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Episode 125- Carla Harris on Why You Need a Sponsor Not a Mentor

September 16, 2021 • Business Leaders
Carla Harris

To succeed at work and advance your career, you need someone who will advocate for you. Who will be your champion? Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, believes that a sponsor is the critical relationship in your career. Carla began her career on Wall Street at a time when few of her colleagues were African-American or women. She oversees Morgan Stanley’s multicultural client strategy, helped build the company’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council. On this episode, Carla shares what she’s learned about pathways to career success. Discover the difference between mentors and sponsors, how to get a sponsor, and why authenticity is your competitive advantage.

Follow Carla: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Show Notes

  • The early influences on her life (2:37)
  • What sparked her interest in a career in finance (4:47)
  • Using doubters as motivation (7:46)
  • Carving out a seat at the table as an African American woman on Wall Street (10:56)
  • The Multicultural Innovation Lab at Morgan Stanley (12:52)
  • The way to grow your power is to give it away (15:29)
  • The difference between a sponsor and a mentor (18:08)
  • How to get a sponsor (20:21)
  • How to decide whether you should sponsor someone (24:01)
  • The responsibility of sharing your lessons learned with others (25:51)
  • “Perception is the co-pilot to reality.” (27:01)
  • Your authenticity is your competitive advantage (27:25)
  • The importance of relationship currency (29:17)
  • Put the right person in the right seat at the right time (31:06)
  • Re-framing work-life balance (37:25)


Resources / People Mentioned


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