Tuesday 18 June 2019

'A real leader faces the music even when he doesn't like the tune' - West Ham United vice chairman Karren Brady

'Running a football club is not like running any other business...all our assets are people'

Karren Brady (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Karren Brady (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

English sports executive Karren Brady learned a few things when she first became managing director of Birmingham City football club in 1993 at the age of 23.

Speaking to a packed Convention Centre at day two of the Pendulum Summit, the television personality said she realised there were three types of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen,  and those who wonder at things that happen,

"And I knew which one I was."

"I knew I would have to change the business culture at the club. Running a football club is not like running any other business...all our assets are people."

At the time the football club was in receivership, however under Ms Brady's guidance it turned its fortunes around, with Ms Brady leaving two months after it was sold for £81.5m in 2009.

Under her stewardship, Ms Brady demanded all employees be the best version of what they can be.

In addition Brady championed life long learning and enthusiasm among staff.

Today the mother of two is vice chairman of West Ham United, as well as a fixture on the BBC's reality show 'The Apprentice'.

Noting that her most difficult job title has been that of "working mother" she told the audience, and women in particular, to try not to worry about juggling the nativity play and the board room, "it all works out in the end, and for the important things I was there."

Ms Brady finished by telling the audience six things you need to be the best version of yourself: Leadership, ambition, direction, determination, the right attitude, and to be positive. 

"A real leader faces the music even when he doesn't like the tune," Ms Brady said.

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