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Leadership Lessons From Vimy Ridge

Leadership Lessons From Vimy Ridge
John as General Sir Arthur Currie

“John Pellowe’s Vimy Ridge presentation is educational and informative.  It provides Canadians of all ages an opportunity to understand a battle that defined our country; from the tactics used, to the people involved, to the leadership that helped make it a success.  I recommend it to all.” Lt. –Gen. Michel Maisonneuve (Retired)

An official Year of the Veteran event approved by the Ministry of Veteran Affairs

A 1-hour special on The Miracle Channel

As General Sir Arthur Currie, I brief the audience on leadership strategies to build their teams, enhance organizational effectiveness and inspire the whole team.

This is a dynamic, multi-media keynote presentation performed in uniform with the permission of the Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defense Headquarters.

Who is this for? Anyone wanting to:

  • shift leadership culture to be more participative and empowering;
  • support a team environment;
  • create awareness of successful leadership skills
  • provide an entertaining keynote with a powerful message;

and, for Canadians,

  • bring alive a defining moment in Canada’s history;
  • stir up Canadian patriotism and pride.

What is Vimy Ridge about?

On April 9th, 1917 Canadians took a ridge in 8 hours that the British and French had been unable to capture in 3 years.  This was the first clear Allied victory in WW1 and Canadians introduced many innovations.  The victory earned Canada the right to sign the peace treaty and to sit at the League of Nations as an independent country.  Canada’s success is directly attributable to the leadership style of Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng and General Sir Arthur Currie. Currie was the first Canadian to lead Canadians in battle and had an unbroken string of successes for the rest of the war.

I do not glorify war and never mention the enemy by nationality.  Men and women respond equally well to the presentation.

This is not a CCCC presentation, but one that I have been delivering professionally since 1999 (and still do with the  consent of the CCCC board).  However, on a limited basis it is available non-professionally through CCCC for members using it for staff development.  The Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defense Headquarters has approved the wearing of the uniform for this presentation.

Audience Comments

John Pellowe and the account of Vimy Ridge is a powerful one man drama in history and leadership.  Pellowe is able to capture the imagination, emotions and intellect of any audience and challenge them to honouring the leadership lessons at Vimy Ridge.  In an unassuming way the account of Vimy Ridge makes you a better leader and a better citizen.
Michael Van Pelt, President, Cardus

Thank you for your excellent presentation, “Leadership Lessons from Vimy Ridge” at the CCA’s Labour Relations Conference.  Your presentation received a grade of Very Good from two-thirds of the audience and Excellent from the rest. (Some in this latter group gave it a 5+ which was beyond our scale.)  Comments included: “Nice twist on leadership”; “Mr. Pellowe’s presentation should be mandatory for every Canadian”; “Practical lessons we can all use.”  From a personal perspective, I found it both interesting and educational.  It also instilled in me a sense of pride in being Canadian. I would be interested to learn of other work you do in this area as possible content for future conferences.  Once again, my sincere thanks for a job well done!
Dennis Ryan, Director, Industry HR, Canadian Construction Association

Vimy Ridge was just what our staff needed at this time to broaden their vision, heighten their discernment and encourage them toward innovation and creative solutions. John, thank you for a well researched, executed and passionate speech regarding an historic event that can teach us so much in today’s fast paced life.  Your facilitation was also invaluable providing the team a time to question and digest the large amount of leadership lessons available from the Vimy Ridge conquest.
David Sweet, President & CEO, PK Canada

Thank you very much for your presentation at our corporate ISO 9002 celebration and employee tribute.  “Vimy Ridge” was a tremendous asset to our meeting. It dealt with leadership, motivation, team building and “thinking outside-the-box.”  The comments from employees were very positive.  It will be most instrumental in helping to more completely build our team.  Your presentation helped us to achieve the goals that we had set for the tribute.
Randy More, President, Ontario Glove Co. Ltd.

My intent was to have you shed a little light on a piece of Canadian history.  You did much more.  You stirred within me and others a wonderful sense of patriotism.  You did an excellent job causing us to think about leadership.  Each person I talked to was in awe of the story and the method you chose to tell it.  There’s no question, the standing ovation you received was well deserved.
Pastor Marshall Eizenga, Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly

You seemed to be just coming from the front and reporting – it was so real and inspiring.  It made me proud to be a Canadian.  (Born in Germany)  Numerous lessons can be learned and applied in any organization, specifically in today’s highly competitive environment.  During my years in senior management, I have used many of these methods and tactics with excellent results.


  • CCCC members and not for profit groups may contact me directly using this blog’s contact form.
  • All others can book me through National Speakers Bureau.

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