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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun [Paperback]

Wess Roberts
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1990
This is the book you've heard about. The book that leaped to the top ranks of the bestseller lists. The book that's got the business world reading, thinking, and quoting. This is the book that reveals the leadership secrets of Attila the Hun-the man who centuries ago shaped an aimless band of mercenary tribal nomads into the undisputed rulers of the ancient world, and who today offers us timeless lessons in win-directed, take-charge management.

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Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun + Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun
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Product Description

Review

H. Ross Perot

...The principles are timeless.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars suspension of disbelief March 15 2002
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Review from the Huns Feb. 27 2002
Format:Paperback
Book Review of:
Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
Written by Wess Roberts
Published by Warner Books in 1990
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
110 pages
The authors credentials are not revealed in the book other than he has a Ph.D. No background of the author is given in the book. An internet search of Wess Roberts reveals that he has written many books on leadership that appear to be in the same format as this book. The author wrote of his trouble publishing the book in his note in the beginning of the book. I can see the reason I believe he had so much trouble right from the top. He did not use any references and did not even state his own qualifications on the book. I think this takes away from the credibility of a very useful book. References and personal qualifications would have made a big difference in the book.
The purpose of the writing of this book was to teach leadership principles from a persons' life who was not considered a great leader. The reason he chose Attila is, as Dr. Roberts states about books based on the lives of more acceptable persons, "It is, however, sometimes a painstaking challenge to extract from these books the essence of the leadership principles contained in them. Even more challenging is the application in these books to our own lives" (Roberts, 1990, p. xiv). He chose Attila because he believed Attila faced a great challenge in taking hordes of barbarians, and turning them into a nation and "...performed challenging feats
against 'seemingly' insurmountable odds..."(Roberts, 1990, p. xv-xvi). The point of view the book is written in is as an observer of Attila with his troops in the camp between conquests.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read! April 16 2001
Format:Paperback
Wess Roberts draws on the life experiences of the leader of the Mongol hordes to craft imaginative monologues on leadership - an attribute as valuable today as when Attila united the Huns in 415 AD. The advice is general. Its effectiveness probably depends on how well you apply it, although the idea of an historic icon of barbaric vengeance counseling us in cultural sensitivity seems a bit of a stretch. While the treatment is certainly colorful, you might worry about ways some modern-day chieftains could misuse Roberts' principles to justify their own Visigoth approach to management. We [...] recommend this book to those looking for new and interesting ways to approach the perpetual management issues of team-building, inspiring loyalty, setting goals, and achieving objectives.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Great work if you can get it
What a country this is! How else to explain this book? Take an historical figure about whom little is known, ascribe certain banalities about leadership to him, jazz it up with... Read more
Published on Dec 6 2003 by Nicholas Dujmovic
5.0 out of 5 stars Great leadership primer
Sure, if you're looking for an in-depth treatise on Attila or Leadership you are bound to be disappointed. Read more
Published on May 30 2003 by Daniel K. Clouser
1.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Waste Your Time: Low-Brow Business
Well... where to begin??? Wess Roberts is really a good example of an initial interesting idea milked and warped to horrible proportions; neither the historical metaphor nor the... Read more
Published on July 2 2002 by Rodney J. Szasz
1.0 out of 5 stars SHOW ME THE HUN-NY
The title of this brief collection should have been "1970s leadership and Attila the Hun" This book has little to no factual quotes of Attila. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2001 by GLENN WHELAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of leadership ever!
I think that this book will eventually have Cliffs Notes. Wess Roberts' works are a business management Bible for the 20th Century and will be the "new revelation" for... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Its about the principles of leadership
As an Air Force enlisted member and now an officer, I've read this book several times. Its on the shelf at many of the Air Force book stores and professional development... Read more
Published on July 28 2001 by The Batman
1.0 out of 5 stars Audio version was not useful.
I didn't hold the title agaist this audio book but... The story did not inspire me at all and I didn't find much useful info on leading people in a management and sales... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars Looking for leadership guidance? Look elsewhere
The title of this book is the only admirable quality to it. I mean, what a great concept. Unfortunately the book falls way short of providing any leadership "secrets"... Read more
Published on July 10 2000 by Bull Durham
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, sometimes funny, book
I'm surprised at the negative reviews for this book. A lot of this book is written tongue-in-cheek (I doubt any manager wants to be known as the "scourge of God"): a... Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2000 by Leon M. Bodevin
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