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Carla Harris leads inspiring session on intentional leadership at Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020

Carla Harris leads inspiring session on intentional leadership at Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020
  • Wall Street banker Carla Harris participates in first ‘Game-Changer’ session at GWFD 2020
  • Using the metaphor of a string of pearls, Harris identified eight things leaders must do with intention

Carla Harris: “Use your valuable intellectual capacity to say things that are true to you, as that is your distinct competitive advantage.”

Dubai, UAE, 16 February 2020: The first official session of Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 was led by Wall Street veteran, book author, motivational speaker and Carnegie Hall singer, Carla Harris. During her inspiring ‘Game-Changer’ session, she revealed her “hard-earned and heard-learned pearls of wisdom about intentional leadership”. 

“In these times, powerful, impactful and influential leaders must be intentional about eight specific things, starting with authenticity,” said Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. “Use your valuable intellectual capacity to say things that are true to you, as that is your distinct competitive advantage. Bring your authentic self to the table.”

Harris explained that she always enters meetings by taking various Carlas – the singer, the investment banker, the mother, along with others – as she never knows which one will make the connection and differentiate her in a unique, memorable way.

Aside from being intentional about authenticity, she said leaders must be intentional about building trust within teams, and creating clarity for teams, even when it’s hard to see. “Define what success looks like for your team, because motivated people will give more,” she added.

Harris also placed particular emphasis on the important cycle of creating other leaders. “Amplify your impact by creating other leaders. Give others the opportunity to cut their teeth on opportunities you already know you can do. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.” 

She said leaders must be intentional about welcoming lots of different ideas, perspectives and experiences into the room by gathering the best talent around them. 

‘’Innovation is today’s dominant competitive parameter. We must teach teams how to fail, by celebrating failures. Learn the blessing of the lesson and move on,” she said, before highlighting the need to be inclusive by soliciting other’s people voices. “Finally, be intentional about your voice, as it’s at the heart of your power. Be willing to call a thing a thing, no matter how bad the thing might be.”

She closed the session by stating that courage is the string that holds the eight pearls of intentional leadership together.

The ‘Game-Changer’ sessions, introduced for the first time at Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, showcase inspiring personal stories from women who have made great strides across various industries, providing insight into their journeys to success. The sessions highlight pioneering women’s diverse experiences – including the lessons learnt and obstacles overcome – as they delve into topics ranging across philanthropy, international relations, male-dominated industries, business, and more. 

Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 is organised by Dubai Women Establishment, which is led by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Building on its theme, ‘The Power of Influence’, Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 will highlight how effective policies and partnerships in four key areas – Government, Economy, Society, and the Future – can further women’s positive impact for a better future.

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