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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun Paperback – February 1, 1990

4.0 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

H. Ross Perot ...The principles are timeless. -- Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.


Dr. Roberts has held senior management positions at major insurance and financial service companies on the West Coast. He served as a 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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 20 Anv edition (February 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446391069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446391061
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Years ago, Alka-Seltzer ran a TV commercial where the actor told the camera that someone kept telling him, "Try it, you'll like it." The actor ended up saying, "I did. Thought I was gonna die." A colleague kept telling me how great this book was to the point of purchase. Like the actor, my enthusiasm for the product made me want to reach for a bromide, but that couldn't help.

Author Wes Roberts had the clever idea of using Attila the Hun as his way of proposing his secrets of leadership, hence the title, "Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun." It's a formula that worked very well for my colleague but it left me wanting the author to skip the history lesson of Attila at the start of each chapter and get to the point. I felt trampled on by the hooves of simile and overrun on the plains of metaphor.

We are also prone to believe what we learn the first time and challenge what we hear after, if it contradicts the original belief. While the author makes it clear that Attila was the "Scourge of God" it was hard to read him as an intelligent, wise sage, sitting by the camp fire solving the Delphic Oracle of Leadership even though the author makes it clear he didn't. I just couldn't see Attila as one righteous dude. (Couldn't Roberts have used El Cid)?

The book is divided into 16 short chapters on various topics of leadership such as "Attila and the Pope: The Art of Negotiation" or "The Bones of Caravans Past; Lesson Learned." This is a novel approach to learning about principles of leadership, but for me it was like having to eat literary liver, while my colleague was slurping up the raw clams dipped in a savory sauce. I feel that books like these should be to the point, not read as a suspense novel or have Flavius Aetius thrown in for good measure. I started to enjoy the history more than the leadership principles.

This could be your liver or your raw clams.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as required reading for a Wildland Firefighter class. I'm a huge history nerd but knew very little about the Huns. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. In addition to being a great book on leadership principles, I thoroughly enjoyed the history and the different take on Attila himself. It's a very easy read and a short book and I've already recommended it to several friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm new to managment and have little to no experience leading people. This book ISNT that. If you want to learn no-holds barred philosphy about dealing and competing with co-workers, you can learn alot from this book.
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