Genghis Khan Book Reflection
When you hear of Genghis Khan, you generally think of the ruthless warlord he was. But how did he become one?
One of my biggest takeaways was seeing how many times he failed and how that inspired his future army. Before Genghis was called Genghis, Temujin had his entire wealth stolen from him more than a few times, and he also had his wives stolen and family members assassinated. Before he won his first battle, he lost plenty. But it was his natural gift for leadership that kept him going.
Natural-born leaders never give up because they know people are watching them and look up to them. If they give up, it will cause a ripple effect to others thinking it's okay to give up. After all, if your boss is not doing a lot of work at the company you work for, wouldn't it demotivate you?
Temujin would have never been Genghis if it weren't for all the losses he encountered. He experienced so much trauma throughout his life he left no stone unturned when he invaded cities. He knew that leaving the wrong man alive meant someone who could raise an army and come back in 20 years to seek revenge because he was one of those men. His ruthless personality, in my opinion, was a consequence of the trauma he experienced on the losing side of war growing up.
So when Temujin turned into Genghis, and his winning streak began, it was not luck. All the men who followed him watched him fail time and time again. They were highly motivated by Genghis leading them into battle every time, so much so that he needed to hide his death from them while they were at war, and his army begged him to go home when he got sick. He was a true captain and went down with his ship (in this case, he died in an unmarked grave on the battlefield). So even in death, Genghis wanted to set an example. Why should he have a large tomb when all the soldiers who died for him didn't?
I found it more interesting who Genghis was before he was Genghis (when he was named Temujin). It was interesting to see how his childhood experiences in war shaped the warlord he would become.
So in the future, when I study famous historical figures, it would be unwise to leave out studying who they were before they were famous.
For who they were before they were famous was their reason for fame.