Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris Shares Why Being Multifaceted is a Key to Success

During BLACK ENTERPRISE’s “Conversations that Count: Manifest Your Best Leadership” panel Friday morning, Karen S. Carter, president of packaging and specialty plastics at Dow, had an electrifying one-on-one with Morgan Stanley’s dynamic Senior Client Advisor, Carla Harris.

Carla Harris (Image: Bri Ridley for Black Enterprise)

Carter began the conversation by speaking to Harris about her humble but inspiring upbringing. Learning how to handle clients and money at McDonald’s, Harris spoke about staying close to her childhood friends and even marrying her high school sweetheart. 

Harris discussed why understanding your winning power is another major key to personal success.

“There’s so many distractions when you’re on your journey to deter you; I like to keep people focused on winning,” she said. “So often, we don’t feel like we are winning. You have to take the time to think about what winning means to you.” 

When asked about the common theme of working twice as hard that Black women face daily, Harris spoke about how and why we shouldn’t abide by this way of thinking.

Do not embrace that attitude—we have advanced enough where you can employ strategy instead of that extra energy. Work smarter, not harder.” 

To close, Harris spoke passionately about being multifaceted and understanding the keys to success, including doubling down on how they need to be tailored to one’s particular job/career.

“Morgan Stanley was a place I felt I could be myself,” she said. “You should assume that you can. Here’s how you do it: know yourself and who you are today; we are multifaceted. Understand that and embrace it. Lastly, relax. Feel the energy in the room. You can feel the energy to realize which side of you can be yourself.” 

This outstanding businesswoman, author, gospel singer, and motivational speaker inspired and energized the entire crowd, motivating the audience to advocate for themselves and their talents.