We work with you, on your skills and on your success!


Based in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, Lead Action is focussed on Leadership Development. Because we meet leaders every day, we know leadership is not a theory. It is about you, your behaviours and your success. Our team members, partners and collaborators work with you, support your journey toward reaching your highest performance as a leader.


The team at Lead Action believes that, beyond natural talent, those who become the best leaders are those who put effort into developing their skills with patience and perseverance.

For this reason, we focus on your success and we invest ourselves in it. We provide you with the best tools available on the market. We seek to connect you with experienced leaders and great role models. Beyond models and theory, we work on developing your leadership. We guide and support you as you strive to advance your skills and expand your wings.

Because we believe leadership is anchored in behaviours, relationships and practices, our approach is strongly anchored in practical tools and impactful practices.


Lead Action seeks to offers you a wide range of development programs and recognized products. We work with network partners. They include the Center for Creative Leadership™ Insights Discovery™, ESSI Systems™ and the award-winning products from Vital Learning™. We continually research the market to offer you the best and latest products, such as the Fligby™ leadership simulation.

Our collaborators and delivery partners are certified professionals, experienced leadership development practitioners and have field experience as leaders. They understand your context, appreciate the complexity of issues facing leaders and know first hand what it’s like to be in the leader’s chair.


François Gagnon – President

François Gagnon has over 20 years of experience in Leadership Development, Adult Learning and Change Management. He held management positions in eight different Departments of the Public Service of Canada in addition to regularly lecturing at the University of Ottawa and Université du Québec en Outaouais in Project Management, Change Management and Leadership Development. During his twelve years of experience as an executive in the federal government Mr. Gagnon has held Director-level positions in External Relations and International Conferences at CIDA; Youth Programs at Canadian Heritage. Joining the Canada School of Public Service, he was mandated to lead the new Strategic Change and Executive Services of the School. He grew this group to offer strategic advice in Change Management to over 30 organizations annually. This group also offered 360-degree feedback and executive coaching to over 1000 participants every year. He later joined the Leadership Development group as Senior Director where he led the entire national Leadership Development portfolio of courses and programs for executives in the federal public service. As Senior Partner of Lead Action, Mr. Gagnon grew the company to include public and private sector organizations, from the award winning program Hivuliqtikhanut in Nunavut to Indonesia. Mr. Gagnon is a seasoned facilitator, certified in a large number of psychometric instruments and in the delivery of the Leading Transitions program from the Center for Creative Leadership.  A classically trained pianist, Mr. Gagnon also holds a Private Pilot licence.

Donald Burke – Collaborator

Donald started his career in the Department of Supply and Services as a buyer. Donald then became a Director at the Canadian International Development Agency and later assumed the functions of Chief of Staff of the Associate Deputy Minister of Environment Canada, where he worked on a number of strategic files as special advisor to the Associate Deputy Minister. In 1995 Donald moved to the Royal Canadian Mint as the Vice-President of Marketing and Sales followed by a position as the Vice-President of Business Development. Under his leadership the organization achieved record sales and improved its brand awareness. Since 2002 Donald has been a consultant offering services in facilitation, training, executive counselling, and project and change management. He has worked with a number of clients in both the private and public sector that range from le Cirque du Soleil to the UNDP. Donald was a faculty member at the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) and one of the lead facilitators for the Living Leadership Program. He has also facilitated or designed sessions for the Accelerated Executive Development Program (AEXP), the Advanced Leadership Program, the Direxion Program and the new Connexion Program. Donald is also an executive counsellor with the PSC and has worked with over 800 EX minus1, EX-1, EX-2 and EX-3 clients to prepare them for selection boards or to provide career counselling and he has participated in over 150 mock boards. Donald has also delivered full session courses at both Algonquin College and Québec University. He holds a business brokers license and was the owner of a boutique brokerage firm that specialised in helping business owners sell their business. Donald is a certified PROSCI instructor on change management. Donald has been a small business owner and over the years has launched and managed a chain of 6 stores, a construction company and a business brokerage firm.

Omer Boudreau – Collaborator

A seasoned, bilingual leader in public administration for over 30 years, Omer has significant experience in public policy, corporate management and government operations. He is a strategic leader who has successfully implemented transformational change in various settings. His reputation of excellence in building relationships, in the engagement of stakeholders and in achieving results has consistently earned him recognition among his peers. Prior to launching his career as a leadership/management consultant, Omer served as VP, Corporate Management at the Public Service Commission of Canada, VP, Human Resources at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and DG, Therapeutic Products at Health Canada. He also served in several other executive positions in the federal public service. Having led corporate functions and operational programs, in both regional settings and in the National Capital, Omer has a broad understanding of public administration and a wealth of experience that he now shares passionately with his clients. In addition to public administration, Omer’s passions include cooking for family and friends and playing music.

