Ross Perot's favorite book is a 110-page tome called "Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun."
Attila has gotten a bad rap all these years, says author Wess Roberts. He has been portrayed "as a barbaric, ugly little tyrant," Roberts writes, when in fact he was a masterful leader who pulled together a bunch of primitive nomads and conquered the world. A can-do kind of guy."Attila might today be characterized as an entrepreneur, diplomat, social reformer, statesman, civilizer, brilliant field marshal and host of some terrific parties," Roberts writes.
Perot first read the book in 1984 and ordered 700 copies to give to employees and friends. Later, while Perot was on the board of General Motors, he caused a minor flap by trying to distribute 500 more copies at a banquet for GM managers, whose management style he disdained. GM Chairman Roger Smith stopped him.
It's no surprise Perot likes the book. It could have been written about him. Listen to this advice from Attila:
"You must recognize and accept that your greatness will be made possible through the extremes of your personality - the very extremes that sometimes make for campfire satire and legendary stories."
"You must be determined to apply massive common sense in solving complex problems."