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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  694 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
This is the book you've heard about. The book that leaped to the top ranks of the bestseller lists. The book that's got the business world reading, thinking, and quoting. This is the book that reveals the leadership secrets of Attila the Hun-the man who centuries ago shaped an aimless band of mercenary tribal nomads into the undisputed rulers of the ancient world, and who ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1987)
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Patrick Neylan
Jan 13, 2012 Patrick Neylan rated it did not like it
Shelves: business
Let's not forget that, within months of Attila's death, his empire was overthrown by a rebellion of his vassals. If your goal as a leader is to create a structure that is only held together by the immensity of your own ego, then Attila might be a good role model for your business career. You could be the next Robert Maxwell.

This book was briefly in vogue in the 1990s. It was popular because it was different, not because it was done well. The idea of a 20th anniversary reissue is based on the fa
Mar 04, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it
i mean, this little book of truisms was just bad. it was cheesy and not at all what i would consider original, as the author assured it would be in the preface. it was funny, if you don't mind taking in your humor a la Sesame Street. All the, "I, Atilla, the King of the Huns, implore you to" shite was just too much for me. No wonder Ross Perot liked it. If anything, this book proves that most people are destined to be lemmings, buying a book just because Ross Perot did. (like the Coach K book, a ...more
May 06, 2014 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, 2014
Fast read, but no new info on leadership here.

1) Beyond a list of leadership qualities that you can adapt for any industry and argue they will lead to success, we are given bon mots like "you've got to want to lead" and "pick your enemies wisely".
2) Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Be sure you conduct yourself accordingly, because you are always being watched.
3) Take responsibility, be decisive, delegate, negotiate, be resilient, and reward and recognize great performance. Lear
Jay Sellers
Dec 29, 2014 Jay Sellers rated it it was ok
This was on a list of preferred reading for those entering an MBA program. I think that I might need to find a new list.
David Nelson
Aug 27, 2014 David Nelson rated it really liked it
The BOOK, by the way, pretends to be a collection of campfire stories or fireside chats held by Attila while training his chieftains to be better leaders. Some may not like the take-charge attitude Roberts presents, based on Attila’s style, but it can it can serve as the foundation upon which to build other skills to apply in all professional fields. “Without challenge, a Hun’s potential is never realized.”


#1: YOU'VE GOT TO WANT TO BE IN CHARGE -- You've got to b
Aug 22, 2012 Erik rated it it was ok
Attila was tactically smart....strategically a disaster. His campaigns depleted much of the breeding stock of the Hun's horses. For a horse culture this was disastrous. Result, within a generation of his death the Huns had practically disappeared. The author was obviously unaware of this...or like many people in the business community he was more concerned with short term quarterly goals instead of long term success. In short, I wouldn't follow Attila's example if you want to build a long lastin ...more
Ray Kelly
Feb 17, 2015 Ray Kelly rated it it was ok
In Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Robert Wess draws from the imaginary thoughts of one of history's most effective and least beloved leaders, Attila the Hun, to discover leadership principles that managers could potentially apply to their own situation. By AD 451, Attila's army consisted of 700,000 warriors, and the Huns had a reputation for cruelty and barbarism that was not undeserved. They ate their meat raw (often human flesh) and had a strong appetite for murder and mayhem. Wess prov ...more
Hannah Wilkinson
Apr 23, 2014 Hannah Wilkinson rated it liked it
I basically picked this up because of the historical aspect, but I did enjoy what the author had to say about leadership, especially in such a unique way. It's a quick read length-wise, but may need more time to fully digest the many points the author provides. The "secrets" are presented as if Attila was speaking to his Huns around the campfire, which was a bit strange since these are not his words (as the author clearly states) so it felt like a blend of non-fiction and fiction. I liked the di ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Ramon rated it it was ok
I just finished this book. It isn't a complete flop and waste of time but it isn't the best book you will ever read.
I enjoyed its quick lessons. Each chapter is no more than a few pages long and goes into "depth" on one of the attributes of Attila, King if Huns mentioned earlier.
The introduction killed this book for me because it went into some details about the life of Attila, King of Huns that it later rehashes for a leadership lesson.
If you have not read many leadership books or are just g
Awful. Absolutely horrible. I don't care that Ross Perot loved it and gave it to all of his EDS employees. It took all of my power to read twenty pages before I finally gave up. I give up on a book maybe once a decade or so, so this is not something I do frequently.

I recommend reading the Lincoln on Leadership instead.
Monica Copeland
Cheesy but the history info is fun.

Sadly, I can't follow Attila's tips w/kids cuz his strategy for inefficient members is to cut them out of the group. So, I guess my students won't be my horde of Huns.
Thomas Brasher
Mar 09, 2016 Thomas Brasher rated it it was ok
Was it anything new? No.

I have not read any leadership book before (besides The Art Of War) and even for a first read I already knew of everything the book preached about. The leadership skills and tips were painfully basic and I could not wait to finish the damn book.

Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it to a person who even knows an ounce of an information about leadership? Nah man, you've heard it all before. Would I recommend it to someone who has no clue as to how to be a good le
Jan 18, 2016 Mark rated it it was ok
Shelves: business-finance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natasha Kolb
May 04, 2015 Natasha Kolb rated it it was ok
Too boring to finish
Haley Mathiot
Leadership secrets of Attila the Hun by Wess Roberts, PhD
Read by James Lurie
Genre: Non-Fiction: Self Help, Instruction
Rating: 3.5/5

Review: Wess Roberts gives a brief summary of the life of Attila the Hun, and then shows how you can use simple character traits to be a leader in modern society. The advice is down to earth and easy to apply to many aspects of your life.

The only thing I felt was lacking was a Christian perspective, but the book was not a Christian book so I wasn’t expecting it. Howe
Monika K
May 10, 2011 Monika K rated it liked it
Vaguely remembering my history lessons back in high school, I recalled the name of Attila the Hun. In pop culture his name has always been attached to a negative connotation and the references to him have never painted a positive picture of his intentions. This is perhaps what drew me into reading Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun. I have never been a history buff but it is an interesting twist to take someone as ruthless and fiend worthy as the King of the Huns and use him as a model for lea ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Ale rated it liked it
As some have already noted in other reviews this book is a good introduction and base of leadership and noble qualities. The content of this book is not exceptionally unknown for I personally naturally live by some of the perspectives expressed within the book from my own experiences, teachings, and pure logic. For that reason I give it an okay review because the book is a good start and recap of how one should begin their journey as a leader/admirable person in this world.
Ben Kline
An interesting take on leadership roles, advice, and leadership talk. Most of the advice in the book are common sense, practical things, that any leader should know. It's good to have these in one place, one source, for a new leader to read; but this isn't anything ultimately indispensable. Fun light read with an intriguing take on things, nothing more than that though really.
Sep 07, 2015 Sara rated it did not like it
Hokey, is what this book is. It's common sense clothed in a far-reaching analogy. I found it hard to take seriously, especially when "Atilla" addresses his huns. I can't understand why anyone would use this book in a professional setting; I would hope the employees it's given to are far more intelligent than this dribble.
Alberto Lucini
Dec 29, 2015 Alberto Lucini rated it really liked it
A good book for any young reader, high school or college. The lessons taught in leadership seminars are all included here for quick reading and learning. The format is annoyingly repetitive with each lesson, but necessary for consistency.
Jason Jay
Mar 11, 2016 Jason Jay rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It teaches about leadership principles using fictional stories surrounding the military campaigns of Attila the Hun. As a history teacher I found this fun to read as well as motivational and inspiring.
This book is a fairly easy read. The author follows an interesting approach. Each chapter gives a small historical episode about Attila, then for the advice segment, where you get the lessons, he would set up little scenes of Attila talking to his chieftains. It is unlikely the great warrior sat around dispensing advice, but it makes for good reading, and it makes for a good way to get the lessons. Now, as for the lessons, much of it is common sense, but I can see how the book, at its time, was ...more
John Sakalauskas
Jan 24, 2016 John Sakalauskas rated it liked it
Entertaining with interesting facts about Attila the Hun. Excellent recommendations about overcoming defeat and not becoming a victim of it but there is difficulty transferring Attila's style to the present.
Jan 02, 2015 Rickey rated it did not like it
Shelves: leadership
I read this, I think, back sometime in 1992. At the time, I thought I needed to learn this type of leadership style. Luckily, more effective leaders and their styles have come across my path.
Josh B
Mar 17, 2016 Josh B rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I was assigned this book for a professional development class and loved it so much I bought it to be able to read it again and again.
Apr 23, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it
awesome book of insights - the Attila the Hun tie-in was a bit hokey and far-fetched but the leadership principles throughout were gold.
Peter Finnie
Apr 22, 2014 Peter Finnie rated it really liked it
Great little read. The principles are the takeaways with value.
Sep 15, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
A good book for beginning managers; very basic stuff. Don't let the Hun analogies put you off.
May 28, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
Great for quick tidbits and quotes.
May 18, 2013 JP rated it it was ok
It's an interesting concept, but for me it failed in execution. Though far from our image of a heroic leader, Attila, the "Scourge of God," still must have had excellent charisma and leadership skills. This book uses his history as a device for framing a series of leadership messages. It didn't resonate with me. The lessons are too varied to carry any deep impact and not heavy enough for any substantial historic connection. Some of the lessons encourage cut-throat tactics we now associate with a ...more
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Wess Roberts is The New York Times bestselling author of Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Straight A’s Never Made Anybody Rich, Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun, co-author of Make It So, Protect Your Achilles Heel, It Takes More Than a Carrot and a Stick, The Best Advice Ever for Leaders, and collaborated with Brigadier General John C. “Doc” Bahnsen, Jr. in the penning of American Warrior. H ...more
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