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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun [Kindle Edition]

Wess Roberts
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Explains how the legendary military commander's principles of leadership can be applied to contemporary business situations in the '90s.

Editorial Reviews


H. Ross Perot ...The principles are timeless. -- Review

About the Author

Wess Roberts, Ph.D. is the international best-selling author of Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Straight A's Never Made Anybody Rich, and Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun. His latest book is entitled, "Make it so!" Captain Picard's Lessons for a New Generation of Leaders. His works have been translated into twenty-two languages.

The recipient of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Patriotic Service Award, he is the executive producer of six award-winning motivation and training films and has authored over forty-five professional papers on human behavior.

Dr. Roberts has held senior management positions at major insurance and financial service companies on the West Coast. He served to major in the U.S. Army where he was assigned for three years to the U.S. Army Combat Arms Training Board. As an adjunct professor at Southern Utah University, Utah State University, and Nova University, Dr. Roberts has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in business, education and psychology. He currently makes his home in Utah, where he writes and lectures on a variety of business and leadership topics.

Product Details

  • File Size: 217 KB
  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446391069
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 15, 2007)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001HPW9S8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,953 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great leadership primer May 30, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sure, if you're looking for an in-depth treatise on Attila or Leadership you are bound to be disappointed. I have read this book numerous times and have assigned it to my subordinate managers as required reading. In every case those people have been pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to read, understand and apply to improve their leadership and management practices. It gets individuals interested in picking up other, more detailed works on leadership and management that they might not have been drawn to in the first place.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suspension of disbelief March 15, 2002
Whether or not the book has factual historical basis is beside the point. I approached this book with what they call in filmmaking as "suspension of disbelief". When read against the backdrop of ordinary experiences, most of the author's analogies and aphorisms amazingly make sense. Attila can exact obedience by just killing rivals and subordinates -- hardly the epitome of the leader. But he rose and survived among unthinking barbarians -- he demonstrated leadership even before he became one. To survive and lead amid trying circumstances is the essence of this book. The author detailed out the mechanics of Attila's leadership which is so credible you would willingly believe. Management gurus dissect leadership in complex paradigms and theories. Wess Robert's Attila simplified these in absolute truths--loyalty, courage, desire, emotional/physical stamina, empathy, decisiveness, anticipation, timing, competitivenes, self-confidence, accountability, responsibility, credibility, tenacity, dependability and stewardship. Attila exuded benign leadership when he gave up Rome and the world because of the word of the Pope. It would be hard to find another parallel in history.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great title, forgettable contents April 22, 2009
I initially bought this book because the title appealed to me, and I figured at the worst it might be an interesting conversation piece. Although it has successfully filled its role as a conversation piece, as a book on leadership it is quite lacking. While I can't say I necessarily disagree with any of the advice given, none of it is presented in a very convincing or interesting way, and none of it is original or groundbreaking in any way. If you're looking for a real book on leadership, this isn't it. If you're looking for a book on Attila the Hun, this still isn't it. If however you're looking for a book to proudly display on your desk to make new hires do double takes, then this is the right book for you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Business is a battle, and while it is no longer accepted to "kill the hun" that is under performing, the advice, when put in the proper perspective is very robust.
I recommend reading this book when you are tired of the same wordy, self complimenting "normal" management book that saturates bookstores. This book will take what little you have learned out of those books and help put it into a context that is useful.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
As a person who majored in history, I knew that very little is known about Attila the Hun. Having deliberately avoided the book for over a decade, it suddenly occurred to me that there might be a lot of interesting information here that I had been ignoring. So I read the book. I goofed! I should have skimmed a couple of chapters first.
There is nothing in here about Attila that I did not know when I started. And the leadership secrets are not based on anything Attila said, but the author's conclusions about what leaders should do. Each chapter is introduced with a little Attila vignette to help justify the title of the book, and provide some context. Sometimes it works, and often it doesn't.
Let me explain my rating system for the book. As a leadership book, I rated this book as two stars. The reason I rated it so low is that the book has over 200 aphorisms in it that are vague, pretty disconnected from today's world and usually contradict one another. For example, each of them is phrased in terms of what Attila and a Hun should do. On the other hand, at some point, I began to read the book as a satire on leadership books, and I thought it was pretty funny. On that account, I rated it as four stars. I would have rated it higher if it had been shorter or the chapter sequencing had made more sense to me. The chapter on surviving defeat comes after the chapter when Attila voluntarily removed himself from Italy after meeting the Pope, many years after the defeat that is discussed in the next chapter. But that comes as no surprise since the author has told you about both of these things many times before in this short book. If you average a 2 and a 4 star, that's a 3 star rating.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
There is much more to this book than the philosophy and methods of leading an army. It shows keen insights into basic human psychology. As a school teacher, I found that many of Attila the Hun's insights into the thinking of adult warriors apply very much to children and teens. (This review is based on the 1985 edition).

