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ep 31 - make your work-life bloom - with Dan Pontefract
Episode 319th October 2023 • Happy Space Podcast with Clare Kumar • Clare Kumar
00:00:00 00:41:06

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Dan is the best-selling author of four books: “Lead. Care. Win.”, “Open to Think”, “The Purpose Effect”, and “Flat Army”. A renowned speaker, Dan has presented at four different TED events and also writes for Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Dan is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business and has garnered more than 20 industry awards over his career. He is also a huge fan of Canadian band “The Tragically Hip”.

Employee engagement has been stuck at sad, low levels ever since pollsters have been measuring it. And each year, leaders are tasked with bringing levels up, but how?

My friend Dan Pontefract, leadership strategist, culture change expert, speaker, Tragically Hip superfan (if you’re Canadian, you’ll understand this), and best-selling author of four books, joins us today to share his thoughts on how you can make Work and Life Bloom…no coincidence, that’s the title of his newest book… “Work-Life Bloom”. Dan suggests we have been getting leadership's definition wrong, largely because of three big myths: Work-life balance is a zero-sum game, the invitation for authenticity has only been lip service, and focusing on employee engagement has been a complete miss.


00:03:23 Book origins

00:07:01 A sense of agency and autonomy

00:10:45 Speaking up when necessary

00:13:34 The 4 Personas

00:17:48 Leaders getting involved

00:26:44 Are we expecting too much of our leaders?

00:31:16 What is the perception of leaders?

00:36:27 Dan's overarching goal




Aon Hewitt

Gallup - Employee Engagement

World Health Organization - Burn-out an "occupational phenomenon"

Dr. Vivek H. Murthy

Eagle Consulting

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Telus Mobility

“Awakening Compassion at Work” by Monica Worline and Jane Dutton - Goodreads

“Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team that Flourishes” by Dan Pontefract - Goodreads

IMAGE CREDITS (see images on Youtube video)

Someone looking defeated - Envato Elements

Someone using a stationary bike -Canva

Leader and employee talking -Canva

Work-Life Bloom Model - credit Dan Pontefract

Dr. Vivek H. Murthy - credit Twitter

Flower blooming - Envato Elements

Two ropes intertwining - Canva

People working in cubicles - Envato Elements

A cross-section of an iceberg - credit

“Awakening Compassion at Work” by Monica Worline and Jane Dutton - credit Goodreads

“Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team that Flourishes” by Dan Pontefract - credit Dan Pontefract

Learn more about and follow Dan:






Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.

Believing that productivity is personal, the podcast is produced in a variety of formats so you can enjoy it in the medium you prefer:

Listen to the audio right here or on your fave podcast platform.

If you prefer to  watch video, check out the episode on YouTube.

If you prefer to read, please see the transcript below.

Ready to learn more, or want to find out more about coaching with Clare or hiring her for your next engaging event? Contact Clare here.


If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a heartfelt review as this will help other listeners discover the podcast.  Please invite your colleagues, friends, and family to listen as well. Together we can design a more inclusive world where everyone can make their richest contribution.

Want to learn more about Clare and/or her guests?  Follow Clare on Instagram and Twitter

And don't forget, everyone (including YOU) deserves a Happy Space. 😊


Audio and Video Editing by: To Be Reel

Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez

Song Credit: Cali by WatR. from Pixabay




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