Bonnie Marcus interviewed Carla on Forbes to find out more about how her ambition and drive got her to where she is today. Read an excerpt below or head over to Forbes.com for the full article.
Marcus: Did you ever doubt your ability to be successful?
Harris: No, I didn’t. And I expected that I was going to do well. And this I’d have to give my parents a lot of credit for, because they brought me up with the mentality that I was supposed to do well, that there was nothing special about getting an A, or nothing special about excelling. That’s who you are and that’s what you’re supposed to do. So I grew up saying, “Okay, well I’m supposed to get A’s. I’m smart.” Now sure, as I started my career, were there things that didn’t go well, that made me wonder or give me a crisis of confidence? Absolutely. And I talk about those freely. But again, working through those, builds up your data so the next time you have one of those moments, you go, “Wait a minute. I’ve got data that says, “Been here before. Got through that. So I’ll get through it again.” And that’s really what continues to carry you as you meet those challenges or you have some of those moments going forward.
Marcus: And what’s your best advice for women on how they can honor their ambition?
Harris: I think the most important thing in honoring your ambition is to know what you want and to own and embrace that that is what really matters; what you want. Because it’s your life, and you’re never going to get a chance to live these days again. When you know what you want and you embrace what you want, then it’s easy I think, to sustain it over time. Because no matter what you do, you commit to yourself that you’re going to get there. Life will happen, but you stay focused on what it is you want to do. And be intentional. I can’t underscore that word enough. Be intentional about your actions and your choices, so that they all support what it is you really what to do. And if you have that in sight, then you’ll make the right career moves. You will go to the right organizations. Because they’ll all be in line with what’s supporting, ultimately, your ambition.