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She is as she seems: relentless
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.