Genghis Khan
Leadership Case Study

Genghis Khan Leadership Case Study is a part of Leadership Stories, a series of biographies of great leaders in history that have impacted the world in a huge way.

Genghis Khan Leadership
Who was He?

Genghis Khan is one of history’s greatest conquerors.

During his reign, he conquered more land than any other ruler in history would, having his territory reach twice the size of the Roman Empire.

A Short History

Genghis Khan, first known as Temujin, was the son of a leader of a Mongolian tribe. He was brought up in a time of warring tribes and factions.

He would be taken away from a world of innocence when his father was poisoned by a rival tribe, and there his first brushes with war began.

In his time, tribes would form strategic alliances through marriage and that was what Khan did to strengthen his tribe. He married a woman at a young age so that his tribe would not be threatened.

However, things took a turn when a rival tribe the Merkits would invade his home and steal his wife. Khan fleed and went to his blood brother Jamuka for help. This was the beginning of his ascent to power.

With the utter destruction of the Merkits, Khan began to unite the smaller Mongol tribes to form a confederation.

Khan had an innovative way of integrating the smaller rival tribes; he would allow them to come under his protection after he had defeated them. This helped Khan’s ascent to power.

Not longer after, he would be attacking China to the South and in one campaign, he managed to conquer Beijing, forcing the Chinese to retreat southward.

Khan had wished to establish trade routes with the Persian Empire to the West; but the Persian Empire had no such wish. In one occasion, they returned the heads of Khan’s ambassador. This greatly angered Khan and he began his westward campaign.

He brought carnage, utter destruction to the cities; destroying everything in his path and fought his way to the borders of Europe. However, a important domestic leadership issue had come up at the moment, causing Khan to return to his homeland, and Europe was spared.

Khan died in 1227, and left his kingdom to his son, Odegei Khan. His descendents would further his Empire after his death.

Genghis Khan
Leadership Lessons

1. Be a great student

Although Genghis Khan was a great conqueror, he never stopped becoming open to new cultures and he was very open to learn from the technologies, practices and even religions of the different territories he conquered.

A great leader never stops learning and it is the key to your success too. You must be humble enough to realize that you can learn from anyone, anywhere no matter how far you have come as a leader; there’s always something you can learn from anyone.

This attitude helps you to constantly improve and become better with each day, aiding the growth of your organization.

2. Cultivate discipline in your men

Once again, Genghis Khan has shown the importance of discipline through the way he has trained the army that almost conquered the known world.

Khan would put his troops through vigorous and strict military training, teaching his men to shoot deadly accurate arrows while riding on horses.

Through that discipline, he managed to vanquish most of his opponents who were far less trained than his fearsome army. 

If you want to vanquish your competition today, the same principle applies. Instill a level of discipline within your organization such that you’ll do so much better in whatever your industry is in. No management technique or framework can replace the power of simple discipline.

3. Preparation is key

When battling the nomadic tribes of Mongolia, Khan would prepare several military tactics and traps before that before facing off with his enemy. He was extremely meticulous and planned his attacks very carefully. As a result, he managed to defeated several other factions, and eventually even the great city of Beijing.

Similarly, whatever business, project or game you enter into; you should always do prior preparation mentally as well as tactically. By being prepared and ensuring that your men are prepared, you prepare yourself for success.

The saying goes: Good luck is when preparation meets opportunity. When you prepare everyone for the task or project ahead, you are positioning your team for victory. 

Related Books on
Genghis Khan Leadership

Best Quotes from
Genghis Khan Leadership

With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you.

The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters.

It is not sufficient that I succeed - all others must fail.

I am the punishment of God...If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.

If my body dies, let my body die, but do not let my country die.

Video on
Genghis Khan Leadership

Other Links

Wikipedia: A highly detailed account of the life of Genghis Khan

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