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This has been a very special Remembrance Day for me. I did an interview on 100 Huntley Street this morning about my Vimy Ridge speech and reviewed the leadership lessons that made it such a success. The 18 minute interview is split into two videos that you can see on You Tube (Part 1 and Part 2). The five leadership lessons are:

  1. Be open to new ideas
  2. Value the individual
  3. Build a strong team
  4. Train, equip and empower the team
  5. Set stretch goals

I’m adding this paragraph for the person who keeps searching “John Pellowe 2003 leadership lessons”. You’ve been searching this term for months and months. Hopefully this paragraph will finally bring you to this page and the list you are looking for!! Enjoy.

I included some really interesting examples as to how leadership did these five things at Vimy Ridge. You’ll get a lot of trivia about this most important battle that earned Canada the right to sign the peace treaty as a separate nation, rather than having Great Britain sign it on behalf of its colonies.

Honouring our vets

Then, I took my wife out for dinner tonight and discovered that the owner of the Encore restaurant in Waterloo had a Soldier’s Night tonight. For six years he has given a free steak dinner to every vet and currently serving member of the Armed Forces who comes for dinner! I think my wife and I were the only non-military people in the restaurant. It was packed with vets (and a few young soldiers). You should have seen the pile of medals the vets were wearing! It was a very distinguished group for sure. A pianist and vocalist were belting out tunes from WW1 and WW2. Very nostalgic. And what a great way to honour those who have paid for our freedom today by risking their lives and limbs. I couldn’t help but think of those who did not return and thus who were not at the restaurant tonight. Very sobering. I thanked the owner for doing this. He is committed to honour our vets and does so throughout the year in a number of different ways. Very sincere.

We stop work for about ten minutes to observe Remembrance Day and each year have found a different way to observe the silence in tribute and thankfulness to those who  have gone before us. The restauranteur made me wonder if there is any other way that we could honour our vets.  Maybe you have some ideas. I was told that the service in Waterloo had record attendance this year. What a change from fifteen years ago when it seemed everyone was apologetic about observing Remembrance Day and tried to turn it into a peace protest instead – basically repudiating our vets. A vet said today that no one wants peace more than the enlisted soldier, but when it is necessary to stand up for what is right and good, they are ready to fight.

I’ve been really slow getting back to blogging. Between trying to accommodate my father’s deteriorating health in July and August, dealing with his death in September, selling his house in October and planning his memorial service for last weekend, my mind has been elsewhere. I’m still going to write the second half of my post on competition between charities, but I just have to get my head back into the game. I might blog about some easier things first. Let’s see what happens.

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