Let's consider some examples. Attila the Hun wrote: "Discipline is not always welcomed by Huns...Discipline never allows deviation from order...Huns seek discipline in their lives." (p. 36). We can realize how this applies to children and teens who, despite all their protestations of parents and teachers being "mean" and "unfair", actually crave discipline. We also see why parents and teachers will be ineffective if they apply discipline inconsistently, and why it is a big mistake for adults to eschew discipline in favor of becoming "buddies" to children and teens.

Attila the Hun recognized that too much free time causes problems: "Never allow your Huns too many idle moments. These give rise to the beginnings of discontent." (p. 42). (During the American Revolution, General (later President) George Washington reputedly had his men built a fort, during the winter lull, for no other reason than to keep his men busy so that they would not drift into grumbling.)

The modern tendency to praise children for almost anything, all in the name of "self esteem", would not have found favor with Attila the Hun, who wrote: "Never reward a Hun for doing less than is expected of him. Otherwise, he will doubt your sincerity in rewarding appropriate acts and, even worse, expect reward for performing deeds for which you hold no approval." (p. 78).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... MBA I found this book one of the most amazing reading.
As an MBA I found this book one of the most amazing reading.
Published 21 days ago by Kádár Levente
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A favorite book of mine.
Published 26 days ago by Rocco Donatiello
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots to absorb but not a bad book.
Interesting approach to leadership and management. Lots to absorb but not a bad book.
Published 1 month ago by Vintage Gibson
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid principles in an entertaining format
Though the title is a bit of clever marketing, there are some gems in this book. It is written in a format that is entertaining and easy to read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard B. Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership 101
Great book. Don't let the title deceive you, this is not a tyrannical approach to leadership but more common sense that should be required reading for every parent if not every... Read more
Published 4 months ago by MM
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
Totally relevant to real leadership. Excellent read.
Published 4 months ago by Andrew Napiontek
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Relevant
The principles mentioned are as relevant today as they were the day this was published. Great approach and easy to understand the concepts.
Published 4 months ago by Rich Jennings
1.0 out of 5 stars Boy, what next, Leadership Techniques of Adolph Hitler ...
Boy, what next, Leadership Techniques of Adolph Hitler? Attila murdered millions of people and we admire his leadership techniques? Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Business
Awesome way to learn and understand business book for anyone in a business program
Published 6 months ago by Dorraine M. Rooney
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
not happy did not do justice to a great leader.
Published 6 months ago by Jerry
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More About the Author

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. His books have been published in 24 languages.

After earning his doctorate in psychology from Utah State University, Wess opted for military service and was selected for an assignment with the US Army Combat Arms Training Board. He served to the rank of major in the US Army. His diverse career also includes senior management positions at American Express Company, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Northrop Services Company, and Courseware, Incorporated. He is also a former board member of the Health Plan of the Redwoods.

As an adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University, Southern Utah University, and Utah State University, Wess instructed both graduate and undergraduate courses in business, education, and psychology. A former member of the Business School Dean's Advisory Boards at the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Westminster College, he served on the President's Advisory Board at Nova Southeastern University. Wess is the author of forty-five professional papers on human behavior, and the executive producer of six award-winning motivation and training films.

As an author, Wess has been a guest on over 400 radio and television programs including Oprah, CBS This Morning, CNN, and CNBC. In addition, articles about him and his books have appeared in every major news and business publication including Newsweek, Time, Across the Board, Vanity Fair, Barron's, Fortune, Forbes, and Success Magazine as well as in every major newspaper including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Investor's Business Daily, The Houston Chronicle, The Atlanta Constitution, The Detroit Free Press, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The San Francisco Chronicle. His management classic, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, served as the basis for the A&E Biography on Attila.

As a speaker, he has addressed corporate, government, medical, military, trade association, and university audiences throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Among other distinctions, Wess is a member of the US Army Field Artillery and Missile School OCS Hall of Fame, and the recipient of the US Army Field Artillery Association's Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, the US Department of Treasury's Patriotic Service Award, and a Professional Achievement Award from Utah State University's College of Business and Alumni Association.

Wess makes his home in Utah.

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