Ivanka Trump shares what she’s learned about running a business from Donald Trump and her brothers

Donald Trump Ivanka Trump
Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump. Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump has worked with her family much of her life.

As executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organisation, she’s taken over running Donald Trump’s real-estate empire with her brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, while her father focuses on campaigning.

Previously she’s starred alongside her father on “The Apprentice,” and she hosted the Miss Teen USA pageant, owned by Donald, at age 17.

Business Insider recently interviewed the Trump empire heiress, and we asked her what she’s learned from working alongside her family. Here’s what she had to say:

Working in a family business, which obviously The Trump Organisation is, is an incredible thing, but it’s complicated. It’s complex.

I’ve seldom met somebody who is merely satisfied working alongside siblings. You typically have a binary outcome. They either are miserable and everyone starts to hate each other, which is an unfortunate outcome that we see too often, or it is really incredible, and there’s tremendous energy and mutual respect, and the parties work really well together. I’ve found that the middle road typically doesn’t happen.

Working in a family business, you just have to be cognisant of being respectful to one another, treating each other in a professional way when you’re in an office environment, because it’s very easy, especially with siblings, to let down your guard and say exactly what’s on your mind when maybe that doesn’t serve the situation well and can create ill feelings. It’s important to be honest with and respectful of each other and deal with issues as they arrive, as opposed to letting them simmer.

Ivanka says she has had the good fortune of working with her two “very capable” brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, and the three collaborate often. While each has a different perspective and approach to getting things done, Trump says this allows them to be more creative, and they tend to reach very similar conclusions.

On what she’s learned from her father, she says:

My father is incredible. He’s an amazing leader. He’s built an enormous business. He’s employed tens of thousands of people over the years. It’s incredible to watch how he is able to inspire people. He has a very clear vision for each of his businesses in terms of what he wants to accomplish. He will lay out bold goals, and then he will enable people to work very hard to achieve them. And he’ll encourage them and he’ll support them in those efforts. So he’s taught me a tremendous amount about how to be an inspiring leader and how to try to do that as well.

Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump
Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump. Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images

Ivanka also said that there is no contingency plan in place for who would run the Trump Organisation should
Donald win the presidency.

We’re taking it one day at a time. But right now my adult siblings and I run the business. My father is very focused on the campaign and his goal of making this country great again. So that is his primary focus, and we’re running the business.

In terms of the logistics of that from a title perspective, we have not talked about that nor do we typically care very much. We’re not large on bureaucracy. My brothers and I said to each other when we started in this business that as a collective we can do far more than any one of us can do individually. And that’s really what guides our relationship — this sense of camaraderie. And it is a family business, and we work together collaboratively as a family.