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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,115 ratings  ·  116 reviews
A unique approach to the art of leadership from a renowned psychologist.
Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published October 15th 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1987)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,115 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Patrick Neylan
Apr 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Oh geez, the pathetic tactic of borrowing someone else's name and prestige to sell a no-name author's ideas and books. The worst part of this was that his intended audience, Americans, probably don't even know who Attila the Hun was, let alone why anyone should care about his so-called leadership secrets. Know your audience, come on man. This book is full of conjectures and loose assumptions. Should have been called "Leadership Secrets of Wess Roberts".
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.
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.
The rating is mostly for nostalgia; this was the only "business book" my dad owned. The attila gimmick seems just to be a vehicle for the author to express his (authoritarian, hierarchical) values.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
just read the last twenty or so pages to get the gist of the book. Attila has nothing to do with it.
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Natasha Kolb
Too boring to finish
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
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To date, I have read many books on management that include gimmicks in their presentation. The author of this one uses one of the most unusual tactics that is surprisingly effective. Even the person least acquainted with history has most likely heard of Attila the Hun, historically known as “the scourge of God.” To use someone that murdered rivals and ordered the slaughter of all the inhabitants of towns and cities as a role model seems to be odd and inappropriate.
However, as Roberts explains
Jaymes Dunlap
Generally a fair book on Attila the Hun from a historical overview. There were also important principles regarding leadership. Better, I think, for inexperienced leaders.

So why am I rating it only three stars? This is not so much a book analyzing Attila's leadership objectively (although there is that aspect), but rather how Roberts consolidated a bunch of leadership materials and tried to fit them to Attila the Hun. As quoted in his preface:

"But I didn't choose Attila as the metaphoric charac
Emmett Chase
Feb 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
New York Times Bestseller? Endorsed by H. Ross Perot? I recently read "On Becoming a Leader" (just in case I ever need to lead someone somewhere) and it gave me a different perspective for self-reflection, it seemed to focus on ability, competence and ambition. When I found this book I thought it might give some insight to the other side: hitting below the belt, eye-gouging and throwing bricks at things. I was disappointed.

If you really want to a read a book about leadership and this is the only
☭ Jarrod
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a most excellent read, and I couldn't help myself agreeing with several of the main points Attila brings up about leadership (well, not Attila directly, but from someone who studied him, then presented ideas that he believed Attila himself would voice - verified by several others who have studied Attila).

Whilst I maintain no illusions that the man would be considered a "progressive" in today's era, many of his ideas were no doubt revolutionary at the time. And, I think that they are jus
Loved this book (who doesn't), organizational behavior is one of my favorite studies. In contrast to books by Machiavelli and Robert Green, that emphasize the darker leadership arts, "Leadership Secrets" draws on strategies that are clear, firm, but fair. Having said that, I am all for collaborative leadership. Collaborative leadership is all about creating synergy and channeling the energy of team members--often driven by ambitions and talents--into a common direction through communication and ...more
A great book for junior leaders. I enjoyed this book when I read it many years ago. I selected this book as a source for junior leader training and discussion. The mixing of historical fact with fictitious campfire chats that convey leadership lessons as a great vehicle to keep students interested. I conducted several rounds of large group sessions with this book and was always very satisified with how the book captured student interest, sparked discussion and emphasized important leadership les ...more
Eric Sexton
There's a lot of good advice regarding leadership here but I couldn't get over the fact that the author used a semi-mythical historical figure to project his opinions regarding leadership. Also, I reject the idea that leadership is something that can be read in a book. Either ya got it or ya don't. But there were some nuggets in here I'll keep in my tool box. You can probably read this in about an hour or two at most.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
"Do not waste stamina trying to negotiate with implacable, uncooperative enemies."

"It takes less courage to criticize the decision of others than to stand by your own."

In the chapter "Booty: Rewarding Your Huns", there's the sentence "Controlling the undisciplined desire for booty among our horde is necessary for our civilization to triumph over barbaric customs" which makes immature-me laugh :D
Mary Pat
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, it's short. I don't think you can get more 80s business advice than this, other than watching the Future Stock episode of Futurama. The book is a mess in terms of organization, and while there is good advice in there, it's the same good advice one gets from centuries of leadership tomes. Also, I don't think the bit about killing opponents works well today.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s okay. I had to read it for a leadership class at work. It seems like there should be someone better than Attila the Hun. The key points are good. I wasn’t a fan of the author writing as Attila, it didn’t add anything and seemed hokey. Quick and easy read but there’s a lot better leadership books out there.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would be nice if he had departed from his story telling theme to list the complete set of principles at the end of the book, but it was still a good read that reinforced many of the techniques well known to many.
Azimah  Othman
Apr 10, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
After watching the movie, Attila The Hun, I managed to locate this book from our collection. Each chapter begins with a historical account of Attila followed with the leadership qualities and thoughts of Attila. I am not even sure if these thoughts are indeed of the man?? Corporations were ordering the book by the hundreds when it got published.

On my part I was more interested in the historical narrative. I found some answers to some of the blanks I found in the movie. I am surprised that Attila
Mrs. Priscilla M. Dicus
Fantastic and insightful read!
Robert Crow
Entertaining and stimulating of ideas for actions of leadership and management. The emphasis is on a humorous story to evoke observations about how followers can be motivated. Clever and readable.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You learn a bit about Attila the Hun and the life behind the myth. A lot of the "secrets" you probably already know if you've read any self help/leadership book.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fireseason2018
Pretty sure this guy found a list of "leadership truisms", "translated" then into Hunnish, and then slapped Attila's name on them. But props to him, he probably made a shit ton of money doing it.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting premise. Despite Mattis recommending this book.... it is entirely speculative, and badly researched / supported. This is a business school 101 repackaged.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some history, comedy and lots of great analogies. If this were a beer, I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5.
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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