Book Review                                      Online Exclusive


Leadership Secrets of

Attila the Hun   

by Wess Roberts, Hachette Book Group, New York, N.Y., 2009, 116 pp., $13.99 softcover


Potential readers may wonder what can be learned about leadership from reading about a leader whose nation has long since vanished. But once they begin reading Wess Roberts’ Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, they will be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to read and understand as they seek to develop or improve their management and leadership practices.

Roberts, author of several works on leadership, speaks to the value previous leaders in business and education have found in the examples he includes in each of the book’s 16 chapters. Each chapter in the 20th anniversary edition of this book begins with a short vignette of Attila’s life, which Roberts makes clear are not based in historical fact.

While the leadership principles Roberts presents have little direct relationship to current events, readers should be able to apply the principles to their own situations.

Some may not like the take-charge attitude Roberts presents, based on Attila’s style, but it can spur them to learn more about leadership and how it can be applied in their situations. That seems to be the lasting strength of Roberts’ book, in that it can serve as the foundation upon which to build other skills to apply in all professional fields.

Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun contains lessons that can teach readers not only about leadership but also how to conduct themselves in everyday situations. The book would be worth reading more than once and sharing with subordinates who have been identified as future leaders.

Reviewed by George E. Pawlas, professor emeritus, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.


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