wichitabusinessjournalCarla Harris recently sat down with Daniel McCoy of the Wichita Business Journal to share some of her pearls of wisdom.  Read an excerpt from the article below, or go to the Wichita Business Journal Online to read the full article.

Owning your power: Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris on succeeding in business

by Daniel McCoy

Carla Harris definitely practices what she preaches.

And Harris, vice chairman of global wealth management, managing director and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, has the accomplishments to prove it.

In addition to being an executive at one of the nation’s largest investment firms, she was appointed last year as chair of the National Women’s Business Council by President Barack Obama.

She holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University — both with honors.

She was recently named one of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America” by Fortune Magazine.

She is also the author of “Expect to Win: Proven Strategies for Success from a Wall Street Vet.”

And, in addition to a litany of other accomplishments, she has also recorded and released three gospel albums.

So, given her varied successes, what would her advice be to other women in business?

The main ingredient to achievement: “Own your power,” she says.

Harris, who brought an up-beat view of the market to meetings in Wichita with local advisors and clients, sat down with the WBJ this week.
Here is more of what she has learned about what it takes to succeed.

What advice do you give other women looking to advance their own careers?

Own your power. If you get to the point where you can have a great career in business, you are powerful, you are smart, you have what it takes. Own that.

Don’t doubt it or discount it. That would be the macro-comment, but these micro-points I’m going to give you feed into that.

So then I would tell her to make sure you have a clear agenda on what you want out of your career. Ask yourself, why am I taking that seat? What skills do I want to get? What experience do I want to get? What networks do I want to build? What kind of people do I want to meet? Once you look at the seat — meaning the job — then you can ask what am I in this house (company)? Do I like the career platform, the trajectory? Do I like the people? Make sure you know why you are doing what you are doing. If you know why you are doing what you’re doing, it will keep you motivated and inspired to deliver excellence. If you don’t know and you just took a job to take a job, it’s really easy to become distracted. But if you have a personal agenda, you’ll know when it’s time to move — when it¹s time to change the seat, or when it’s time to change the house.