LEADERship According to Carla Harris, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley

Caitlin Magidson

Caitlin works with students and alumni in Washington DC as a transformational Career Coach. She provides guidance around self-exploration, job search strategy, and networking through individualized coaching and professional development courses.

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Last month, at The Power Conference: Women Doing Business, I had the opportunity to hear an incredibly dynamic speech from Carla Harris, global businesswoman and Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Morgan Stanley. Carla spoke about “What’s Next” in business and how leaders can lead the next generation of the workforce. According to Carla, to lead in a world of millennials and Gen Z-ers, these are important elements to consider:

L – Leverage

Create an environment where people want to contribute and give their best ideas. Make sure there is no retribution for making a mistake. I am certain this is definitely speaking to millennials. Leaders need to recognize them for making a contribution and leverage the entire team’s intellect. Inspire and encourage millennials to give the best ideas to the team.

E – Efficiency

Millennials value convenience. Be clear on what success looks like. People are motivated to play towards a goal when they know what it is. Let them know you want to help them get to their best and highest use in the organization. Millennials grew up with scheduled days; show them what they are building towards and they will work towards it.

A – Authenticity

It is at the heart of your power! Don’t submerge what is uniquely you. You have a competitive advantage, valuable intellectual capacity, so motivate and inspire people you work with to bring their authentic selves to the table. Carla talked about bringing Carla the leader, Carla the singer, and Carla the author all into work. All parts of herself made her stand out and connect with her clients.

D – Decisiveness & Diversity

Carla explained that every experience brings new ideas, and innovation is born from different perspectives. You must have a diverse team. In addition, the price of an action is greater than the cost of a mistake. You have to be decisive and move forward to get your team to move too.

E – Engagement

Engage with your people. Millennials and Generation Z-ers cant’t live in obscurity. Everything has been transparent and communicated their whole lives. Be transparent about the skills they will get from a project and help them see how it will help them be competitive in the future.

R – Risk

Be comfortable taking risks. You have to! She gave the example of Amazon’s risk to acquire Whole Foods demonstrates the importance of experimentation to grow. Why don’t we take bigger risks? Carla emphasizes,“Fear has no place in your success equation.” Failure always brings you the gift of experience.

So what’s next? Carla shared with businesswomen that you must be intentional about your performance and expect to strategize to win. To check out more of Carla Harris’ advice about winning and what’s next, pick up Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, or Start Over in Your Career.

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