Carla shared some valuable pearls of wisdom alongside W+K’s Colleen DeCourcy and CP+B’s Lori Senecal last week at the 3% Conference in NYC during their “Sheroes” panel.

Read some highlights here, over at The Drum, and on MediaPost Agency Daily:



On the topic of work/life balance – something that women are often asked about – Harris said balancing life and work doesn’t necessarily mean balancing work and family. Instead, she said it’s about “living intensely” and finding time for passions, no matter what the circumstances.

“I believe you should have something in your day every day that brings you joy,” she said.

As a gospel singer, Harris said that she will sometimes use her time on long flights to learn and prepare for upcoming concerts since planes provide with her an uninterrupted string of time where she can focus on what makes her happy.

The Drum

It’s hard for women to succeed in a world that isn’t always fair, says Morgan Stanley’s Harris. She advises women to understand the concept around currency, both performance and relationship. Performance currency is “delivering what was asked of you and a little bit extra. It works just like a stock market. It will create a reputation, early on, it will get you paid and promoted. It will attract a sponsor. That is the person spending their capital on you.”

However, performance currency starts diminishing once “you created a new standard of excellence.” There is no longer a premium when you work harder and longer than others since that is expected of you. “

Relationship currency, on the other hand, is the currency generated by “investments you make of the people in your environment,” says Harris. In other words, your professional network. This currency is the function of somebody’s judgements on whether you are ready, whether you will advance, and whether they will follow you. “How many people use their currency on who they don’t know?” asks Harris. People need both professional and relationship currency in order to ascend at work. “Performance may get your name on the short list, but when your name is called behind closed doors, if no can speak on your behalf, you aren’t getting the job,” says Harris.