Everyone knows Karren Brady, if not for the fact that she has been the CEO of Birmingham and West Ham football clubs, then people will have seen her on The Apprentice TV programme along with Lord Alan Sugar. She is probably Britain’s best-known businesswoman.
This book gives an overview of Karren’s life up to this point, but is much more than that; she helps the reader to see how the things that have happened to her have made her the leader she is today. Starting from her childhood she recounts how her experiences at school and within her family have formed her and enabled her to tackle some tough decisions with her work as an adult.
The book does not try to hide her mistakes or the tough times she has had; including her brush with death when she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. She talks about very personal issues too, explaining how her work has impacted her marriage and how she brings up her children.
While there are times that as a Christian I do not agree with how she conducts her business, I could not get away from the fact that Karren comes across as a very normal human being, who loves her work and is very fulfilled by it. She talks a lot about her core values and there is no doubt that she lives by them and seeks to have an integrity in that.
The last chapter gives her ten rules for achieving success and some of them have much to teach women who have a desire to reach senior leadership positions. It is important that you put the thoughts and suggestions of this book through a theological framework and do not accept everything at face value; however, I would recommend this book as it is a very easy read and gives an insight into a woman who has clearly made it to the top of her profession.
I believe that this would make a good holiday read for women who want to learn some lessons from another woman who wants to see women succeed and overcome barriers in the business world.
Sharon Prior is a freelance mentor and trainer, and lectures at Cliff College