While reading the book Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford, I was struck by the modern vision of this extraordinary warrior. If Genghis Khan were around today, he would probably be heading a multi-national corporation, lauded in the business press for his brilliant strategic skills. Indeed, thanks to his tactical prowess, the steppe-based Khan subjugated more lands and people in just 25 years than the Romans did in 400 years. His reign instilled progressive values such as universal religious freedom, women’s rights, and a meritocracy that obliterated the feudal system of aristocratic privilege. He also set up a spectacularly effective administrative, currency and logistical system. How did this illiterate man from a wild territory come to reign over the “developed” world? One word: vision. Reading about some advice Khan gave to his sons, I heard echoes of the advice I often give clients for writing a good essay: “He stressed to them the importance of vision, goals and a plan”… “A leader should demonstrate his thoughts and opinions through his actions, not through his words”… and “Only say what needs to be said.” Indeed, a strong application must reflect a clear idea of what you would like to accomplish in your career, along with how and why. You must also show what you have done or intend to do, rather than simply state it. And you must be succinct.
The book is chock full of insightful leadership lessons and reading about this man’s life is fascinating proof that no matter where you come from, vision can carry you very far.
Accepted.com editor Tanis Kmetyk has been posting over the past few days while Linda Abraham was on vacation.
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