Former Chief of Canada's Defence Staff—the Canadian Forces' Highest Rank
In over three decades of service to his country, General Rick Hillier has remobilized support of Canadian troops, worked closely with Prime Ministers, increased Canada's significance within NATO, and solidified Canada's reputation on the world stage. In this time of War, under enormous public scrutiny, Hillier has, time and again, made the tough but needed decisions. In terms of leadership, in terms of diplomacy, in terms of strategy, he has few peers. For thousands of soldiers, he was a hero, "a soldier's soldier," and for millions of Canadians, he was the public face of the military during this eventful and tumultuous time in its history.
General Hillier is a remarkable, and much sought-after speaker. On stage, Canada's top soldier displays the full range of his compassion, enthusiasm and leadership acumen, drawing on his unprecedented experience and sharing the lessons that have made him one of this country's most respected and influential public figures. He is a Newfoundland native and a graduate of Memorial University.
The men and women of the Canadian Forces have been involved in volatile and high-stress situations the world over, providing aid and support in reaction to conflicts and disasters. These are tough, often dangerous jobs which call for a cool head, quick problem solving, and cooperation. General Hillier has experienced this reality first hand as a career soldier and then Chief of Defence Staff. For him, leadership is all about people: listen to them, communicate with them, recognize their work, and give them a strong example to follow. Using direct examples from his time leading troops across countless global actions, General Hillier's talk is filled with passion and humour, and is designed to appeal to audiences of all kinds.
Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association
Warm, witty and wise, General Rick Hillier is an electric speaker who charges his audience with enthusiasm and is an ideal choice for any conference. After a long day of presentations and panel discussions as part of our International Transportation Summit, General Hillier stepped to the podium to deliver an address on Canada’s military role in the world and the men and women who define that role. His personal anecdotes and slide presentation put a human touch on the Canadian Military and the families that support them. General Hillier engaged and charmed the crowd, with his fast-paced, information-packed and emotion-filled address. He moved grown men to tears. Need I say more?
The Canadian Institute of Underwriters
Gen Hillier’s presentation was just splendid, and he personifies what we are all so proud of in those who serve in the armed forces. He combined stories about his incredible career experiences with great humour, and he has an exceptional ability to connect with his audience. His leadership lessons can be applied to any work environment. He had us all laughing, crying, and wanting to work in Tim Horton’s in Kandahar. He graciously posed for pictures, and signed copies of his new book, which we gave away as very popular door prizes. Thanks for spending time with our group—we are all new fans!
Credit Union Central of Canada
As our Conference Opening Keynote Speaker you inspired our conference attendees to reach for greater heights in leadership. Your keynote address directly impacted the overall success of our national conference and was very much appreciated by those in attendance. Your session was the highest rated presentation at the conference. The comments I received from our attendees about your presentation throughout the event were outstanding! We are very appreciative of the time you took to prepare and deliver your candid and inspiring presentation.
General Hillier, it was wonderful to meet you at our event. The response to your keynote has been overwhelming. Employees told me they could have listened to you “for hours.” Every employee I have spoken to was just so inspired, loved the stories, and enjoyed the laughter (but some shed a few tears too).
Ivey Business School
General Hillier was able to captivate the audience at the end of a long day/week which says a great deal in and of itself. His humour punctuating very serious issues was incredibly effective. His message about the importance of character and candour to leadership resonated well with the students.
Leadership: 50 Points of Wisdom for Today's Leaders
General Rick Hillier's views on leadership evolved over his three decades as a soldier, first by watching many of his superiors make bad decisions, then by learning from the school of hard knocks as the head of emergency rescue operations in Canada and international task forces in eastern Europe and Afghanistan. Never one to be shy with his opinions, Hillier is as frank and straightforward in Leadership Matters as he is in his #1 bestselling memoir, A Soldier First. For Hillier, leadership is all about people—embracing those in your charge and winning over those you need to work with—not about risk aversion or management fads. Leaders think long, and have a vision. Their actions speak, not their words, and they make their own luck. But leaders also act out of moral courage, accept failure, take advantage of crisis and are perpetually optimistic. Leadership Matters is an inspirational, easy-to-read and, in true Hillier fashion, always entertaining collection of principles that will challenge the way you run your business, start a project or take that next step in life.
A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War
In the summer of 2008, General Rick Hillier retired as Chief of the Defence staff of the Canadian Forces. You could almost hear the sigh of relief in Ottawa as Canada's most popular, and most controversial, military leader since the second World War left a role in which he'd been as frank, unpredictable and resolutely apolitical as any of his predecessors.
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Hillier joined the military as a young man and quickly climbed the ranks. He played a significant role in such domestic challenges as the ice storm that paralyzed much of eastern Ontario and Quebec in 1998, and quickly became a player on the international scene, commanding an American corps in Texas and a multinational NATO task force in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
But it was his role as General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence staff, that defined him as a Canadian icon. In Afghanistan, Canada faced its first combat losses since the Korean War, with every casualty becoming front page news. A country formerly ambivalent, or even angry, about its role in the conflict suddenly became gripped by the drama unfolding not only in a war zone halfway around the world but in unfriendly conference rooms in Ottawa.
There, as everywhere, Hillier pulled no punches, demanding more funding, more troops and more appreciation for the women and men fighting a war on foreign soil. This hard-hitting, honest account of Hillier's role -- told in his own words -- will be one of the most important books published in Canada this decade.