To celebrate International Women’s Day, BRAND MINDS is launching Win the BRAND MINDS Success Box for Driven Women!

The box contains 10 bestselling books by world-changing women authors to support the growth of the winner.

The campaign is not limited to women, men too are invited to join the campaign as the generous box makes for a great gift. Join the campaign.

brand minds campaign win the brand minds success box for driven women

The BRAND MINDS Success Box for Driven Women contains the following books:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
2. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
3. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
4. Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne
5. Educated by Tara Westover
6. The anatomy of love by Helen Fisher
7. Grit by Angela Duckworth
8. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
9. Quiet by Susan Cain
10. Build an A-team by Whitney Johnson

Every book in this list was carefully chosen to serve a specific goal: show the story of a driven woman. The winner will get to read ten powerful stories of ten ambitious women and what was like for them to find their way in life.

Becoming is the story of a woman who has steadily defied expectations. A driven woman, says Michelle Obama embraces her roots while finding her voice. She experiences triumphs and disappointments but doesn’t fight them. Instead she allows both experiences to shape her and teach her valuable lessons.

It’s a man’s world out there and women could be tempted to do business the same way men do and become part of the boys’ club to fit in and be successful. Brené Brown argues against it. Women shouldn’t embrace toxic myths such as vulnerability seen as a weakness. The renowned researcher found data that dispelled this myth. In truth, vulnerability is strength and when we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, says Brene in her book Daring Greatly, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.

What does being successful really mean? We used to measure success by two metrics: power and money. These two metrics are again signals of a testosterone-filled society where competition implies there is only one winner and he or she is expected to sacrifice anything on the way to the top, including health and family life. It’s a toxic approach to living a successful life which Arianna Huffington has come to realize the hard way. Thrive is Arianna’s story of how she turned her life around after suffering from exhaustion and lack of sleep.

Running a successful business has more to do with strategy than having the lowest price. Why do what everyone else is doing and become indistinguishable from the competition? Ambitious and driven women look for a way to stand out in the crowd and be different. That’s what co-author Renée Mauborgne advocates for in Blue Ocean Strategy: the pursuit of differentiation by creating and capturing uncontested market space.

We all know this: women tend to overanalyze, have a high level of self-criticism and set very high standards for themselves looking for perfection. More often than not a woman’s worst enemy is herself. Did you ever hear a man saying he’s not good enough in a situation or for a particular job? I generalize, of course, but men don’t usually overthink, they just go for it whether they’re prepared or not! That‘s what Mel Robbins recommends in her book, The 5 Second Rule: if you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. The campaign’s winner will have the opportunity to read Mel’s book and transform her life, work, and confidence with everyday courage.

What do all driven women have in common? Passion and perseverance. Pioneering psychologist and researcher Angela Duckworth shows in her book that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.” Grit is a must-read book for any woman striving to succeed.

Having a thriving and fulfilling life means being successful in both your private and professional life. Successful professional life doesn’t compensate for unhappiness in your private life. It’s like walking with one shoe: eventually your shoeless foot is going to hurt. That’s why driven women should be driven when it comes to their relationships or family life also. Just like we can improve our professional life by learning from experts, mentors or other professionals, we can improve our private life by learning from experienced psychologists and human behaviour researchers. Helen Fisher’s The anatomy of love is a cutting-edge tour de force that traces human family life from its origins in Africa over 20 million years ago to the Internet dating sites and bedrooms of today. It’s a great book that helps us discover more about love, marriage, divorce and the future of sex.


We cannot choose our parents. As children, we have no say in how our parents parent us. Some children receive the level of nurturing and care they need to become successful adults. Others are not so lucky and spend their adulthood trying to erase the negative influence of an unhappy childhood. It’s an emotional process. In Educated, Tara Westover recounts overcoming a harrowing childhood. Read her book to discover what she had to do to protect her mental health and allow herself to become the best that she could be.

Here’s an interesting statistic regarding introverts: 56.8% of people around the world prefer Introversion. Given such a high percentage of introverted people worldwide, you would think that introverts also filled most leadership roles. You would be wrong. Culturally, we associate successful leadership with a high level of self-confidence. Extroverts express their opinions with great ease and give the impression that they know what they are doing. Thus, extroverts get noticed and get promoted faster than introverts. It’s an unconscious bias which makes the business world lean towards extroverted CEOs. In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.

