• JP

Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Author: Wess Roberts

Originally published: 1985

This book is often on the army’s ‘must read’ list each year yet I routinely see not so great reviews of it.

I am glad I finally jumped it. At just over 100 pages this book is unique.

Written back in the 80’s it’s almost 40 years old! Yet somehow, the bullet points it lists in each chapter stomp all over whole concepts and whole books written this decade.

I will say the mention of Huns, horde, cheiftains, etc does read oddly as you apple the lessons to your life. So swap in team, company, culture, leadership, etc where you want. With that, this book nails central concepts on what it is to lead and what it takes to lead. Should I have read this book in my 20’s I would have scoffed. At 40, having come to the same ideas and conclusions this books is very relevant to having lead a team and an organization. For those that haven’t, truly put your feet in the shoes of someone leading close to you and this book has tremendous value.


Short sample on leadership qualities over 4 pages....and I’m missing about 1/2 of the worthwhile content to capture. loyalty: Disagreement is not necessarily disloyalty. One how actively encourages those to go against good of tribe is disloyal and must be dealt with.

Courage: Don’t run from adversity or obstacles. You will be lonely, ridiculed, and rejected.

Desire: You need to sustain yourself with strong personal desire

Emotional Stamina: The higher you rise, the more stamina needed to bounce back from rejection and disappointment. Your view must not become distorted.

Physical Stamina: Your leading. Hours, people, movement, work. You need to care for your mind and body to physically handle the job.

Empathy: You must develop an appreciation and understanding for the values, cultures, beliefs, and traditions of others.

Decisiveness: develop a sense of when to act and when not to. Act to fast and you miss key info. Act to slow and well, too late bucks.

Anticipation: The experience anticipate thoughts, actions, and consequences.

Timing: The timing of your recommendations and action that you develop through experience.

Competitiveness: Desire to win!

Self confidence: personal feeling of assurance

Accountability: You must account for your actions and those of your subordinates.

Credibility: Your actions and words must be believed by both friends and foes.

Tenacity: unyielding drive to accomplish goals - even when things are not going your way. And to do it with honor.

Dependability: Get the job done or no one will come to you for anything. Deliver.

Stewardship: Serve in a manner that encourages confidence, trust, and loyalty.



Verdict: Great book. At 100, pages I will add this to my yearly read list.

5 out of 5 boots!


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