QotD: June 23rd, 2007

From Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford:

“He [Temujin] tried to teach them that the first key to leadership was self-control, particularly the mastery of pride, which was something more difficult, he explained, to subdue than a wild lion, and anger, which was more difficult to defeat than the greatest wrestler. He warned them that “if you can’t swallow your pride, you can’t lead.” He admonished them never to think of themselves as the strongest or smartest. Even the highest mountain had animals that step on it, he warned. When the animals climb to the top of the mountain, they are even higher than it is. In keeping with the laconic Mongol traditions, he warned his sons not to talk too much. Only say what needs to be said. A leader should demonstrate his thoughts and opinions through his actions, not through his words: “He can never be happy until his people are happy.” He stressed to them the importance of vision, goals, and a plan. “Without the vision of a goal, a man cannot manage his own life, much less the lives of others,” he told them.”