Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun


Choosing Your Enemies

  • Do not underestimate the power of an enemy, no matter how great or small, to rise against you on another day.
  • Do not consider all opponents to be enemies. There are worthwhile, friendly confrontations, inside and outside the tribe.
  • Do not make enemies who are not worthy of your efforts to render them completely ineffective.

The Responsibilities of a Chieftain

  • Chieftains by their own actions, not words, establish the morale, integrity and justice in their subordinate commands. They cannot say one thing and do another.
  • Chieftains must teach their Huns what is expected of them. Otherwise, Huns will probably do something not expected of them.
  • Chieftains must never misuse power. Such action causes great friction and rebellion in the tribe and nation.


  • A Chieftain should allow subordinates the privilege of making decisions appropriate to their level of responsibility. Weak is the chieftain who reserves every decision for himself out of fear that otherwise he might lose control.
  • Next to the importance of knowing when to make a decision stands the insight to know where to forego it. Impatient chieftains often precipitate premature action.


  • Do not delegate an assignment and then attempt to manage it yourself – you will make an enemy of the overruled subordinate.
  • Chieftains should never delegate responsibilities that require their direct action and attention.
  • Chieftains should encourage subordinates to use their own creativity in fulfilling delegated responsibilities. You can never develop the skills of subordinates by precisely directing them on how to accomplish their assignments.


  • Know the temperament of your foe’s camp so that you may exploit troubles that arise during negotiations.
  • Never hold strong negotiation for an immediate, lesser advantage, at the cost of a greater advantage. Acquiescence on lesser issues softens the spirit of your adversary.
  • Never intimidate.

Overcoming Defeat

  • When continuing the battle will annihilate your resources, retreat is noble – so that you may return to fight another day.
  • Mourn your setback – but don’t be overwhelmed by it – conquer your own defeat to strengthen your spirit.
  • Know in your heart that as long as a Hun breathes, everything is not lost.

Rewarding Your Huns

  • Never reward a Hun for doing less than is expected of him.
  • Never reward a Hun for every assignment completed correctly. Otherwise, he will not act in your absence or without the certainty of recognition.
  • Care more for the rewards of your Huns than for your own rewards. You will then be rewarded many times over even your greatest hopes and dreams.

From the book Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Wess Roberts