Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Daniel Gagnon – The Power of Self-Disruption

December 31, 2023 Marie Gervais Season 6 Episode 24
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Daniel Gagnon – The Power of Self-Disruption
Show Notes

Daniel Gagnon is an organizational agility adviser who co-founded the Agile Leader Academy, a boutique training, coaching, and consulting firm, to help leaders develop progressive team-building skills in dynamic and adaptive work environments—while avoiding the traps of naive over-optimism or simplistic positivity.


“Rejection is as painful as physical pain to the brain.”

Episode Highlights:
Daniel Gagnon's journey is quite a roller coaster of self-discovery and growth. His experiences, from working in a TV station to venturing into stock trading, showcase a person willing to disrupt his own path for personal and professional development. It's fascinating how these disruptions eventually led him to establish the Agile Leader Academy, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and progressive team-building skills in dynamic work environments.

Childhood Incidents:
One day, his mother gave him 25 cents to go get a book of his choice at the school book fair. The first book that caught his eye was one with a rocketship to the moon. Unfortunately, the money wasn’t enough, and he had to get a smaller book. When he got home, told his mother what happened.

A few months later, his dad sent for them, and they moved to Sudbury. One day Daniel found some books on the table, he asked his mother where the books came from. His father had gotten them for him after hearing his book fair experience and promised to get more every two weeks. The experience created a reading culture in Daniel and his brother, which still exists today.

As children, Daniel always thought his little brother was annoying, but that changed one day when they visited the beach. His brother almost drowned, but Daniel got him help. Since that day, Daniel loved his brother even more.

Influential Groups:
Daniel grew up with a dual heritage in cultures and languages. His parents always insisted that they had to learn Canada's two official languages and become good at both so they could get accepted wherever they went.

When Daniel and his family moved to Montreal, his best friend asked him if his parents were sending him to the college on Rosemont Avenue. The school was expensive and needed good grades, and Daniel had the grades.

When Daniel talked to his parents about it, his dad said they would do everything in their power to send him there. Daniel joined different groups in school that made him feel like he belonged. He even had a girlfriend for two years who gave him his first chance to go on vacation.

Personality and Temperaments:
Growing up, Daniel was introverted and self-reflective. Despite being an introvert, he understood the survival imperative of being gregarious and outgoing. Currently, Daniel has attained a balance on when to say no, make a move, and when to reach out to people.

Cultural Epiphanies:
During a family dinner in Germany in 1984, Daniel realized that people were looking at him because he kept transferring his fork from the left to the right hand. In Germany, that is seen as a waste of energy. Since that day, Daniel adopted the German way of handling the fork.

Soapbox Moment:
Daniel and Bruno Collet started Agile Leader Academy to offer training to leaders on vertical development.

What Brings out the Best in Daniel:
Daniel believes in genuine commitment, and it’s the first thing he looks at before working with a client.

Tagline: Where would you be without self-disruption?

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