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4.3 out of 5 stars186
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2012
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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on 18 December 2014
Karren Brady writes this book as she speaks; it is authentic to her voice. She comes across as determined, single minded, impressive and yet rather cold and unsympathetic. She repeatedly uses the word relentless and this sounds up her approach to life and business - to go at it persistently with all your time and energy into you get what you want. She admires logic and avoid emotion, and there is almost no reflection about why she did what she did in the book or empathy for anyone else. She has learnt to be super self sufficient and unemotional,so that must be best for everyone.

She finds it unthinkable that people would turn off their work mobile phone or want to have a life outside work, and although she talks about balancing work with family life it is clear family doesn't get much of that pie. She goes to bed at 8 pm and works away from home several nights a week and does work on weekends too. In her early career she appears quite manipulative, telling lies to get in with the important people, and her friends and allies are not people I would hold up as role models! Similarly the aggression she describes in herself and her grandmother is worrying rather than impressive.

The book is also very dated to 2012 and her preoccupation with getting the Olympic stadium for West Ham.

So overall it is what is said on the tin, but I'd be very sad if this is a role model for women in business, as I think we have many strengths to offer that don't involve beating men at their own game but allow us to be warm and compassionate as well as driven, and show these traditional board room men there are better ways to do things.
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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!

confidence comes from absolute attention to detail and complete knowledge, she knows every facet of every business she is involved in

understand who you are and what you want out of life

planning, process and structure

energy, energy, energy!!

loyalty, one of my personal favourites

too many petty politics - isn't the world just too full of those

"I hate people who critise but can't come up with an alternative", oh I so agree with that quote

And finally the book finishes with the very wise words of Calvin Coolidge, the former US President. A GEM.
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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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on 9 November 2013
I'd heard it all before. Nothing original in here and very little humanity #robot

i wouldn't recommend it

Bland and generic
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on 11 January 2013
I admire Karen Brady's success but I agree with another reviewer who said it lacked heart and soul. It points out the obvious and is very repetative. If you read Lord Sugar's book (and I know he's a good deal older) but you really get the impression that you are beginning to understand him the person and it's a hugely fascinating read. We barely scratch the surface here. I got the impression that Karen was too worried to appear remotely frivolous and she is still searching for her niche outside of football. Perhaps a good read for the younger reader or working moms returning to work but not so rewarding for those already in business.
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on 11 September 2012
I read the first chapter which was full of incredibly sensible and down-to-earth advice about women succeeding in their chosen career. Genuinely wise and full of common sense. She writes very well about women as parents and how they have to balance the burden of raising children with their work commitments. My wife died when my children were young, so I can confirm that even some men have those problems.

The second chapter was about Karen's early days. How entrpreneurs are risk takers and hard workers. Hard work was emphasised a LOT. Almost every paragraph emphasised this point. Nothing at all wrong with that. If you want to succeed in anything, hard work will give you a much better chance.

What I found depressing was that Karen seemed genuinely pleased with herself when recounting how in her first day at school she pushed a boy out of the chair he was sitting in saying,"that's my chair." She also talks about her grandmother getting out of her car and punching other drivers in the nose if they were perceived to have cut her up, and how she was "always pushing me to the front of the queue".

Now my synmpathies are with the poor kid pushed out of his chair, the other motorists physically assaulted and the people who waited in the queue. We've all probably done (I certainly have) similarly unpleasant things in our lives but regret them and learn the lesson that other people count too.

I stopped reading at this point so maybe Karen goes on to say that actually the world isn't all me, me, me. I hope so but I didn't want to waste the time it takes to read the whole book to find myself disappointed.
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on 28 June 2012
I got this book because I was interested how Karren manages a successful career and a family. This is the first 'celebrity biography' I have read and perhaps the style is common to this genre, but I found it repetitive, meandering and quite cringey in parts. Although I appreciate plain-speaking, there wasn't enough personality and sparkle. I am all for hard work too but in Karren's case, I wasn't clear what all these endless hours were actually for: rather than empowered, Karren appears trapped by her own mindset. She is very impressive in terms of what she has achieved and is no doubt an inspiration to many (for that I'll give her 3 stars) - but the book wasn't for me.
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed this book and was really glad to gain an insight into Karren Brady and the way she operates. She's very enigmatic on The Apprentice and I've never been quite sure what to make of her. In this book she comes across as hard-working, straight-talking, and offers some interesting insights into her career, beliefs and attitude. The story felt a little repetitive in places, and I didn't think the sub-title (the "great pair of heels" bit) really worked. However, her story and the success she's made of herself is a testament to hard work and determination, and she's obviously a champion for equality in the workplace. I think I'll donate my almost-pristine Amazon Vine copy to a local girls' school for their library!
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on 1 April 2015
I had never heard of Karren Brady when I purchased this book. I know - I'm not very current! The good news is that I didn't embark on reading the book with any preconceived ideas about this woman. I found the book an easy read, and some parts were very interesting indeed. She is definitely an impressive woman, and I appreciated very much how genuine and forthright she is in the book. She is clearly a plain speaker, and I like that. She is also honest about some of her flaws or regrets, which I also like.
Now here's for the criticism. First of all, I find it hard to imagine how a woman of her stature could not find a better editor... the book is full of errors. This drives me crazy. Secondly, I know she writes a newspaper column (which I've never seen) but Karren Brady is not a writer. At all. I think she would have served her story much better if she had actually hired a proper writer to write it. Unfortunately the poor writing lets her down.
She says over and over in the book that she is a professional businesswoman first and foremost. And I think as a "professional" herself she should appreciate why there are "professional" writers (who wouldn't use the word "wonderful" twice on the same page, nor even once as a powerful descriptive adjective for a teenage cancer charity). This is not a well-written book by any measure.
Lastly, Brady often describes in detail how hard she works. It is obvious that this is not a lazy woman... she is go go go. She has clearly labored hard -- and has been rewarded handsomely. But she never once in her book mentions Luck. You know, that magic force that all successful people seem to forget about that but which is also largely responsible for their being where they are today. That's sad.
I think someone (pick me! pick me!) should wrote a proper book about this extraordinary woman. She's blood well impressive!
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