Carla Harris and Calling a Thing a Thing || EP. 155

Carla Harris and Calling a Thing a Thing || EP. 155

Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Carla Harris. THE Carla Harris…the renowned international public speaker, top 40 female speakers in the world who is sharing her “Carla’s Pearls” on career success.


This is the first of the 2024 WBL (Women Business Leaders) Series where Laurie and Carla are speaking to a live audience of senior executive women in healthcare. “There is NO question where I will not have a prescriptive answer” and Carla most certainly lived up to that promise.


In this powerful conversation, we touched on many of “Carla’s Pearls” including the different types of currency you build, and bank, over the course of a career. Performance currency is what you are building over the course of a career. But as you get more senior, performance currency has diminishing returns. What becomes more valuable is relationship currency. Herein lies power. What will people say about you behind closed doors? In those conversations when decisions are being made for senior leaders, these conversations do not include numbers, it is about what people know about you. “Danguole is our most creative person. If she can’t do it, it can’t be done.” Those conversations do not happen if you have not taken the time to build that relationship currency.


Another Pearl from this conversation is busting the myth of the imposter syndrome including a bit of exhaustion of still talking about it after decades. Carla reminds us that in today’s world to get into the chair (whatever chair that is), you are being vetted by 8…12…more people. They are wrong about you? Not possible. Own your truth.


One more favorite Pearl is the strong push to support others. “You cannot be in that room and not support another.” Carla is clear that no one would support someone if that was not deserved. At the same time, the idea that you wouldn’t bring along others, like you, diverse from you, when you have the opportunity to use your currency……. Carla’s Pearl: When you have relationship currency you USE it. That’s power.



Guest Bios:

Carla Harris is a renowned international public speaker and is also a Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She was most recently the Vice Chairman responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. In her 30+ year career as an investment banker, Ms. Harris has had extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. She is highly regarded as a motivator, executor and leader. In August 2013, Carla Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council.

Named as one of the Top 40 Female Speakers in the World in 2020, Carla engages audiences around the world with her popular “Carla’s Pearls” where she shares with both leaders and emerging leaders how to maximize their career success across all industries using the “hard earned and hard learned” lessons

that she acquired during her Wall Street Career. Her most recent book, Lead To Win, shares her pearls of Intentional Leadership to help professionals become powerful, impactful, influential leaders into today’s challenging professional context.

Carla has been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America”, Fortune’s Most Influential List, U. S. Bankers Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance(2009, 2010, 2011), Black Enterprise’s Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business (2017), and “Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street”, and to Essence Magazine’s list of “The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World”, Ebony’s list of the Power 100 and many more. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Money, Barrons and many other publications.

In her other life, Carla is a singer who has sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theatre, and released 4 Gospel CDs: “O This is Christmas” (2021) “Unceasing Praise” (2011), “Joy Is Waiting”(2005), and her first CD entitled, “Carla’s First Christmas”(2000), was a bestseller on in New York and was featured on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather in his “American Dream” segment.