Perspective And Impressions

Genghis Khan understood the value of perspective.

“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 mountains had animals that step on it, he warned.” – Jack Weatherly, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

As a warrior, he helped the Mongols develop a purpose and culture unlike any other.

When they fought in battle, it was with a singular strategic purpose in mind: to preserve Mongol life. It was said that they did not enjoy fighting so much as they enjoyed winning. Every single campaign had the same goal – total victory.

At a young age, Genghis learned the value of actions over words. When he was captured by a rival tribe, he was shocked that another family with no relationship to him was willing to risk their lives to help him.

He would later learn to judge others primarily by their actions toward him and not according to their family bond.

When in due diligence, talk is cheap. While words matter, actions matter more. Can you and your team hit the deadlines?

Do you have the right people in the right positions to help you uncover any financial or physical concerns?

When you are up against a clock, it is better to have a team with experience working together. It is better to have a team whose actions match their words.

The entire purpose of diligence is to see what you can discover.

But be careful, as Epictetus warns us. Our impressions of things can quickly spin out of control.

“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.” – Epictetus

Sometimes issues are not issues at all. Other times there are small concerns that can grow into deal killers. Either way, you should be learning and working with an open mind, not just during diligence, but in all areas of your life.

You should be prepared. You should be approaching each new task with a beginner’s eye.

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” – Epictetus

Even in ancient Greece, men knew as we know now – that to get better you need to put your ego aside. You need to put in the work. You need to train before, during and after the main event.

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