Cover Image: 21st Century Business Icons

21st Century Business Icons

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Member Reviews

A brilliant introduction to some of the pioneering, innovative and inspiring leaders of our time.

I do enjoy books about business, particularly management and leadership - finding out about the people who are shaping companies and brands, how they are inspired and driven. And this is a fantastic collection of 21 entrepreneurs, influencers and pioneers from all over the world, those who are succeeding today and others who have been identified as ones to watch for the future. It's well put together and unputdownable!

The author is a journalist who has written about business and management for a number of publications.

In her introduction she outlines what makes a good leader, and the types of people we have turned to for direction in the past. She acknowledges that her choice on who to include as her business icons is led by her own life experience, working in the west, and highlighting success rather than failings. Her aim is to bring to the fore the leadership lessons these 21st century business icons can teach us all.

It's an amazing selection of companies and individuals, and a good mix of male and female profiles, some familiar names and others not so much.

There's Mary Barra from General Motors and Sara Blakely from Spanx, Sir James Dyson and Amazon's Jeff Bezos. There are the people behind Airbnb, Canva, Patagonia, MrBeast, Bitcoin and Diligent Robotics.

It's as much an education on some of the leading and pioneering global brands and initiatives as it is a lesson in perseverance, determination, and also the value of being 'a servant leader'. It's fascinating.

Each business leader profiled has a short description of their career background, achievements and vision which is then supported by a summary of the key qualities they've brought to their role or initiative. Each section concludes with a final summary in bullet points of the individual's tips to successful leadership. It's fantastic! Really succinct and very readable and inspiring. Left me feeling positive and hopeful!

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A book that gives you a bird's eye view of 21 business luminaries who have made an impact this century. The businessmen have been chosen with a lot of care ensuring adequate representation of men and women as well as keeping diversity and inclusivity in mind. Surprisingly there are quite a few third-world countries businesses and this is an eye-opener on how much work is being done for the upliftment of the community by selfless individuals. These stories hardly get any mention in the media and it is refreshing to discover the same in this book. I enjoyed learning about these sunrise industries, especially in the third world. Besides these other figures are well known in the Western universe with enough and more written about their work and achievements. The author has done tremendous work referencing and condensing it meaningfully the important aspects of each business person covered in this book.

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I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and all opinions expressed are my own.

This is a wonderful book profiling business icons from Jeff Bezos to Sara Blakely . It is an inspiring book on how the business icons attained success, their business values and of course their impact. It is an ideal book for entrepreneurs alike, business school candidates and avid readers. It is well written and quite interesting.

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An eye-opening and interesting book with each chapter focussing on a different person, some well known, others more obscure. Everyone from Mary Barra (General Motors) to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). I’m fascinated by people who achieve success in business; I want to know what drives them, what makes them tick. Do luck and timing play a part, is it drive and ambition? Nature? Nurture? It’s all of these things.

The second part of the book looks to the future, to people who are shakers and movers some years hence.

This is an easy to read, pick up and put down, dip into type of book featuring people from different backgrounds, different stories but all fascinating and inspiring, even for people with no intention of going into, or owning their own, business.

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This is a well researched and well written book with sixteen chapters on the leaders of current businesses from the 21st century, namely:.

Mary Barra (General Motors)
Sara Blakely (Spanx)
Rosalind Brewer (Walgreens Boots Alliance)
Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb)
Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia)
Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast)
Sir James Dyson (Dyson)
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Biocon)
Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter)
Satoshi Nakamoto (Bitcoin)
Melanie Perkins (Canva)
Zhang Ruimin (Haier Group)
Uğur Şahin And Özlem Türeci (BioNtech)
Whitney Wolfe Herd (Bumble)
Mark Zuckerberg (Meta Platforms)

I knew of some, less so others but I enjoyed reading all of their stories. The stories of each capture their background, education and other aspects of their lives as well as their business decisions.

The last fifth of the book covers five business leaders who the author considers to be the next leaders to shape the future of the world. It's both an interesting and inspirational read. The book should be required reading for for all aspire to run their own business whether local, national or global.

With thanks to NetGalley and Kogan Page for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Percy's aim was to look at business leaders who are active this century and have had an effect on the world; these include the usuals but some less well-known figures (though one was the leader of Bitcoin who no one knows whether they are a person or a group of people!). She says early on that she plans to take a broadly positive view but does touch on challenges and negative issues around AirBnB and the like. For each we get a potted history with a motto at the start and then some leadership lessons. I liked in particular the newer people listed at the end, but the whole thing was written from secondary resources and had an oddly homogeneous feel to it, like it had been written by an AI. It was informative and interesting, though, and it was good to have entrepreneurs from places other than the UK/US profiled.

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This is not usually the type of book I read, but something about the title or blurb grabbed me, and I am glad it did. I was a little concerned that it would be heavy business, and I would not be able to follow, or enjoy it, but I am happy to say, this is not the case. The book covers each person in their own chapter, and the writing is approachable, clear, easy to follow, and very inspiring. It shared the success and failures, and an insight into how the person got to where they are now. The second section of the book looks at people to keep an eye on for the future, with a wonderful range of people, backgrounds and industries. I have bookmarked many things on my laptop to keep an eye on.

I found myself taking notes, and finding things I could apply to my own work and life. I was talking to friends about it, recommending they read this book. So many things in each section were inspiring, making me feel like I wanted to discuss with someone. It would be a brilliant book club book. I have at least 3 people who I have this book on my list to purchase as Christmas gifts! Definitely one to read, even if you think you are not into business or this type of book - this one will change your perception of that.

*I received this book from NetGalley to review, but all opinions are my own.

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An inspiring book on leadership, including case studies from lots of great business people. I have just decided to start my own business and this book has helped to build my confidence. Everyone has hiccups, failures etc it is how you then pick yourself up and deal with them that is the key. Brilliant.

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I was intrigued by the title but worried that the book would be dry and dull. The book is the complete opposite and I finished it in one day. Each chapter was inspirational and inspiring. Each person became alive in the telling of their road to success. It did not gloss over failures or obstacles but included them as a learning tool to the person and the reader.
The second section of people to watch for the future is magnificent with the range of people, backgrounds, industries and locations around the world. I look forward to hearing about their success in the future.

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I would struggle to be able to review this book due to issues with the file/download. The issues stopped the flow of the book. The issues are:
- Missing words in the middle of sentences
- Stop/start sentences on different lines
- No clear definition of chapters.
- Red text

I’m not sure if it was a file/download issue but there were lots of gaps and stops/starts which really ruined the flow. I would love the chance to read a better version as the description of the book appeals to me. I would be more than happy to re-read the book with a better file If you would like me to re-review please feel free to contact me at or via social media The_secret_bookreview (Instagram) or Secret_bookblog (Twitter). Thank you.

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