116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I like Ivanka Trump. I like what she stands for. She could have been another Paris Hilton ... a rich girl with no ambition other than to be famous. She has, instead, chosen a path that not many young women of her circumstance would have taken. I find fault with a lot of what she says in this book, but I do not deny that she is intelligent, well-adjusted, and not allergic to hard work like so many of her peers. I admire her for that and always have. I just wanted to get that out of the way, lest my review be discounted on some false belief that I am jealous of Ivanka.
I really wanted to like this book. I did not buy it thinking I would seriously be introduced to the secrets of winning at work and life by a 27-year-old who works for her father and has been given every possible advantage. But, rather than a how-to-succeed-in-business guide, the book comes off more like an attempt to prove that Ivanka isn't as spoiled as everyone thinks and that she does actually have a brain in her head.
The first half of the book is useless unless you are an Ivanka fan and want to know more about her upbringing. If you don't care about her childhood, the prestigious schools her father paid for her to attend, and the 100+ foreign countries she's been to, you can skip over this part. If you're really looking for her advice on how to succeed in the workplace, there are a few chapters of the book with tips on things like job interviews, e-mail and Blackberry etiquette, and how to negotiate with business associates. I don't think Ivanka deserves much credit for any of this because none of it is new or unusual. A 30-second Google search could provide the same tips for free. But at least it relates to what the book is supposed to accomplish.
Ivanka's challenge with this book is that she doesn't seem to understand that in the real world, no one gets hired as a VP in a multinational real estate development firm at the age of 24. She offers anecdotes of how she's tried to prove that she's worthy of the job, but she never comes around to admitting that she was in no way qualified for the position and that no matter how hard you work or how well-educated you are, unless you are the boss's kid, it will take decades for you to get to the same level that Ivanka has reached. She briefly mentions working for Bruce Ratner for one year right after she graduated and uses that to justify her rise to upper management in her father's business. As though it happens that way all the time. As though it was all a result of her hard work. It just doesn't work that way in real life, and she loses a lot of credibility by trying to suggest that she would have achieved the same level of success withour her last name.
The one reason I give the book 3 stars instead of 2 is that there was a brief moment where she offered advice that is useful to anyone, regardless of age, social status, or educational background. She makes a very strong argument for the value of hard work and making a real contribution. She points out that even if you don't have a Harvard degree like the person down the hall from you, you can still outwork that person by putting in more hours, coming up with better ideas, and making your contributions known to the people in charge. She offers an outstanding tip in this vein to anyone who wants to advance in their current company: if you're making the same contributions in Year 5 that you made in Year 1, you shouldn't be worried about promotions and raises ... you should be glad you still have a job. She is right on with this point, as too many people (especially young people, and I'm only 27, so I can say this without malice) think raises and promotions are a matter of time and not a result of effort and accomplishment.
I do think she is a great role model for wealthy children who have a chance to do something positive with their lives, but aside from the one tip I mentioned above, this book isn't going to help anyone who grew up in a poor or middle-class family, went to public schools, and didn't have an executive level job waiting for them in the famly business when they graduated from college.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
L. D. Merkl
- Published on Amazon.com
Ivanka Trump is poised, educated and successful. She has escaped the fate of many of those "born rich" by keeping out of trouble and living a dignified life. I'm sure a lot of young women look up to her because she's pretty and seems nice on The Apprentice. Although she breaks no new ground in her advice (be on time for meetings, work hard, be a team player, dress appropriately for work) these are things young women need to hear. They already hear it from their mothers, whom I'm sure they don't listen to because what does your mother know? But they might listen if their idol Ivanka says so, which isn't such a bad thing.
The Bad: She comes off as a bit of a snob; condescending and quite defensive, self-possessed and dare I say insecure. She keeps reminding the reader that she's a boss, "The people who work for me..." "When you're a member of my team..." that kind of thing. She doesn't know how people can go out every night and still get up for work the next morning but is always glad when friends "drag her out on a Thursday night." She name drops like nobody's biz, except maybe her father. She sounds like kind of a bore.
The Ridiculous: Her non-stop insistence that she is making it in her own right is embarrassing, not to mention unbelievable. I'm sure she would like to think so, but for it to be true, she would have to go into a whole other business, and not take one dime or get any help whatsoever from her family.
After college she spent a year at a different real estate company before joining the Trump Org. She apparently did this to show people she could work for someone other than her father. I'm sure the company bent over backwards to accommodate her in order to have the Trump connection for future biz deals.
