THE LEADERSHIP SECRETS OF GENGHIS KHAN: now in India

20
Vote


New Delhi September 17, 2010, 0:44 IST
Where Genghis Khan’s body was buried is an 800-year-old secret. Tradition says it was near Burkhan Khaldun, the tallest of the Khentii mountains in Mongolia. The mountain was declared a taboo zone, apparently to honour the Khan’s wish that his resting place remain obscure. Legends speak of burial slaves killed and their killers, Mongol soldiers, also put to death, to protect the site. In reality, the burial must have been a deliberately low-key affair, resulting in a modest grave, nothing like the vast, treasure-stuffed tombs and tumuli of lesser monarchs.

Legend also suggests that Genghis has, like King Arthur, merely gone away for a while, and will return when his people need him. John Man, one of Genghis’ modern biographers, writes that shrines to the Khan proliferate in his native land, and that children include drawings of Genghis among their family photographs. Knowing all this, the Soviets, who dominated 20th century Mongolia and feared regional nationalism, preferred Genghis Khan to lie quiet.

Since Mongolia left the Communist era, it has aggressively reappropriated Genghis Khan — more accurately, Chinggis Khaan. That name is on the airport and on all manner of consumer good, and his face is on the currency notes. The largest equestrian statue in the world, near the capital Ulaanbaatar, depicts the conqueror astride a huge stainless-steel horse. Genghis in Mongolia is bigger than Gandhi and the Nehrus in India. He’s bigger even than Rajinikanth. He is, according to one Mongolian quoted in the New York Times last year, “our hero, our father, our god”.
To John Man, this posthumous glorification and the Khan’s own unwillingness to be personally venerated together provide proof of Genghis’ unusual effectiveness as a leader. That thought came to him as he wrote his biography, Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection, published in 2005. It led, in 2009, to this book on Genghis’ “leadership secrets”, now available in India.

This looks like a book for corporate types (the cover shows a BlackBerry with an arrow stuck in it; what is that, Obama versus Genghis?) but really it focuses tightly on Genghis’ career as a unifier and conqueror. Man tells a succinct version of Genghis’ life story via its high and low points. At every point, he extracts and highlights either the lesson learnt by Genghis, or the facet of his character that allowed him to make the most of it.

Before we get to that, here is Man describing Genghis’ impact on world history. Imagine, he writes, that: “In the 1870s, Geronimo [an Apache leader] unites the North American Indians. He seizes arms, devises new tactics, destroys wagon trains, defeats the armies of the post-bellum United States. He directs his armies, now reinforced with white troops, westward to California, eastward to New York and Washington. Canada falls. With the wealth of the north behind him, he turns on Mexico, then in another brilliant campaign pushes north, through Alaska, and on over the Bering Strait into Siberia. By the turn of the century, all the Americas and a good deal of Russia are ruled by a man born into an unknown clan of unlettered, feuding Indians. China prepares for war. European powers humbly seek accommodation.”

Yes, you can stop laughing now. Genghis was that kind of man, and his accomplishments, says Man, are on that kind of scale. He started as plain Temüjin, son of a minor nobleman. His family suffered catastrophe when he was still a teenager: his father was killed by rivals, and the family wealth snatched away. Yet, within 20 years, Temüjin had unified the Mongol tribes; in 20 more years, he won the largest land empire in history. Along the way he picked up his title of Genghis Khan.

At the family’s lowest point, Genghis’ mother Hoelun taught him a lesson. When young Genghis killed his half-brother Begter over a minor disagreement, Hoelun, says Man, was distraught. Instead of avoiding confrontation, she chastised Genghis severely, yet “in an emotionally secure context”. That way, says Man, “Far from repressing, he takes it all on board, and then, when grown up… he wants his people to absorb his experience: the crime, its potentially disastrous consequences and the resolution.”

Man plays a historian’s little trick here, in order to describe inner motives at this distance of time. His source is The Secret History of the Mongols, the earliest book in written Mongolian. It is a near-contemporary account of Genghis’ life, compiled in 1228 when the Mongol leaders met to confirm Genghis’ son Ogedei as his successor. So, it is a court text, and “reflects the way Genghis wished himself to be presented”. What’s unusual is that the Secret History, as the Hoelun anecdote shows, includes cases where Genghis went astray. The message, Man speculates, is that Genghis wished to show himself as a man, not infallible yet marked by Heaven for universal rule.

To the Secret History Man adds modern leadership theory and psychology. This way he can explain how Genghis went from outcast to world ruler, and further, why his dynasty did not collapse immediately after, as did that of Attila the Hun in the 5th century. Alongside the narrative, there are 21 boxes for the 21 “leadership secrets”. I’ll summarise for you. Know your message and make sure all your subordinates believe in it. Never put your self before your purpose. Be flexible as to the means. Have a succession plan. And: get Heaven on your side.

THE LEADERSHIP SECRETS OF GENGHIS KHAN
John Man
Random House
viii + 184 pages; Rs 499

[Story Source] [Contest win Rs 1000-100,000 now]

This post was submitted by somya harsh.

Related Posts
TEES MAAR KHAN Music Launch in Train: New way to link with the audience

TEES MAAR KHAN Music Launch in Train: New way to link with the audience

It seems that the Mohammed has decided that it is high time and that it needs to connect with the mountain. The statement is being made factoring in the initiative taken for the launch of the music of...

Leave a Reply

 
We will keep You Updated...
Get Free Email Newsletter from VoteUpIndia Sign up for our free email newsletter. (Help?)
Read latest headlines in your favorite news reader
Follow VoteUpIndia  on Twitter Become a VoteUpIndia Fan on Facebook Subscribe to VoteUpIndia in Google Reader Add VoteUpIndia  to My Yahoo Add VoteUpIndia  to Netvibes Subscribe to Free Techie Buzz RSS Feed
Sponsored Links
Advertisements
Featured Video
Amazon
Best Storytellers
Powered by Authors Widget
Recent Posts

McDonald's Suspends Employee, Probes Child's Eviction From Pune Outlet

PUNE: After reports emerged that an eight-year-old destitute child was thrown out of an outlet of...

Why Arjun Made a Humble Request to Cast Sonakshi in Tevar

It's all about wearing your Tevar, this new year. Arjun Kapoor looked dapper at the initial promotions...

5 things Modi needs to do ASAP, after Bihar loss

It's not correct to transpose the outcome from a state election as a referendum on the central government,...

Sehwag's half century in All Star tournament.

The first match has been really special. We thoroughly enjoyed being here. New York, you were brilliant....

Bihar Defeat May Lead to Silent Rebellion in BJP Against PM, Amit Shah: Arun Shourie to NDTV

NEW DELHI: In the aftermath of the BJP's debacle in Bihar, Arun Shourie, one time admirer of Narendra...

Court Refuses to Stop Gillette Razor Ad Starring Deepika Padukone

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused to stop a Gillette razor advertisement starring Deepika...

Bigg Boss 9: Roopal Tyagi voted out of the house

TV actor Roopal Tyagi was evicted from reality show Bigg Boss on Sunday’s episode. Roopal is the...
Recent Comments
How i can submit my story...? and where i can see the staus of votes for this?
IFFI lose its art value,so it became lose it commercial value
Dear sir I am sending an article which is based on true story and needs your help to lime light such incidents which never come in
Thanks for the interesting article. Great Post. Keep it up
It is indeed heartening to learn that LSE, the world leader in higher education, will join hands with the most admired Reliance Foun
Tag Cloud