Lubin Lecture Series: A Conversation with Carla Harris

Lubin Lecture Series: A Conversation with Carla Harris


(computerized music) – Welcome and good evening. Thank you for joining us tonight
for a very special program. It is wonderful to see
many of you here tonight, alumni and friends
of the Stern school. My name is Mor Armony
and I’m the vice dean of faculty here at Stern. I’m pleased to welcome you
to this year’s Lubin lecture. The Lubin lecture
was established
through the generosity He was a 1928 graduate
of the NYU School of Law. It was business civic
and philanthropic leader, and a trustee of
New York University. This lecture is amongst Stern’s
most distinguished events and brings world class leaders
to NYU’s Washington Square campus to discuss
important issues to current and prospective
business and civic leaders. This evening, I have
the distinct pleasure of introducing to you
our featured guests, vice chairman, managing director
and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, Carla
Harris and our moderators. (audience applauding) Vice dean of the Stern School
of Business, J.P. Eggers. (audience applauding) Who will take part
in a fire side chat. – Where’s the fire? (audience laughing) – Momentarily to
discuss leadership in
the finance industry in the 21st century. J.P. joined Stern
as an associate
professor of management and organizations in July 2008. He’s recently being appointed
to the role of vice dean of MBA programs,
overseeing a portfolio that includes the full time MBA, the Langorn part time
MBA, the executive MBA. The New Andre Coo-tech MBA
and fashion and Luxury MBAs, and the MSN Accounting. Is that enough for you J.P.? (laughing) We are thrilled to have J.P. in conversation
with Carla Harris. We are delighted to
welcome back to campus. Carla is a woman
of many talents. Not only has she built
an impressive career but also she is a noted
author and singer. In her 30 year career, Carla
has had extensive industry experiences in the
technology, media, retail, telecommunications,
transportation, industrial and
healthcare sectors. In August 2013, she
was appointed by
President Barack Obama to chair the national
women’s business counsel. She’s been named to
Fortune’s Magazine’s list of the 50 Most Powerful
Black executives in corporate America. Black enterprises top
75 most powerful women in business in 2017, and
was named Woman of the Year in 2011 by the Yale Black
Men’s forum among many others. We feel quite honored
to have Carla here with us this evening. So without further ado,
please join me in welcoming Carla Harris and J.P. Eggers. (audience applauding) – Carla, it’s great to
have you here tonight. Thank you very much
for being here. – Thank you for having me. – So in terms of talking
about themes for tonight, we were gonna talk about
thinking about leadership in the 21st century. Thinking about leadership
and being a leader may mean something different
now than what it has, and how it’s evolving
and how people can become better leaders in that way. And so, I’ll just start off
with the most general question to start with, what
does it mean to be a leader today in your mind? – I think to be a leader
today means not only to have a vision and a
plan around execution but more importantly to
create an environment where other people can
learn to be leaders. Where other people can
actually lead in the context of your leadership if you will. I think it also means
you have to be open and you have to be
willing to learn. And in fact, I will argue,
you have to be committed to learning if you are a leader because things are
changing so fast that what might have gotten
you to that leadership seat will not be the thing
that sustain you in that leadership seat. So you have to make sure that
you create time if you will to continue to invest in
yourself in order to learn and to lead other people. – So the story about the idea
that you need to continue to learn because what got you
there may not be the thing that’s gonna make
you a good leader feels like the Peter
principle in someways. Where you get promoted to the
level of your incompetence. Where you get promoted from
what it was that you were doing, and then you make it because
you were good at one thing then you make it
to the next role but you end up not
being good at that, and then you stop at
that point in time. To what extent does this process
of how people are promoted, and how we think about
identifying leaders lead to potential
problems like this. – Yes, and one of things
that J.P. and I talk about in anticipation of this
conversation was the fact that certainly in the industry
that I have grown up in, it has been a producer culture. And I would argue that
the last few decades most people have gotten promoted
to positions of leadership because they were
good producers. You put points on the board. If you were in
investment banking or you were in
sales and trading. You are an outstanding trader. The trader that made the most
money for the last four years was the one that got
the gold crown to run the fixed income division
or run the equity division. If you were in real estate, you put the most
