Carla Harris on Why Being Good at Your Job Isn't Enough
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Carla Harris is no stranger to using her influence to help the rest of us still climbing the corporate ladder, especially when it comes to the leap from being good at your job to winning at your career. One of the most powerful black executives in corporate America, she’s written two books on success and has a website dedicated to her gems of wisdom, or Carla’s “pearls,” as she calls them.

The author of Expect to Win: Proven Strategies For Success From a Wall Street Vet and Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Up, Step Out, or Start Over in Your Career, Harris has given hundreds of speeches and interviews about the keys to getting ahead, whether it’s about finding your voice, leveraging your authenticity, or attracting a sponsor.

Now she’s sharing that knowledge with a new audience, as LinkedIn’s latest influencer.

Harris stopped by the recent LinkedIn conference TransformHER, a first-ever event for women of color in tech and their allies, to take questions from the crowd. And she also doled out career tips she’s learned over her 30-year career at Morgan Stanley—she started there right out of business school in 1987 and is now vice chairman of Wealth Management and senior client advisor.

But before the Q&A started, Harris dropped a big one on the audience: being good at your job isn’t enough. She spoke passionately about the two kinds of currency people earn at work: performance currency, which is about how good you are at what you do, and relationship currency, which, of course, is about the relationships you’ve built with decision-makers in your company. And she explained why one of those types of currency is more valuable in the long run.

Watch the video for Harris’ take on the truth behind the old cliché: it’s not what you know, but who you know.

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Alisa Gumbs

Alisa Gumbs is the executive managing editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE, planning and executing content across the company's print, digital, events, and broadcast platforms, and writing features when she finds a story she's passionate about--including the November 2011, December 2010, and September 2006 cover stories.


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