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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Power of togetherness

Do not miss this thrilling story to apply in life
Dear Hariharan ,
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race starts this Saturday, March 6. Unlike
any other event in the world, this race, which begins in Anchorage and
ends in Nome, Alaska, covers over 1,150 miles of some of the most
extreme terrain known to man. I’ve known about The Iditarod for years,
but after reading Chris Fuller’s Iditarod Leadership,
I now have much more of an appreciation for the competitors and the
event which has been called “The Last Great Race on Earth.”

In 2008, author Chris Fuller experienced his own Iditarod adventure
by leading a team of dogs in Nome, Alaska, allowing him to learn,
firsthand, the value of true leadership and its impact on the team.
To illustrate these leadership concepts,
Chris combined personal experiences with business fiction and has
written   Iditarod Leadership: Unleashing the Power of the Team. If
you’re ready to become a Master Leader, then let the adventure begin!
To Your Success,
Eric Harvey
Eric Harvey

Excerpted from Iditarod Leadership
Prologue: A Race to Save Lives
January 21, 1925—It had been a frigid winter and like most days the
temperature never even reached zero—today, the high would be -5°F.
The usual winter sicknesses made their rounds throughout the town,
keeping the doctor busy. However, a new strain—something different—
had been attacking their immune systems, and the young Inuits were
particularly vulnerable. The process of diagnosing, treating, assessing
and altering treatment had led to this point. Dr. Curtis Welch had
come to the realization that what he was chasing
was a deadly outbreak of Diphtheria.

The villagers of this remote northern port located along the Bering
Sea would not survive without the antitoxin. The search begins for
the life saving serum, but as time wore on, the distance grew with
every telegraph… Finally, the only serum in Alaska was found.
Where? How many miles? His heart sank. A thousand miles away?
A thousand miles of frozen, Alaskan wilderness away? The serum
was in the care of Dr. J. B. Beeson at the Alaska Railroad Hospital in
Anchorage. How fast can it be transported? The usual
method for transportation during the summer months was
steamship, but the sea had iced in the town since October, and it
wouldn’t thaw until June.

What about planes? Would someone be so daring as to fly during
these conditions and attempt the landing? The only two available
planes had been disassembled and neither had ever flown in winter.
The call for help reached the Governor and the request for an
alternate route was approved. The Alaskan Railroad ferried the
medicine more than 250 miles north to Nenana. But from that point
on, the traveling was treacherous.
From there began what became known as “The Great Race 
of Mercy.”

Just before Midnight, January 27, with the clock ticking, the serum
and the survival of the town was transferred into the hands of rugged
men and their teams of sled dogs who would race across some of the
most brutal terrain and the harshest conditions that
Mother Nature has to offer.

When the first musher left Nenana, the temperature reportedly
hovered at -50°F. The volunteer mushers transferred this
“Baton of Life” 18 times—until it reached the hands
of Leonhard Seppala and his Lead dog, Togo, considered by many to
be the true heroes of the run. Together they covered the most
hazardous stretch of the route and carried the serum farther than
any other team.
The twentieth and final transfer was made and, according to legend,
the serum wasnearly lost when a huge gust of wind toppled the sled
of this final musher. The musher frantically dug the serum out of the
snow with his bare hands, righted his sled and
continued on. February 2 at 5:30 a.m., just five days and
seven hours after leaving Nenana, the Norwegian, Gunnar Kaasen,
and his Lead dog, Balto, arrived on Front Street in Nome.

Salvation came through Courage, Skill, Teamwork, and 

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