Ivanka Trump: Identify what you love

Keynote speaker at WFF encourages attendees to pursue passion

Welcoming more than 2,000 attendees to the 2011 Women’s Foodservice Forum Annual Leadership Development Conference, keynote speaker Ivanka Trump offered pearls of wisdom on succeeding in business at the highest levels.

Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, said the best advice she has received came from her parents, Donald, and his first wife, Ivana.

“Identify that which you love doing, and pursue it doggedly,” she said.

Trump, who also serves as a principal in Ivanka Trump Jewelry, discussed rising to the top, mentoring others or finding mentors, and the unique challenges women face in the business world.

Rachel Hadley, corporate communications manager at Cinnabon, said she was energized by Trump’s presentation. A first-time attendee to the WFF annual conference, Hadley was excited about the program.

“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people here,” she said. “It’s empowering to be among this many women leaders in the industry.”

On Trump, Hadley said she identified with the need to love what you do in order to succeed.

“She said ‘love what you do,’ and I do,” Hadley said.

Hadley spoke with Nation’s Restaurant News on her expectations for the WFF conference. See the video below. [Story continues after the clip]

(Video by Ellen Hartman, Hartman Public Relations; Interview by Sarah Lockyer, NRN)

Trump’s views spanned international business relations, the lessons she gained not only from her famous parents but also from others she has worked with in numerous roles, and the strengths and weaknesses of women in the workplace.

Trump’s notable quotes:

• “Most large industries are male dominated. While that obviously represents a challenge, look at the positive. It’s not always bad to be the one in the room who stands out.”

• “You have to take risks; otherwise you are not going to achieve great things. That being said, there is a difference between shooting from the hip and taking a calculated risk.”

• “Women are great team players. While that is important in business, too often women aren’t showcasing their own abilities. You have to be a team player, but you have to make sure your company recognizes your unique value add.”

• “The most successful people aren’t always the smartest – academically. There will always be someone smarter than you, but there may not be someone who works harder than you.”

• “You can’t fake confidence. You get confidence by meeting a series of goals and accomplishments. You gain confidence through success.”

• “If you’re a leader, people are always watching you. Act the way you want others to perceive you.”

Contact Sarah Lockyer at [email protected]