Is a leader born with the quark of leadership? We live in a society where we believe leadership is a quality we must be born with. Many people believe that leaders have to be good at everything. Some believe if a leader makes a mistake, he is unworthy of being a leader. There are many debates about unleashing true leadership.


So how does a real leader is born?

Story of TOGO

Have you ever heard of the dog named Togo? If you ever knew Balto in the Disney movie, you should also be aware of Togo. Togo is a Siberian Husky Sled Dog who was the 1925 Nome Serum Run Hero. In the winter of 1925, a deadly diphtheria outbreak attacked the northern port of Nome, Alaska. This outbreak threatened many of the 10,000 people living in the Nome area. Including children many children passed away due to this outbreak. As a blizzard approached, cancelling air travel and rail services, the officials located an antitoxin for the illness. However, the serum could only be transported by rail to Nenana, which was 674 miles away from Nome. So the officials determined the only way to deliver the serum in time was with the help of the sledge dogs. That is where Togo came in, he and his team led in the ice-cold blizzard to transport the antitoxin to Nome. He was a saviour who saved 1000 of people’s life. 

Why so special?

Togo’s uniqueness stems from his puppyhood illnesses, which caused his owner, Leonhard Seppala, a breeder and racer of Siberian huskies, to lose interest in him. However, Seppala refused to give up on Togo. He refused to be in Seppala’s teams, and Togo was a very troublesome and mischievous puppy. Togo caused so much trouble during trails and runs. Seppala knew the potential of Togo, and he trained him to be the team’s lead dog. With the correct guidance, on his first day, even though he is an inexperienced sledge dog, Togo ran over 75 miles. Even though  Togo had a rough beginning, he became a true leader and a saviour who saved thousands of lives. Seppala’s owner said, “I never had a better dog than Togo. His stamina, loyalty, and intelligence were unsurpassed. Togo was the best dog that ever travelled the Alaska trail.”


Message to remember

As Togo, we are never born as true leaders. We learn with experience and we need proper guidance to develop ourselves to become true leaders. So to learn how to be a true leader, AIESEC is the best place for it. AIESEC helps us to build ourselves and embrace us to face new challenges.AIESEC guides young youth into being the best version of themselves. We don’t believe in perfectionists. We believe that even small troublemakers will grow up to become passionate, innovative, amazing, and inspiring young leaders.


Sanduni Niwunhalla

AIESEC in University of Colombo 

Tags: , , , Last modified: