Jack Layton

The leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (2003-2011)

Jack Layton

Jack Layton was one of the many renowned and acclaimed leaders of our time. This remarkable figure was born in Montréal on the 18th July 1950 and sadly passed away in Toronto on the 22nd of August 2011, due to his long-term battle with cancer. Jack was greatly acknowledged for being an educator, municipal and an federal politician. Before his passing, he became the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) from 2003-2011, leading Canada to many accomplishments. During this the time of his career he had remarkably lead his party to an unbelievable victory in May, winning over 103 seats in the 2011 federal election and forming the official opposition for the first time in Canadian history. Jack Layton was one with many talents but also one with many passions, Layton's career opened him up to having a strong desire for social activism spanning issues. Starting with the white ribbon campaign, this campaign was to created to stop violence by men against . To homelessness and the need for affordable housing, to fostering aids patients. As well as to participating in anti-free-trade protests. His countless actions demonstrated how and why Jack Layton became a honourable leadern of Canada.

Jack Layton's Leadership Traits

Passion Inspires Followers

The first of many leadership traits Jack Layton lived by during his career was" passion inspires followers" Jack Layton. This phrase was very dear to him and carried sentimental value since it was evident that Layton had unconditional love towards politics. Jack Layton or also known as "smiling jack" believed that passion and vision was what attracted people to the New Democratic Party (NDP), and it was also the main reason they all stayed. No one expected this except Layton. Layton's trait can fall under one of the categories of Mandela's leadership trait which is "Courage is not the absence of fear-it's inspiring others to move beyond it" Nelson Mandela. Both of these phrases have similar context , for example when someone you look up to is not worried ,then its gives you this sense of relief because you feel like you will be fine. This is shown in both but for example, when no one expected this expect Layton, this displays that Layton had passion which he attracted the new members. All in all, Leaders who passionately believe in what they do will eventually attract people who want to help them.

Experience is always transferable (even if people tell you it’s not)

The second leadership trait is what primarily establish Jack Layton's career , the trait is "Experiences is always transferable (even if people tell you it not)" Jack Layton. This motto is was essentially what started Jack Layton's career as the leader for the New Democratic Party (NDP). Back then, a large amount of people doubted him since Layton’s 20 year job as a city councillor would be a burden at the federal level. Soon later Layton proved them all wrong; he did this by cumulating all his skills he learnt of years to help him make the change. The skills were ; developing managing multiple agenda’s and interest groups helped him broker deals with the egos on the Hill. This motto can be related to one of the many Mandela leadership traits, in this is case it would "Nothing is black or white"Nelson Mandela. The reason for this is because everyone thought that Layton could not achieve a higher job than he withheld as a city councillor. Later on he achieved his goal and became the leader of the (NDP). This shows everyone and everything is not what they seem. In conclusion, when you’re looking to make a change, don’t listen to people who tell you don’t have the skills.

Nice Guys Can Finish Ahead

The third leadership trait is what Layton truly believed in and followed by his whole life, especially during his career. The saying is "Nice guys can finish ahead "Jack Layton. This comes to understanding when talking about Layton. Since he was one of the many and unlike any Canadian politicians there was. In the time of his career, Layton kept away from dirty politics as well as sabotage campaigns. Rather Layton advocated about positive change and an optimistic future. This saying can be traced back to one of Mandela's leadership traits, 'in this situation it would be "Lead from the back -and let others believe they are in front" Nelson Mandela. Both these sayings have much in comparisons. For example, from leading from and being nice it shows that Layton is letting other's share their ideas but all along he was the one at the end who lead them in the right direction. In result, it shows that one can go very far by being kind. In the words of jack Layton on his final message to Canadian’s he said "“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” Layton's words should be a message all leaders should live by.


Jack Layton was a Honourable and a phenomenal leader that beamed with confidence. This confidence showed through his great accomplishments throughout his career . His kindness and big hearted personality was anything anyone could have wanted and more . Jack Layton is one that will be missed and remember for many years and century's to come. RIP to the most remarkable human being ( Jack Layton).

Jack Layton used this quote by Tommy Douglas at the end of his emails:

"Courage my friends, ‘tis never too late to build a better world"

This Hour Has 22 Minutes - Remembering Jack Layton

By: Anam Mire