So after an entire 12 months in an entry level position, she was then qualified to become a VP at her father's company.
We are then supposed to believe she is out there doing deals, etc. "in her own right" because all the people she does biz with see her for the astute professional she is.
If they know what's good for them, they will do what she wants because if they don't The Donald will cut them off at the knees.
I got the impression that she was trying to convince herself, more than the rest of us, that she's doing it on her own.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Laura Penn Warren
- Published on Amazon.com
I am actually a fan of Ivanka and want to see her succeed in the corporate world. She convinces me that her parents raised her well -- if somewhat unconventionally -- and she has some credible things to say to young people in particular about character. Nonetheless, the great irony of this book is that Ivanka works very hard to establish herself as more than just a beneficiary of nepotism and yet the advice that she offers is not of the caliber expected of someone holding such a lofty title as Vice President of Real Estate Development and Acquisitions for the Trump Organization. In fact, the advice actually begins about midway through the book. The first half mostly concerns her upbringing and could have been published separately under the title "Growing Up Trump." The section on interviewing skills is basic and unoriginal and made me laugh out loud. A quick Google search would reveal the same information -- for free. Although Ivanka alludes to a couple of major successes she has had as VP -- e.g., the Dubai project -- she does not give the reader a clear picture of how she achieved what she claims to have achieved. Chapters ten and eleven read as if written by a silly young girl. Consider this: "Plus, I love and appreciate fine jewelry! What girl doesn't? Especially the daughter of Ivana Trump!" (From chapter eleven.) Not exactly the stuff of a corporate VP. The publisher knew that people would buy the book because of who (a Trump) and what (strikingly beautiful) Ivanka is. However, notwithstanding that this is Ivanka's first literary effort, the book is seriously lacking in professional depth and is, in a nutshell, premature.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
E M Hall
- Published on Amazon.com
I remember seeing newspaper photos of Ivanka Trump when she was about 9 years old so it was with a wry smile that I noticed her book and realized she'd grown up. There is no doubt that she has been born into privilege and luxury and so it's on that note that we understand that she's clearly not like the majority of us. Still, assuming she did write the book herself (and not with the aid of a ghost writer as suggested in an earlier review), I found the book very well written and with a few pieces of advice that would help any aspiring executive. The aspect of the book that kept niggling me was that her main message was to "keep putting in the hours". Now this is fine if you're living within 20 minutes of the office and have someone to cook, clean and take care of things at home but for most of us with homes or apartments (and lives) to maintain it seems this has not been figured into the book because perhaps she has someone to do those mundane things for her. Who knows. However, I did enjoy the book; she's energetic, enthusiastic and adores her dad - an ideal daughter. She shared her tips of handwritten notes to people who've inspired her and advocates always acting like a lady; positive advice, especially in a time when role models for young businesswomen are very few. Now that Ivanka is engaged (there was no reference to her private life in the book at all), perhaps she would consider a book on balancing work, travel, planning a wedding and running a home, all the while looking fabulous and well rested. I don't mean to be mean, but in the real world this is where a lot of women would like some guidance. . .
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Many of the negative reviews above mirror my own opinion of this book; for example, the book spends much time speaking about Ivanka's formative years and family life, and it is not evident how this relates to those trying to work their way up the ladder, as opposed to already being there. It is true that she was practically born at the top rung, insofar as the ladder of material assets is concerned, but that in itself provides no reason to criticize this book; if one is to criticize this book, it would be for her failing to provide anything that resembles a "Trump Card" to her readership in the form of advice ------- it is important to remember that her readership is not necessarily the U.S aristocracy, but those looking to improve their lives in general, and in this capacity she fails miserably. The problems can be listed as below:
1. she provides "good" advice in the conventional sense (work hard, think things through, get educated, etc), but nothing that is profound or original, and nothing that cannot be gleamed from "common sense" and/or the internet, for free.
2. The "good" advice she provides, though "good" in theory, is not sufficient for application; for example, she speaks of getting educated ----- the question becomes: how? Her advice would be much more useful if she spoke of some techniques to help apply it in the real world. Moreover, after reading the work, seeing its underlying assumptions, it is my opinion that even if she had inserted these techniques, there would be better works out there, too numerous to mention, that would render it instantaneously obsolete in both depth and breadth.
personal note: if one is interested in achieving success with education, one of my favorites on this subject is Charles Hayes' "Self University"
To summarize, the book does not fulfill its stated goal, as it does not provide a "Trump Card" for her intended audience, and the cards it does give can be found in better condition elsewhere ------ the book is not what it should have been.