Richard Rochefort – Collaborator and Executive Coach

Richard Rochefort is a senior Canadian expert on service delivery excellence in the public sector and President of Dare to Lead. He is a brilliant leadership and innovation strategist, highly sought-after executive coach and outstanding public speaker in both English and French. He retired in 2012 as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Public Service of Canada. During his last 15 years as a senior leader, he devoted relentless efforts to public sector renewal, using learning as a strategic lever to build and sustain a culture of service excellence. Most notably, he was intimately involved from 2006 to 2011 in the creation of Service Canada where he built a corporate university dedicated to citizen-centred service. He has since provided expert advice to many Canadian government departments and to public sector organizations around the world. He regularly delivers keynote addresses to international audiences and facilitates learning sessions on service culture in the public sector, most recently in Australia, Brazil, Belize, the Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Salvador and Colombia. Using storytelling and humour, he challenges and engages public service audiences at all levels on topics ranging from leadership and management to public sector innovation, service excellence and organizational culture change. Richard has counselled numerous public sector management teams and mentored hundreds of public service leaders and future leaders. He sits on the Certification Board of the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS).

Dr. Wayne Corneil – Collaborator

Dr. Corneil is an Adjunct Professor at the Telfer School of Management and an Associate Scientist in the Institute of Population Health at the University of Ottawa. His recent research has been focused on resilience. Since 2004, he has been involved in several major research projects including on executive health and psychosocial impacts major events. He was an adjunct faculty member at the Canadian School of the Public Service from 1996 to 2014 where he developed several executive leadership programs for senior government officials. As the CEO of SantePlus Research Associates, he is a consultant on leadership development to numerous government organizations at the federal, provincial and municipal level. He has worked with a variety of NGO’s and private sector organizations on organizational readiness and service continuity capacities. He also conducts research and program evaluation on psychosocial interventions and training programs in resilience. More recently he has been working with organizations to establish Mental Health in the Workplace programs. Prior to his retirement from the Public Service of Canada in 2004, he spent 32 years in a variety of senior executive positions in Health Canada at the regional, national and international levels with responsibilities for Occupational Safety & Health, Quarantine and Emergency Health Services. He has conducted research on executive health as a principal investigator for the 1997, 2002 2007 and 2012 APEX studies, and has taught on occupational health in Canada, the U.K., France, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. For twenty years up to 2009, he had a private clinical practice for emergency response personnel, healthcare practitioners, executives and senior officials specializing post-traumatic stress and work related stress. Wayne Corneil has a doctorate in Epidemiology and Occupational Health Psychology from the School of Hygiene & Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University, and professional degrees in psychotherapy (University of Alberta), social work (Carleton University), criminology (St. Patrick’s College) and adult education (OISE,University of Toronto).

Ross MacLeod – Collaborator and Executive Coach

Ross is a very experienced senior executive, who relishes the challenge of solving difficult problems and achieving meaningful results for clients, his employer and his colleagues. ‎He works to achieve innovative outcomes (“the what”) in a collaborative manner that respects people and institutions (“the how”). His coaching approach is based on helping clients to excel through a focus on building competencies and rigorous attention to performance objectives. ‎Ross is supportive and discrete. His executive experience spans 15 years, the last five as an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board Secretariat. It included government-wide leadership roles in executive management, enterprise transformation, performance management, values and ethics, official languages, strategic reviews, compensation strategy, service delivery, public-use internet and strategic policy. Ross has held senior executive positions at several other departments where he managed delivery of the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Employment insurance, Broadband and SchoolNet. Ross holds an MSc from the London School of Economics, a BA from Acadia University and is a certified executive coach.

Giovanni Gaudelli – Collaborator and Executive coach

Giovanni Gaudelli is a sought-after dynamic keynote and motivational speaker, a certified professional Co-Active Coach® and a consultant. He brings more than 25 years of business acumen and people-centric leadership to a wide variety of businesses, organizations and public sector institutions. His flagship motivational conference is a transformative experience that enhances people’s ability to feel empowered and motivated, and fosters strong team building, service excellence and engaging leadership skills. Giovanni graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a Diploma in Education from McGill University. He is certified in a number of psychometric instruments. An English high school teacher early in his career, Giovanni’s dynamic approach remarkably increased the students’ learning abilities. Seeking a new challenge, he then started working for the London Life Insurance Company and was rapidly promoted to assistant-manager. His leadership and coaching techniques prompted excellent results and he went on to manage a London Life regional center. Under his leadership, the center became the “model” financial center in terms of recruiting, training and management. In 1998, he acquired a SFL-Desjardins Financial Security franchise where he maintained superior staff loyalty, engagement and performance up to the sale of his business in 2010. Since 1995, parallel to his business career, Giovanni has delivered keynote presentations in English and French to many Canadian government departments and has been a regular guest speaker during Service Canada College training sessions. Through personal and group coaching, Giovanni also helps individuals develop winning attitudes and beliefs that support them in achieving their goals. His work inspires people to feel confident, engaged and passionate about their life and career, leading them to perform at their best.

Jane Hardy – Collaborator and Executive Coach

Jane Hardy is a Certified Executive Coach who coaches executives and managers in the federal public sector. She sees daily the value of coaching in inspiring people to perform at their best with comfort and confidence. Jane also has over 20 years of leadership experience in progressively senior positions in the federal government. She knows firsthand the complex challenges and pressures public service leaders face. Jane obtained her graduate certificate in executive coaching from Royal Roads University in British Columbia and her Associate Certified Coach (A.C.C.) designation from the International Coach Federation. Since then, she has coached leaders from manager and Director through to Assistant Deputy Minister in over 20 federal departments and agencies. Jane believes passionately in coaching as a powerful tool for accelerating leadership development. There are many professional development tools available from stretch assignments to various forms of training. Each has its place in the tool kit. But coaching provides one thing the others do not – a safe space and a trusted thinking partner. Through coaching, Jane will support you in taking a hard look at who you are as a leader, what may be holding you back and what changes you need to make to go beyond where you are now to obtain the results you want. Jane has also served in a number of diverse executive roles in her career: Assistant Deputy Minister, Consulting, Information and Shared Services Branch, Public Works and Government Services Canada; Director General, Telecommunications and Informatics Services and Operations, Public Works and Government Services Canada; Director General, Financial Management, Natural Resources Canada; Associate Director General, Tobacco Control Bureau, Health Canada; Program Director, Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources, Treasury Board Secretariat; Director level program and policy positions in Industry Canada and Fisheries and Oceans.

For more information on Jane’s experience and coaching approach, go to her website at www.hardycoaching.com

Catherine Pagot-Reynolds – Collaborator and Executive Coach

Catherine, a bilingual Integral Master Coach™ and facilitator has been in the field of leadership development and Coaching for the last 20 years. She has been in the Public Service of Canada for 30 years. She feels grateful for all the opportunities she was offered and is now looking forward to continue her learning path in a new way. Catherine holds a B.A from the Université de Montréal, a diploma in Education from McGillUniversity and an M.B.A from the University of Ottawa, with a specialization in organizational development. She joined the Canada School of the Public Service in January 2006 and worked there until June 2013. She designed and facilitated a variety of leadership programs, facilitated Peer Coaching Groups and coached Public Servants at all levels (employee, manager and executive), using the Integral Coaching approach. Before she joined the School, Catherine was the team leader for the Leadership and Career Development Programs at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. She designed and facilitated numerous workshops on leadership development, using participatory facilitation processes grounded in participants’ experience. Prior to 2001, Catherine spent 17 years at the International Development Research Centre where she occupied various positions with increasing responsibilities and challenges in the field of Human Resources Development. Catherine has created her own coaching practice, CPR for the Soul: Coaching for Profound Realizations. She is looking forward to continue supporting the growth and happiness of individuals, teams and organisations as they move forward.

Michel Smith – Collaborator and Executive Coach

Prior to launching his consulting services in 2013, Michel held several senior executive positions in the Public Service of Canada. A trained social worker and executive coach, he was acting Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada; Regional Director General for the British Columbia and Yukon Region, as well as the Director General of the Refugee Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Michel also served as Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX), Executive Director of the Task Force on an Inclusive Public Service, and Senior Faculty Member at the Canada School of Public Service. Michel also led and/or participated in several Canadian delegations abroad, including: China, UNHCR in Geneva, Denmark, and Italy. He also taught leadership to senior executives in Mali and coached Deputy Ministers in Benin.
A 2002 graduate of the Accelerated Executive Development Program, Michel is certified by Multi-Health Systems to administer and interpret the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Inventory (EQ-i); he is certified by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in North Carolina to administer and interpret the 360 By Design psychometric instrument and is a certified Insights Discovery® Client Practitioner (CP). Michel is a member of the Abenaki First Nation, a husband, a father, and a proud grandfather.

Client Testimonial

The facilitators and guest-speakers are all top-notch with decades of experience, knowledge and wisdom to share with the participants. The bonds I forged with my peers during the program have extended well beyond the graduation and I have a bigger/stronger network as a result!” – John, A/Director, Employment and Social Development Canada

I very much enjoyed and appreciated my 10-month journey of Stepping Into the Executive Cadre. I now have a better understanding of what leadership really means for me personally, and what it takes to lead successful teams in the Government of Canada. The program was adapted based on the needs, interests and learning styles of the group. A+!” – Philip, Manager, Public Services and Procurement Canada

I highly recommend the Stepping Into the Executive Cadre program. Through it I was able to expand my knowledge of myself, my leadership style as well as the leadership needs of today’s public service.” – Shannon, Senior manager, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Programs Partners