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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

Warner Books,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

A guide to how real leaders stand out from the horde when everyone else is acting like a barbarian.

Editorial Rating



  • Background
  • For Beginners


Wess Roberts draws on the life experiences of the leader of the Mongol hordes to craft imaginative monologues on leadership - an attribute as valuable today as when Attila united the Huns in 415 AD. The advice is general. Its effectiveness probably depends on how well you apply it, although the idea of an historic icon of barbaric vengeance counseling us in cultural sensitivity seems a bit of a stretch. While the treatment is certainly colorful, you might worry about ways some modern-day chieftains could misuse Roberts’s principles to justify their own Visigoth approach to management. getAbstract recommends this book to those looking for new and interesting ways to approach the perpetual management issues of building teams, inspiring loyalty, setting goals and achieving objectives.


The Attila School of Management

Attila the Hun is an unlikely subject for the study of leadership. Against all odds, Attila united barbarian hordes into a nation of Huns against. He was driven to accomplish his objectives to the point of executing opponents who stood in the way. While inspiring the respect and loyalty of his allies and the fear of his adversaries, he managed to motivate the racially diverse Huns to pursue the shared goal of building an empire.

Historical Context

The nomadic Huns lacked both purpose and organization prior to Attila’s reign. He was born in 395 AD in the Danube River valley. The son of a tribal king, he learned the arts of war from earliest childhood; he was still a child when his father died. Tribal leaders sent him to the Roman court of Honorius as a hostage. While making several attempts to escape, he studied Roman ways. When he returned to the Danube, Attila used his knowledge to begin his ascent to power.

When Attila’s brother died, he became the new chieftain. He immediately began to unite the proudly independent Hun tribes, in part by executing chieftains who failed to support him. His ultimate objective was to conquer...

About the Author

Wess Roberts, Ph.D., is a California-based writer who offers management lessons drawn from offbeat topics. His other books include Make It So: Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Protect Your Achilles Heel: Crafting Armor for the New Age at Work, Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun, and Straight A’s Never Made Anybody Rich: Lessons in Personal Achievement.

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