What’s the secret to having an engaged and productive team? According to innovation & disruption theorist Whitney Johnson, author of Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve, the secret is to develop a learning plan for all employees, no matter where they are on their personal learning curves. Your organization stays competitive in an unpredictable, rapidly changing business environment by designing people’s jobs around the skills they have today as well as the skills they’ll need tomorrow.

It’s a great list of 10 amazing bestsellers!

See here how you can join the campaign.

Leadership lessons from 3 of the 100 most influential people according to TIME

Founded in 1923, TIME has the world’s largest circulation for a weekly news magazine with a readership of 26 million for its print edition.

The magazine is also known for TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people of the year.

In this article, I talk about three of them and their leadership lessons: Zhang Yiming, Bob Iger and Tara Westover.

Leadership lessons from 3 of the 100 most influential people according to TIME


Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Founder Zhang Yiming

Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance. Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Zhang Yiming founded ByteDance in 2012. The Chinese company is the parent company of popular apps Jinri Toutiao, a news aggregation platform and TikTok, a popular short-form video sharing platform.

TikTok is the most downloaded app on Apple devices for the first quarter of 2019 with over 1 billion downloads to date according to SensorTower.


ByteDance’s founder started out as an ordinary tech engineer at Microsoft. Today, the 36-year-old is among the richest in China with an estimated $16.2 billion net worth.

Last October, Zhang secured a $3 billion funding round that valued ByteDance at around $75 billion. His strategy for ByteDance is to diversify its portfolio from software to hardware. It is rumoured that a ByteDance smartphone will be released by the end of 2019.

Your sense of responsibility and your desire to do things well will drive you to do more things and to gain experience.

CEO ByteDance Zhang Yiming

Here’s what makes a better leader according to Zhang Yiming:

  • Use your own product/service. It’s the only way to understand users and what they experience;
  • Get yourself exposed to various people and experiences;
  • Develop a work ethic which transcends the boundaries of your responsibilities.



The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger / Image source: abcnews.go.com

Bob Iger is Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, one of the world’s largest and most admired media and entertainment companies.

Since becoming CEO in 2005, he oversaw the acquisitions of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), Lucasfilm (2012) and 21st Century Fox (2019).

In 2016 Disney expanded its international footprint by opening its first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort.

He also took the company to the next level with the use of technology by creating an ambitious direct-to-consumer strategy that features the company’s various streaming services, including Disney+, which debuts on November 12.

His book, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons learned from 15 years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company launched on September 23.

Here are 9 leadership lessons that he shared in a LinkedIn article where he tells the story of the Lucasfilm acquisition and the making of the first Disney produced Star Wars film.

9 leadership lessons from Bob Iger

  1. Talk to your team members to make sure everyone is on the same page and fully understand the stakes;
  2. Share the burden of what it means to be responsible with your team members;
  3. Communicate to your team members that you are their partner and not just a CEO putting pressure on them to deliver results;
  4. Be a resource and a collaborator, make them feel that they could call you at any moment to discuss any problem they might wrestling with;
  5. Remind your team that you believe in them and that there are no better minds to run your company’s projects;
  6. If you can’t make the deadline, it’s ok. Don’t rush to deliver your project on time even if this means taking a short-term hit to your bottom line. Sacrificing quality is never an option;
  7. Decide wisely when it’s worth engaging in any public discourse and when it’s not;
  8. When you run negotiations, let your partners know clearly about where you stand while allowing yourself to show empathy if the situation calls for it;
  9. A successful deal is a deal where you build trust with your partners and suppliers.

You have to try to recognize that when the stakes of a project are very high, there’s not much to be gained from putting additional pressure on the people working on it.

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger



Tara Westover / Image source: newstatesman.com

Zhang Yiming and Bob Iger run two highly successful companies. Both men have over 10k employees and 200k respectively under their leadership.

Leading people is one of the most challenging and wonderful jobs in the world. But the first person you need to start with is yourself.

How could you possibly lead other people to achieve their dreams if you cannot change your life to achieve yours?

Tara Westover is one of the best examples of personal growth in recent times.

She is the author of Educated: A Memoir, which has been on Top 10 New York Times Bestsellers List for 86 weeks.

The book was published in 2018 and has been translated into 35 languages. It won many awards among which the 2018 Goodreads Choice Award for Memoir, the Audie Award for Autobiography/Memoir, Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association as well as being featured on Bill Gates’s Holiday Reading List and President Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of the Year list.