points on the board in terms of revenue that
you brought in to your firm. And what’s interesting to me and this speaks to
your first question about how is leadership
different today. Back then, I would argue,
it still happens frankly when people were put in those
positions of leadership, they may or may not
have been good leaders but no one really got tagged
if you weren’t a great leader. No one penalized you
if three people left or five people quit or
there wasn’t the same level of happiness if you will
under your leadership. As long as the numbers were
going in the right direction and I would argue that today
especially as millennials and Zers start to become
the dominant population within our business context. They want to be managed. They are demanding
frankly to be managed and to be led while they
want to have an inclusive environment where their
contribution is valued. And at the end of the day,
they want people to show them how things are supposed
to go if you will to help to create
leaders in them. And that I don’t think
is expected before, so I do think that those
of us who are Boomers today who might still be in
the leadership seat, and even some if the older
Xers, you are going to have to lead differently than
you were managed. We were told put your head
down and work really hard. Put the points on the board. If you don’t get fired then
you know you’re doing okay. So there really wasn’t
that transparency around what you needed to do, and again, if you
think about it. Those folks that I’m saying
that got to those positions of leadership because they
were a good producers. Where along the
way of their career were they taught
how to be leaders. They were taught how
to be better traders. They were taught how
to be better bankers. They were taught to managed
the clients differently and not really have
to pay attention to how the people
underneath them, may have been suffering, and it’s not just in
financial services. You could find that
in consumer products, you can find it in healthcare. You can even find it
in academia frankly. And so in my mind,
and one of the things that I’ve been talking
about recently is that you have to be intentional. If you were going to choose
to have the leadership seat because after all, you could
always say no I wanna leave. Just pay me some more money but I’m not really good at
leading and managing people. I just wanna get more
money but traditionally, the money has come
along with the title. And I think we have to be
a little bit more honest about that, if you
are not a good leader or a good manager,
says that’s not my lane or I’d like to
learn how to do that because it was interesting. Every time I would see someone
promoted to run a department. The very first thing that you
would say in their speeches as they were now
introducing themselves as the head of blank, blank
is I don’t wanna manage. I don’t wanna manage. I just want to talk
to the clients. I’m not gonna get in your
way, and I remember thinking as I was a young buck,
but wait a minute isn’t the title
managing director? (laughing) But of course as a young
buck, I wouldn’t say that but I’m thinking wait,
what do you mean? You’re the guy. You’re the gal. You’re suppose to be but
nobody wanted to co-manage. So here are the eight
things that I think you need to think about and
be intentional about if you’re going to choose to
be in a leadership seat today. The first one, you
have to be intentional about authenticity. It’s interesting J.P. I see people struggling, still
today which is why I wrote about it in my first
book, Expect to Win. The very first chapter
is about authenticity because I kept hearing
people struggle with how do I bring my real self to work. And if you’re gonna choose
to be in the leadership seat, it’s even more important
that you do that because then you motivate and inspire
those who are working with you to bring their authentic
self to the table. And whenever any of us
is in an environment where we can be
who we really are. We always out perform,
and that will now accrue to your status in
that leadership seat. The other thing you
have to be intentional about is building trust. In an environment where
innovation is the dominant competitive parameter, you
are going to find yourself going into lands unknown,
and you can’t do that alone. You gotta have a team, so
you need to be intentional about building trust with
your team very early on. And in my mind, what that means is that those who
are working with you need to know that you
are always providing them with ear cover, that no matter
what, you have their back because if your team feels
that you have their back, then they will
always have yours. And I don’t care who you
are and how good you are, you do not have 360
degree peripheral vision. So you need to have
your flank covered and there’s no better
way to have it covered than with those who
are working with you. They need to have a vested
interest in your success as a leader if you wanna
maintain that leadership seat. The third thing you have to
be intentional about frankly is creating other leaders, and
this was a very interesting one for me to get my head around because I am a natural executor. You give me a list and
