A quick, concise and worthy read for aspiring leaders and even those in leadership roles that are seeking tried and tested theories to apply.

A few years ago, I was gifted this book by a friend who said I would find it valuable to bridge the gap I had in my leadership style regarding delegation. And while I took lessons out of Chapter 11 – Horse Holders: “The Art of Delegation”, my biggest learning came from Chapter 13 – Attila and the Pope: “The Art of Negotiation”.

To understand and enjoy the framework of the book, spend a few extra minutes on the introduction which sets the tone for the rest of the book.

Each chapter refers to a leadership quality that is lacking in those that lead countries, companies, teams, families, and friends. At the end of each chapter, there are bullet points highlighting key lessons and reflections on leadership qualities. Dwell on these and rate yourself on each quality.

I hope that you will find that some of the words of wisdom used by Roberts can be related to what occurs in organisations that we either work in, know of or have consulted with. He doesn’t share anything new or different. The message I got from this book is that we need to go back to brass tacks and use what works.

Some of the terminology that is used is akin to war as Attila was a warrior fighting for his people and his country and was power hungry enough to think he could rule the world. In Chapter 8 the topic is Aetius: “Picking Your Enemies Wisely”. Well, we don’t refer to our competitors as our enemies, but we can take insight from this chapter especially from the notes on pages 57 and 58. It contains some very astute thoughts that we can implement in the business world.