Day 1: Carla Harris Talks Power, Fighting Fear and More at 2015 Women of Power Summit

Harris inspires women with her pearls of wisdom

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Day One of Black Enterprise’s 2015 Women of Power Summit ended on a bang as hundreds of women gathered on the Oceanview Terrace at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa for a Purpose and Pearls Beach Party hosted by State Farm.

With pearl-themed décor and the ladies dressed in all white, the evening served as a perfect backdrop for the events theme of regeneration and renewal. As women networked with both new and old friends, Carla Harris, vice chairman of global wealth management, managing director and senior client adviser at Morgan Stanley, shared her pearls of wisdom and offered practical career advice and strategies to help attendees make their professional goals a reality.

Talking about her career path from a McDonald’s employee to a power woman on Wall Street, Harris expressed to the crowd that the key to success is owning your power.

“Power lies in your perspective,” she said. “Do you own your power? Do you understand your power?”

While building upon her point of owning your power and standing in your truth, Harris then outlined her pearls of wisdom that have helped her become the power woman that she is today. Her first pearl explained the importance of not only relying on your performance currency to get you recognized in the workplace, but also your relationship currency.

“It is the relationships that will allow you to maximize your success,” said Harris before explaining her second pearl of wisdom on the importance of going after the job you want.

“If you want to position yourself for the job you want, it’s all about how you tell and sell your story.”

In her third pearl of wisdom that she shared with the crowd of more than 1,000 professional women, Harris talked about the need to take risks and step outside your comfort zone.

“Fear has no place in your success equation,” she told the ladies.

After offering up her last pearl of wisdom on being your authentic self, the ladies then took one step forward in putting some of Harris’s tips into practice. Given two cards, the attendees wrote on one card their purpose and goals, and jotted down on the other card anything they felt was blocking them from reaching their potential. As they held on to their purpose card, they placed their purge card into the sandbox to be burned as a sign of removing anything that was holding them back from being their best self.

Carla Harris is the author of Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace and Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, or Start Over in Your Career. As an executive and power woman in her own right, Harris is also a leading lady who was named by Black Enterprise as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America.

Stay tuned for more updates from the 2015 Women of Power Summit and head to to watch the event’s live stream.

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