Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
By: Wess Roberts, Ph.D.; Warner Books, 1985
NOTE (from the Preface): "The aphorisms spoken by Attila in this book have no basis of authenticity as ever having been said by the King of Huns. they are rather, ones that I have written based upon my own experiences, research and observations. The have been reviewed and tested by some demanding critics and were only incorporated after having survived considerable scrutiny."
Attila on: "Custom"
Excerpted from Chapter 3: Becoming a Hun: "Customs"
All who are Huns and those who seek to become one of us must learn, adapt and adhere to our custom s. If they are not Huns, then we must suspect them to be Romans or to be allies of the empire; therefore, we must treat them with caution.
It is not essential that a Hun compromise those characteristics that make him a unique warrior. Every Hun, however, must be willing to conform to those things that distinguish us as a nation of strong, united tribes. We must be single in purpose, yet individuality that does not distract from the tribe or nation must be preserved.
What is good for the Hun must be good for the tribe and nation. Conversely, what is good for the tribe and nation must be good for the Hun; otherwise, he will desert to the Romans.
When we prescribe dress for battle, celebration, ceremony or other occasions, Huns will see to it that they wear that which is customary.
When we establish Hunnish methods, they must be taught to our young so they will know what is expected of them in every situation. If Huns do not learn the rules, their chieftains cannot expect them to be followed.
Our songs and dances must be unique in the celebration of our noble heritage. We must not introduce into them contaminants that may cause our heritage to become confused.
Our approach toward exacting tribute and loyalties from those we have chosen as the opposition must continue to use and increase the strength of the nation. Only when we fail to recognize our power and influence over the adversary have they set us back.
We must modify our customs when the situation warrants, if such an alteration will strengthen our position. We cannot, however, distill those customs that remain key to the success of the Hunnish nation. We cannot permit strong chieftains or groups of young Huns to attempt the founding of customs that serve only the their purpose. Customs are of nations, not of individuals.
Being a Hun requires dedication and devotion to the cause of our nation. Following our customs is a tribute to our heritage and to our present and future.
Huns are required to make oaths of lasting obligation to the nation. We, in turn, as leaders, must ensure that we have customs—strong traditions—worthy of such lasting conviction and must welcome into our tribes and nation all who adhere to those principles and ways we value now and forever.
To a nation of such robust and independent heritage, I, Attila, give counsel as to those things we admonish all to honor as our customs:
- It is the custom of all Huns to hold strong to personal and national honor. This is a cardinal virtue. Ones word must prevail over all other considerations, including political expediency.
- We must value the capable Hun, whether of lowly or of noble birth. We must appoint our chieftains from among those most qualified to lead, regardless of ancestry.
- We must not retaliate against the innocent, use unscrupulous tactics or kill unsuspecting or trapped enemies. We must be fierce in the eyes of all we seek to influence, yet the use of unnecessary terror is ignoble.
- A nation of one ancestry and race is weak. We must hold strong our custom of welcoming all foreigners who seek to join our cause, treating them with dignity and respect and teaching them our language and customs.
- Our accepted differences and diversities must be pooled into a common purpose worthy of our efforts as tribes and as a nation.
- Our racial, cultural, moral and social concepts, inherited from our ancestors of Asia and Europe, must be recognized and honored by all, through respect for our fellow man, his faculties and well-being.
- We must never build pyramids in our own honor. While we hold strong the custom of individual and national pride, we must not fall victim to pompous, practices that weaken the fiber of our vitality and appeal to those we serve.
- We must hold fast to our custom of high ideals and optimism—never being discouraged by those who would seek to gain personal or national advantage over us.
- Our songs, dances, games, jests and celebrations must always remain steadfast as propitious opportunity to renew our allegiance and identity as Huns.
You chieftains have the responsibility to continue to teach and practice the customs that make our diverse people and tribes a strong and powerful Hunnish nation, lest they falter for lack of an identity.