who has done this before?ConsiderEvaluate your options. Determine whether the target is a good idea. Are there other people who need to be at the table for this project? Have we dep...

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