Women Who Work
May 12, 2017
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Just last week I wrote that I rarely review books, yet this week, with Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself once again inspired to share another exceptional read with you. This one happens to be written by a member of our nation’s first family, who is a mother of three herself.
The book aims to help women everywhere find success by leading “one life” and prioritizing their goals and passions in a way that works best for them. However, much of Ivanka’s advice about focusing on the things we care about most, keeping an optimistic outlook, building strong professional relationships, learning to communicate more effectively, and working hard in all of our endeavors is useful to both men and women.
At its core, Women Who Work is a guidebook to achieving the American dream written by a forward-thinking, innovative woman and business leader. Before joining her father in the White House, Ivanka was Executive Vice-President of Development and Acquisitions at the Trump Organization, where she oversaw the development of numerous Trump Hotels and the Scion brand. She also founded her own successful lifestyle and fashion brand.
The pages of Women Who Work are filled with ideas that any American could embrace to become more successful. The full scope is too great to detail here, so I will present it in a framework with which I’m familiar.
Much of Ivanka’s advice echoes a leadership model that I have followed my entire career — “Listen, Learn, Help, Lead.” I picked it up from the Army’s leadership doctrine in 1979, but it seems that Ivanka intuited its principles on her own. That’s no surprise, given the tremendous success of both her and her family.
Here is an example Ivanka gives about the value of listening and learning:
“As a generation, we’ve stopped listening. We tend to rush to speak first or make our own point without truly hearing what the other party has to say. We have two ears and one mouth — use them in that proportion!”
This is really the foundation for being successful. If we fail to slow down and absorb knowledge, then we can’t build on that knowledge. The next step is determining how to apply this knowledge in order to achieve our goals. Invariably, this often means working with other people.
Ivanka rightly points out that by narrowing in on the skills in which we each excel, we can more effectively look for and create opportunities to apply these skills in team settings, improving the team’s productivity, effectiveness, and results.
“Now I know that success it a team sport. I soon figured out that you can’t be an expert at everything, and even if you think you are, you’re likely spreading yourself too thin to effectively capitalize on the highest and best use of your skills—-those areas where you add unique value.”
Finally, Ivanka provides an entire chapter on leadership, which I found very insightful. The foundation of her leadership model is built on creating an environment that empowers creativity, honesty, unity, and action.
Citing an enormous, diverse group of experts in corporate training, psychology, entrepreneurship, communications, and other fields throughout the book, Ivanka set out with the goal of helping women find ways to improve their lives and careers in the world as it existed.
Now that Ivanka is a senior advisor in the White House, she will be able to expand the reach of her mission even further and help to enact policies that will have a profound effect on women, men, and families across America.
And since she is now in service to the country, a portion of the proceeds from book sales are being donated to charity.
I found the book especially interesting, because Ivanka began writing it before her father was elected president — around the time he won the Republican nomination. During that same period, I began conceptualizing my own book about the president called Understanding Trump, which will be released June 13.
Reading Ivanka’s book provided me with further confirmation about how and why the Trump family is so successful. President Trump has instilled in his children an unfailing work ethic and a profound love for the country and the American dream. Women Who Work perfectly illustrates all of these qualities and would make a perfect gift for Mother’s Day.