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Strong Woman: Ambition, Grit and a Great Pair of Heels by Brady, Karren (2012) Hardcover – 1111

146 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Collins (1111)
  • ASIN: B00C6OPR2E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,094,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karren Brady is Vice Chairman of West Ham F.C, Lord Sugar's Advisor on The Apprentice and one of the UK's leading Female Business Speakers.

Karren began her career aged 18 at Saatchi & Saatchi, she swiftly moved onto LBC as a sales executive. In 1998 she joined Sport Newspapers Ltd and became Director within a year.

Recognised as the first woman in football, Brady was Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club from 1993 to 2009 and during that time turned the Club's fortunes around. She took over the club when it was in administration, and in her first year at the helm, the Club recorded a financial trading profit. In 1996 the Club made an overall profit for the first time in modern history and in February 1997 she launched the Club on the Stock market; Karren was the youngest Managing Director of a PLC in the UK.

In October 2009 Karren sold Birmingham City FC for £82million.

In January 2010, Karren was appointed Vice Chairman of West Ham United FC. Following her first 12 months at West Ham, the club made a trading profit for the first time in many years.

An Ambassador for The Stroke Association, WellChild and Teenage Cancer Trust, Karren Brady is also Chair of the Mothercare Group Foundation. She has been a Board Director of Mothercare PLC, Channel 4 Television and Sport England and is currently a non-Executive Director of Arcadia. She is an honoree Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing.

Karren was voted by Cosmopolitan as 'One of the 100 most powerful women in the world' and in 2004 and again in 2006 attended The Queen's Lunch for Women Achievers and Business Leaders. She was acknowledged as 'One of the most influential women in Britain' by the Daily Mail and voted as 'One of Britain's Most Inspirational Women' by Good Housekeeping magazine.

In November 2006 Karren Brady won the Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year, in the category of Women Who Have Changed the World.

In October 2007 Karren was voted Business Woman of the Year and in November 2008 she was named as 'One of the top leadership role models' in a national poll. This recognition was quickly followed in December 2008 when she was presented with the coveted Spirit of Everywoman Award at the NatWest Everywoman Awards, acknowledging her 'Outstanding achievements in changing the landscape for women in business'.

November 2010 saw Karren listed in the business category of The Sunday Telegraph's '100 Most Powerful Women in Britain', whilst she was also included in the Evening Standard's list of 'London's 1000 Most Influential People 2010', second to David Beckham in the category of Sport.

In December 2010 Dr. Karren Brady received her Doctorate from the University of Birmingham in Business studies.

In July 2011 she won the National Reality TV Award for Best TV Judge beating Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Aleshia Dixon amongst others.

The Apprentice:

In 2010 following appearances as one of Lord Sugar's interrogators on the popular BBC show 'The Apprentice', Karren replaced Margaret Mountford as Lord Sugar's right-hand woman.

Visit Karren's website at

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Treacle on 8 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Normally the word 'sensible' doesn't get you running off to buy a book but it really does sum up Karren and her book. Other words that spring to mind are honest, down-to-earth, realistic and practical. She is definitely a strong woman but this book demonstrates that she is not a bitch and that lots of very hard work and maintaining her dignity throughout has allowed her to thrive in the workplace.

* Part biography (but not too much - just the good bits about what makes her who she is today)
* Part Business journal - great advice and ideas on how to do well in business
* Part Inspirational - I will definitely save this book and pass it on to my girls to read when they are older as I found myself agreeing with nearly all of what she said and she puts it over in such a way that made me think - "Yes! I totally understand where you are coming from"
* Brutually honest throughout - not many famous women are willing to state that they haven't done everything right and they've made mistakes both in their personal life and work life too but Karren does so I really warmed to her through these omissions
* Very unemotional - which was interesting but the more I thought of about it and the more I read about her, it was very understanding given the very male dominated situations she's been in
* Really enjoyed reading about behind the scenes at the Apprentice as I am a massive fan of the show (just wish Karren was allowed to speak more)
Would definitely recommend!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Carol 'avid little bookworm' on 11 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always admired get up and go and Karren Brady has it in spades. I admired her working style when she originally appeared on The Apprentice, interviewing the candidates (haven't seen it since she took over from Margaret Mountford but I'm sure she's just as good). She never appeared to belittle them, she came across as firm but fair.

I've got to say my interest in her is not the 'make it big in a man's world' it's purely admiration for someone who has achieved in the same way I have an interest in any man who has achieved just as much.

This book is truly inspiring to anyone who wants to work hard and achieve. It is also, I feel, a deterrent to anyone who thinks they can have it all without sheer hard work and determination. In fact, I think Karren Brady displays far more than this. At times I was exhausted just reading the book and the amount of work she undertakes! After finishing the book, I think it fair to say, she goes far way and beyond what most of us would be prepared to do.

I highly recommend this book, it's an excellent autobiography as well as an absolute mine of information regarding good business practice. I think Karren Brady must be one of the best 'Brand' builders out there in the business world today. I'd love her to write a book dedicated purely to this subject, it would be on my pre-order list.

The book is gutsy, I loved it, I think because I share so many of Karren Brady's beliefs, it covers so much -

peoples fear of failure and how overcoming it can be empowering

not satisfied with where things are now she continually wants to improve it

straight talking but not personal - her management style & communication; people know what she wants and more importantly what she expects!
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tealady2000 VINE VOICE on 30 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Karren Brady is best known these days as Margaret Mountford's replacement on The Apprentice but she has had a long and highly successful career in British business. She credits her success to self-reliance and sheer hard work. Early in this book she advises young women not to aspire to marry a footballer, but to own or manage the club they play for. (Karren Brady actually married a footballer herself, but it was never her aspiration). It is refreshing to come across someone in the public eye who is not interested in celebrity culture or the glamorous lifestyle that can accompany great wealth. On The Apprentice, Karren Brady comes across as a person of real integrity - she is never bitchy or judgemental and her comments are always fair. She clearly behaves like that in her business life too (although I'm glad I don't work for her; I would be no good at answering my mobile at 3am). This book is no work of literature but it is engaging and easy to read. After finishing it, I'm pretty sure that Karren herself did not come up with the strap-line on the cover - "Ambition, grit and a great pair of heels". Her version would be "Ambition, grit and lots of hard work".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FLB TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must admit that I am not fond of autobiographies - all those pages of minutia regarding the childhoods of now famous people does not hold my interest for long.

I ordered this book because I like watching Karren on the Apprentice AND because as a woman in a management role in a male dominated workplace, I thought it would be interesting. I nearly didn't order it though because I thought it would be very football laden and I am not at all interested in football.

I am so glad I got this book - I read it all in one day because it was such a good read. I really like the style of the book, it focuses on what Karren is known for the most - business, it is not full of famous people frippery or tittle tattle, it is a serious book written in a very interesting way. I actually found the book really inspirational, it gave me a lot of food for thought about the way I conduct myself at work - for instance, I have felt guilty for my quick promotions at work and will play down any praise I am given because I always feel that it is a bit unbecoming for a woman to be ambitious, Karren turns that around and puts such a positive spin on it.

My husband has now read the book and he also really enjoyed it and now my father in law is reading it, so that tells you something.

I was left with the overall impression that I wish I could work for Karren Brady she knows how to run a business, she talks a lot of sense and she knows how to value her staff! Lessons for most managers in this book!
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