Tara’s story is about how one fifteen-year-old girl has decided that her family’s values were not her own and didn’t allow her parents to shape her future.

It’s a story about grit, resilience and strength.

She went against her family’s wishes and that took courage. She suffered physical and emotional abuse.

Her parents didn’t give her wings to grow and become everything that she could like most parents wish for their children. They tried to put her in a dark cage where she would never see the light of knowledge and self-actualization. She fought back and escaped.

Leadership lessons from Tara:

  • Never give up on your dream;
  • Building your dream takes grit, resilience, courage and strength;
  • Learning is the stepping stone towards success;
  • Success is linked to personal growth.

We are thrilled to have Tara Westover on the stage at BRAND MINDS 2020, where she’ll deliver a speech about The Power of Education.

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Tara Westover LIVE at BRAND MINDS 2020

Tara Westover is one of today’s Best Selling Authors and a keynote speaker at BRAND MINDS 2020.

Read on to learn more about Tara Westover.

‘Educated: A Memoir’ – No 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List 2019

At the time I am writing this article, Tara’s memoir ‘Educated’ has been No 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers for the past 70 weeks.

The book was published in 2018 and it has been earning various accolades ever since. It was named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, Good Morning America, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Post etc.

‘Educated’ describes Tara’s upbringing in her separatist family with radical views of the world and how these values influenced her life and the lives of her siblings.

Tara’s memoir is currently being translated into more than 30 languages.



‘Educated’ Awards and Recognition

Educated earned a slew of awards among which:

  • Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association;
  • One of the New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2018;
  • Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Autobiography;
  • Amazon Editors’ pick for the Best Book of 2018;
  • Apple’s Best Memoir of the Year;
  • Audible’s Best Memoir of the Year;
  • Long-listed for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.

Bill Gates and Tara Westover / tarawestover.com

Tara’s process of self-discovery is beautifully captured in Educated. It’s the kind of book that I think everyone will enjoy, no matter what genre you usually pick up. She’s a talented writer, and I suspect this book isn’t the last we’ll hear from her. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Bill Gates

Her amazing life story of overcoming a difficult childhood

Now in her 30s, Tara Westover is the youngest of seven children. She lived on a mountain in rural Idaho with her siblings and survivalist Mormon parents. What does survivalist mean? It means her parents didn’t believe in many things we take for granted like doctors and hospitals, the government, public education etc.

Tara had a very difficult childhood which she describes in harrowing stories: she suffered many physical injuries – from a spike going through her leg to a car crash when she was 14 – as well as emotional and physical abuse from one of her brothers. Her parents didn’t provide the comfort, warmth and understanding that she needed so she gradually became estranged from them.


Tara Westover and Oprah / oprah.com

No birth certificate but a PhD from Cambridge University

Tara didn’t have a birth certificate due to her parents’ extremism and didn’t attend primary school but when she got older she decided she wanted to go to college. Her parents didn’t support her because she was going against their family values.

To get into college she pretty much taught herself algebra, mathematics, grammar, and science. She was such a great learner that she was admitted to Brigham Young University.

She had a rough four years at the university but not because she was a bad student, it was because she didn’t know much about the world like everyone else. For example, she had never heard of the Holocaust or the civil rights movement, Napoleon or Martin Luther King or simple facts like Europe is not a country, but a continent.

I think education is really just a process of self-discovery, of developing a sense of yourself and what you think.

Tara Westover

She graduated Magna cum Laude and subsequently won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. In 2010 she was a visiting fellow at Harvard University and in 2014 she received a PhD in history from Cambridge University.

It’s an engrossing read, a fresh perspective on the power of education, and it’s also a testament to the way grit and resilience can shape our lives.{…} Tara’s upbringing was so different from my own, but learning about her world gave me insight into lives and experiences that weren’t a part of my own journey. To me, it’s an example of the extraordinary power of storytelling.

Michelle Obama, in the New York Times

100 Most Influential People in 2019 by Time Magazine

Time Magazine included Tara Westover in their list of 100 Most Influential People of 2019 which features artists, activists, politicians and entrepreneurs, chosen for their exciting and impactful ideas.

Join BRAND MINDS 2020 – The Growth Weekend on September 25th and watch Tara Westover speak about The Power of Education!


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