Profile: Genghis Khan

By | May 22, 2016

[May 22, 2016]  The special characteristics that exemplify a great leader are no secret.  And so it is with the infamous Genghis Khan; conqueror of more territory than any man and feared by his enemies.  But does he deserve the harsh and unflattering portrayal as a ruthless, bloodthirsty savage like we’ve come to believe?

Genghis Kahn, actual name Temüjin, was born in 1162 to a humble family that experienced hardship.  At a young age his father was murdered and his family thrown out by their clan to starve.  He was to rise from those tragedies and establish the largest land empire in history.  While many were killed in the course of the invasions of their lands by the Mongols, Genghis Khan also brought religious freedom to his subjects, abolished torture, encouraged trade, and created the first international postal system.1

“Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard.” – Genghis Khan

Anyone who studies or practices leadership knows that it is impossible to be a good leader without the sharing of key traits with all other leaders.  From ancient written history we are fortunate to have available information about him.  Genghis Khan’s leadership traits were:

  • Uniter of people
  • Surrounded himself with intelligent, wise, and experienced people
  • Strong leader with a vision
  • Walked the Talk
  • Shared glory and rewards with his troops
  • Practiced determination
  • Open to people’s religious beliefs
  • Rewarded loyalty
  • Knew when to fight and when to hold
  • Ability to hold his emotions in check

Genghis Khan had the discipline, emotional intelligence, and ambition to conquer and unify the Mongols.  These are the same traits that prepare leaders for the unknown and unexpected.  He was a resilient, flexible leader who was able to bring people to his side and unite them in a common cause.  For this he is often referred to as the “greatest general in history.”

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.