"Imagination and commitment solve everything."
James Bretzlaff Associate
Change Agent. Coach. Domestique.
Profile Interview Blog
James Bretzlaff is a coach and management consultant who specializes in strategy development and leadership. He is at his best when supporting the long term success of both established and emerging leaders and teams.

James believes there are no shortcuts to anything worth doing and attributes his pursuit of excellence to a passion for high performance sport. James represented Canada in the sport of swimming, has held a number of high profile coaching positions across the country, and now casually competes in cycling and triathlons.

James brings his athletic endeavours as well as 15 years of management consulting experience to every engagement – ensuring a balanced approach between performance and people.

Q and A with James Bretzlaff

Q. What’s a domestique?

Domestique is a term used in the professional cycling world to describe those whose job it is to assist others in achieving glory.

Domestiques are cyclists who work hard in ways that are usually unnoticed, performing duties for their teammates that allow them to rest at critical times - like leading the pack during strong headwinds or pacing their leader up long hills.
Ultimately, domestiques make it possible for great racers to finish first, and are essential to any winning cycling team.

Q. What were the early years like at Berlineaton, when you were doing a province-wide project from the Berlineaton garage?

It was hard work. Plain and simple. We were constantly stretching ourselves to be at the forefront of applied change management, and we learned tremendously from our early experiences. What we did 15 years ago has helped shape who we are today.                                                        
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Q and A with James Bretzlaff

Q. What’s a domestique?

Domestique is a term used in the professional cycling world to describe those whose job it is to assist others in achieving glory.

Domestiques are cyclists who work hard in ways that are usually unnoticed, performing duties for their teammates that allow them to rest at critical times - like leading the pack during strong headwinds or pacing their leader up long hills.

Ultimately, domestiques make it possible for great racers to finish first, and are essential to any winning cycling team. 

Q. What were the early years like at Berlineaton, when you were doing a province-wide project from the Berlineaton garage?

It was hard work. Plain and simple. We were constantly stretching  ourselves to be at the forefront of applied change management, and we learned tremendously from our early experiences. What we did 15 years ago has helped shape who we are today. 
  
Q. What does Berlin Eaton’s vision of “a world of courageous endeavours” mean to you?            

It means people and organizations taking risks for what they believe in.
                        
Q. What is your favourite client success story?

I am a firm believer that a global economy starts with a strong local community, so my favourite client success stories always include an element of local community improvement. There have been many of these, and I am always proud of them.

Q. What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?   

I unintentionally came across a cave of white-tipped reef sharks while snorkelling in Maui. It freaked me out. And then I went back to the same caves two days in a row afterwards.

Q. Milkshake, protein shake, or Red Bull?

That is a partial ingredient list for what I drink after a long ride.

Q. Who do you admire as someone who contributes actively towards creating “a world of courageous endeavours?”   

I truly believe that every person I interact with has their own courageous endeavour that contributes to a world full of them.  Sometimes we just have to listen better to find out their story.
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