Lester B. Pearson

Civics Leadership Assignment

about Lester

Lester B. Pearson was one of Canada’s most significant leaders. Before taking the role as Canada's President, Pearson had enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps as a young adult when the first world war broke out. However, his military career ended when he was hit by a bus and sent home.

In 1919, Lester earned his Bachelors degree at the University of Toronto and soon tried several career paths. Aside from taking on jobs such as a public servant and a politician, Pearson also became Canada’s foremost diplomat of the 1950’s and 60’s. What made him such a great leader was his ability to accomplish more opportunities for Canada than any other Prime Minister as well as helping other countries around the world.

Contributions to Canada

Pearson took part in occasions that helped lead to how Canada is today. Under his leadership, the government introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan and the well known Canadian flag. Lester was also a thoughtful leader. He believed in equality and worked hard to spread it all across Canada. He started Royal Commissions that had brought equal rights to women and like one of Nelson Mandela's 8 lessons of leadership-"Nothing is black or white", there was never one answer, one supreme race. Like Nelson answered to an interview, " Why not both?"

Lester wanted to bring equality among the different people in Canada and throw out the discrimination against them. Lester instituted the worlds first race free immigration and introduced bilingualism and multiculturalism. As a result of his actions, Canada has become a greatly diverse country


"Lead from the back- and let others believe they are in front"

" The trick of leadership is allowing yourself to be led too. It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea"

~ Nelson Mandela

Not only did Pearson rise to be a great leader for Canada, but he also showed leadership when helping other countries in need. In 1956, Lester B. Pearson spent his summer and fall working toward a skilful solution the the Suez Crisis. He created the United Nations' first peace keeping force despite Ottawa's strong objection the the military actions. He believed that it was the right thing to do saying " Peace is far more than ceasing fire"- and to be fair, a vote was held on the 4th of November. Majority of the UN forces agreed because of Lester's reasoning and because they trusted in him as their leader. Thus he was able to control the situation so that the plan went according to him. In doing so, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his initiative in Egypt along with his foreign aid to the 3rd world countries.

"Lead from the front- but don't leave your base behind"

From the start Lester knew what he wanted to do for Canada as the prime minister. He knew what needed to change and what needed to be done and he never lost sight of his goals. Lester B. Pearson was also a team player. He knew he could not succeed without the help of others. He was wise in choosing recruits that would help rebuild the Liberal party and with their help as the government, Pearson was able to accomplish many things for Canada.


Bothwell, Robert. "Lester B. Pearson." The Canadian Encyclopedia. 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/lester-bowles-pearson/>.

Coutts, Jim. "Lester Pearson: An Unlikely Leader and Bold Reformer | Toronto Star." Thestar.com. 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/04/10/lester_pearson_an_unlikely_leader_and_bold_reformer.html>.

Tattrie, Jon. "Suez Crisis." The Canadian Encyclopedia. 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/suez-crisis/>.

Yusoontorn, Sompong. "8 Leadership Lessons From Nelson Mandela." 8 Leadership Lessons From Nelson Mandela. 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.slideshare.net/bright9977/8-leadership-lessons-from-nelson-mandela-28962248>.