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Success Newsletters

Volume 4, Number 2 – March – April, 2004 Issue

In This Edition
1. From Humble Beginnings to Prime Minister of Canada
2. Success
4. Recommended Reading

From Humble Beginnings To Prime Minister Of Canada
Born January 11th, 1934 in Shawinigan, a pulp-and-paper town on the St Maurice River northeast of Montreal, Quebec, Joseph-Jacques Jean Chretien started life in very humble beginnings. One of 19 children of Wellie Chretien and Marie Boisvert, 10 of whom died in infancy, Jean was sent at an early age to attend a Catholic boarding school, in the surrounding area.

As a young boy he was teased because he was so small and skinny. His nickname “Ti Jean” meant little Jean. He was deaf in one ear and slightly dyslexic. These problems affected his self-esteem enormously from an early age. If that wasn’t enough, in February 1946, at the age of 12, Jean suffered severe frostbite to his face as he walked to church from his brother’s house on one of the coldest days of the year.

It wasn’t until several months later that a deformity began to appear on the left-hand side of his face, the one that had been most hit by the bitter winds; it looked as if Jean’s face had shifted sideways. Apparently, the frostbite had damaged a facial nerve and muscle causing permanent paralysis. The resulting deformity affected his appearance, his speech, and ultimately how people perceived him.

Undeterred by his challenges and tremendously ambitious, Chretien went on to become a lawyer. In 1963 at the age of 29, barely able to speak English, Jean made the decision to enter politics and won a by election in a district just outside of Shawinigan by 1,994 votes.
When Jean arrived in Ottawa to take his seat in Parliament, NDP MP Doug Fisher pointed to the backbenches as where Chretien, ‘a boy from Shawinigan’ should sit. Jean defiantly pointed down to the front row, saying, “Yes…but someday I will be sitting there!” This began his long political road to the top.

He rose quickly through the ranks of the Liberal party, serving in key roles with Prime Ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, but lost the race for the Liberal leadership in 1984 to John Turner. Party president at that time Iona Campagnolo declared him “second on the ballot but first in our hearts”. In 1986 he resigned from politics after a row within the Liberal party and returned to his law practice. In 1990 after being called by his Liberal rivals “yesterday’s man” he returned to politics and won his party’s leadership on the first ballot.

In 1993 he was elected Prime Minister of Canada, finally taking his seat in the front row.
In one bitter re-election campaign the rival Conservative party tried to erode support for Jean Chretien by running nasty ads on the television showing his deformity and speech difficulties. The ads were headlined “Would You Want This Man To Be Your Prime Minister”. Chretien turned these nasty personal attacks to his advantage and easily won re-election. He went on to two re-election wins and served Canada as Prime Minister until stepping down in 2003.

He was not always popular, and was sometimes described as abrasive, stubborn and arrogant. He has been embroiled in many controversial decisions and implicated in some scandals, none of which ever stuck. However, whatever your opinion of the little boy from humble beginnings in Shawinigan, Quebec you have to admire his incredible focus and determination to rise and succeed to the highest office in

I came across this wonderful phrase recently. I have seen it in many different forms but this one really hit home with me and I thought you might find it of interest. Enjoy.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition,
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

While interviewing the legendary Jack Nicklaus, a reporter once remarked, “Jack you have had a spectacular career. Your name is synonymous with the game of golf. You really know your way around the course. What is your secret?” Nicklaus replied: “The holes are numbered!”

“You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when. You can only decide how you are going to live. Now…! Joan Baez, singer

“Consider the postage stamp. It secures success through it’s ability to stick to one thing till it gets there” Josh Billings


The Hidden Profit Center by Helen Wilkie
This book is so refreshing. It is a small book with a big impact, as the author rightly states. It is a very easy read with lots of wisdom. Set as a fable for 21st century business and the story of CEO Richard Pemberton, you will learn many lessons about honesty, decency, business savvy and common sense.

7 Secrets to Profit From Adversity: Success against all odds. By Joe Roberts
Joe Robert’s is an extra-ordinary individual. His story of living as a homeless skid row derelict on the streets of Vancouver, Canada to rising above his circumstances to becoming a highly respected business and community leader of today is amazing. This well written book cannot help but inspire you to pursue your own success, whatever that might be.

Presenting Magically by Tad James and David Sheppard
Whether you are a newcomer to speaking in public or a seasoned presenter, Presenting Magically will provide you with the masterful tips and techniques that will transform your presenting skills. Introducing the secrets of many of the world’s top presenters, this book covers every aspect of presenting. It is very detailed and informative.

Date Added: March 30, 2004 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Newsletters

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