Book Excerpt: Expect to Win by Carla Harris

Capturing the power of being uniquely you



A lack of confidence can also hurt in your internal interactions as well. When you are confident with who you are, it helps you to build trust in relationships with people you work with. Especially if your work environment is very competitive or has a relatively flat hierarchy, which also tends to intensify internal competition, then it is imperative that you have confidence in who you are and what you are doing. If you are in a competitive environment where the rule is “up or out” (either you move up within the organization over a period of time or you have to leave the organization) and your colleagues realize that you are not comfortable with who you are or in your work, then they will actively try to find ways to make you doubt yourself.

If you are constantly questioning your abilities in the workplace, then sooner or later your boss is likely to notice and their trust or belief in you will be impaired. And when your boss starts to doubt whether or not you can do the work or have the ability to sell your ideas, then you are very likely to be viewed as someone who cannot or should not move up within the organization or get the opportunity to have bigger and better clients or other responsibilities.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents. Have the confidence to play up yours. Be proud about what you do well and who you are. And work to improve your weaknesses whenever possible. You don’t have to wear either on your sleeve, but don’t suppress what’s good and interesting about yourself either.

Excerpted from Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies For Thriving In The Workplace. Published by arrangement with Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright © Carla A. Harris, 2010.

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  • Terri

    I can’t wait to read Carla’s book. She interviewed me for a Finance Internship position on Wall Street while in College. She definitely is one of the most memorable interviewers that I can genuinely say that I had in my undergraduate experience. As many interviews that I have had in my life – the conversation with her was definitely one of the most impactful. I am confident that her book will be a “must have” and one of those tools that you will want to pass on to someone else. Can’t wait to buy it for myself and my nieces who are just starting the interview process in College!

  • I remember this excerpt from the book – I remember reading that part during my lunch break and thinking, do I bring my best self EVERYDAY? I bought this book last summer before beginning a new job that I wanted so badly. I would read the book on my lunch break and take it home everyday. Now, I have a hanging basket at my desk with Expect to Win, the January issue of BE, my college alumni magazine and some employer training materials. I consider these items to be key to my career success as well as in life. Thank you so much for writing this book Ms. Harris.

  • Barbara Osborne

    Carla Harris will be our speaker in Omaha NE for our Black Employee Network Black History Month Celebration at Union Pacific RR. I just read the excerpts from the book can’t wait to read the entire book. I plan on getting my copy on Feb 25.