Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” as Want to Read:
Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  577 ratings  ·  70 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, 110 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

Peopleware by Tom DeMarcoThe Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew HuntThe Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanThe Mythical Man Month by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Fog Creek Software Management Training Program
89th out of 119 books — 42 voters
The Silent Steppe by Mukhamet ShayakhmetovThe Horse, the Wheel and Language by David W. AnthonyApples Are from Kazakhstan by Christopher RobbinsThe Empire of the Steppes by René GroussetEmpires of the Silk Road by Christopher I. Beckwith
Great Steppe.
45th out of 104 books — 13 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,072)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Patrick Neylan
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
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
Jay Sellers
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
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
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
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 Kirkhart
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
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.
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
Natasha Kolb
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Great little read. The principles are the takeaways with value.
A good book for beginning managers; very basic stuff. Don't let the Hun analogies put you off.
Great for quick tidbits and quotes.
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
The central idea of this book - that Attila must've known something about people - is interesting. Roberts has a very modern interpretation of the history, which might be useful even if it's not true.

Most of the book is written in an aphoristic style, which seemed refreshing at first, but gradually made me wonder if I shouldn't be reading Sun Tzu instead (or eating fortune cookies.)

Oh, and fair warning: Roberts found his exclamation point key! And uses it! A lot! Just like the great Attila would
Diogo Silva
Um livro com ideias e lições que atravessaram o tempo e espaço e mantém-se tão modernas quanto o eram à mais de 1000 anos atrás.
Jan 16, 2008 Mdp411 rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Managers, supervisors, parents
Recommended to Mdp411 by: Can't remember
I read this book a long time ago and yet I still think of it from time to time and find myself recalling some of the many great leadership points that were made by the author. Incredibly funny yet very profound accounts (imaginary of course) from one of the world's greatest leaders, Attila the Hun. This will not disappoint.
This is one of the best leadership books I've ever read. It is done very metaphorically, but gets to the point of leadership very well. This is a great book that you can finish straight through in a couple of hours or a book you can set in the reading room and just read ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
Lm Huffman
As a history teacher, I take great issue with any nonfiction text purporting to share historical facts without any kind of citations or bibliography. Also, the gimmick of having Attila the Hunt share his best boardroom secrets simply doesn't work. It comes off as corny and illegitimate.
This is, in many ways, obvious advice about how to win friends, influence people, and effectively lead a group. However, it provides a lot of interesting history about Attila the Hun and couches the advice so cleverly in Attila's history as to avoid being banal or condescending.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dare to Win
  • 1001 Ways to Reward Employees
  • The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age
  • Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times
  • Intellectual Capital: The new wealth of organization
  • Leadership Lessons of Jesus
  • Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge
  • Patton on Leadership
  • Robert E. Lee on Leadership: Executive Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision
  • Managing in a Time of Great Change
  • There's No Such Thing as "Business" Ethics: There's Only One Rule for Making Decisions
  • 13 fatal errors managers make and how you can avoid them
  • All You Can Do Is All You Can Do But All You Can Do Is Enough!
  • The Oz Principle: Getting Results through Individual and Organizational Accountability
  • The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around You
  • A Concise History of the Middle East
  • Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will
  • Leadership by the Book: Tools to Transform Your Workplace
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
More about Wess Roberts...
تقدير ممتاز لم يجعل أحداً ثرياً أبداً : دروس في الإنجاز الشخصي Make It So (Star Trek: The Next Generation) Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun The Best Advice Ever For Leaders It Takes More Than a Carrot and a Stick: Practical Ways for Getting Along with People You Can't Avoid at Work

Share This Book