I’m gonna get it done, and in fact, I get my thrill
by checking it off the list but I had to realize that I
couldn’t continue to hold on to my competency as
the great executor if I’m now in the
leadership seat. My dominant responsibility
is to create other leaders, and the imagery that I
like to use is in order to get myself to move off of that comfort of
executing all the time. Is I say, Carla, you don’t
know what kind of leader you could be and if you really
wanna be a great leader, you have to free up
some capacity and time so that you can understand
what being a great leader in this context looks like. So I would say to myself
if you wanna get there, that’s second base. You cannot get to second base
with your foot still on first, and that imagery freed
it up to me to let it go ’cause leadership is a journey
from execution to empowerment and my job now
should be to empower and to create other leaders. The fourth thing you have
to be intentional about is creating clarity. As I said, if we are
operating in an environment where innovation is the
dominant competitive parameter then there are gonna
be lots of times when you really don’t know
what the next thing is but the team is dependent upon
you to create some clarity around where you’re going,
what are the intended outcomes, what would you like to
learn in this exercise. At least create
clarity around that, and if you can’t create
clarity for the year, you can’t do it for the quarter, do it for the week sometime,
do it for a couple of hours. I’ve been in an environment of
innovation at Morgan Stanley creating our in
house accelerator. We have never done
anything like that. We’ve never had an accelerator. There’s no play book, no
other firm on the street has an in house accelerator. So there were times when
for the team I said, today we’re gonna do X or
for the next three hours, we’re trying to do this or this is what we
need that person to do. Just creating some
clarity around that because when people have
clarity, again I would argue they’re motivated
to out perform. That which you have
said set as the goal. The fifth thing that you
have to be intentional about is diversity, and
I say that to all people. Because all of us as humans, we are likely to
migrate to the familiar, and we are the familiar. So you have to be intentional about making sure that
you have a diverse team no matter what
you’re prosecuting ’cause otherwise you
will miss the gaps. You’ll miss the things that
will make you vulnerable in the market place
at the end of the day. The next thing you
have to be intentional about is frankly inclusivity ’cause we all know as
people say that diversity is getting an
invitation to the party. Inclusion is about
asking somebody to dance. So again, if you’re
gonna be the leader, you have to be intentional about soliciting
other people’s voices because what happens when you
get in a corporate environment or any kind of work
environment is everybody waits to see how it’s gonna go and what’s the
right thing to say and how I need to say it. So people naturally hold back
on all of their potential when they get in any context,
and if you wanna get the best out of your people, you
have to help develop this muscle where they
come ready to contribute so it’s almost like
being in business school. You get cold called
all the time, right? So you come to class
ready to be called on, ready to participate
especially when you know that half your grade depends
on your participation. At least that was
the case for me, so if you are a powerful
leader, you have to create this dynamic in the first
four meetings where you say, all right Tim, so tell me
how you thinking about that. Here’s my straw man,
how would you give me the counter argument to that. Okay, that’s pretty good. Now J.P., he gave a
really credible argument, so how would you push back? Where are the vulnerabilities? So Cynthia, how are
you thinking about that so that you create this
dynamic where people are use to challenging each
other and excuse me, not feeling offended by it. You do that four
times, the fifth time, you won’t have to
call on your team. They’ll come ready
to participate and they’ll come ready to play
and excited about playing. The next thing you have to
be intentional about teaching your team how to fail. If you’re going to compete
in an innovative environment, you have to remember that
leaders don’t compete, they disrupt and in
order to disrupt, you have to get
really comfortable, and you have to innovate
almost as a second muscle. But if you are afraid of
failing, you won’t innovate. So you gotta get them
comfortable that failing is just a part of the equation. And the way you do
that is frankly to
celebrate the failures and to celebrate the tries. Just the fact that they
tried, you gotta give somebody an atta boy or an atta
girl, and voice it. Here’s what we learn. Yeah we fail, we
failed miserably that might cost us some money but here’s why it was
good for us to do that at the end of the day. And the last thing you have
to be intentional about as a leader today is your voice. I feel strongly that your voice is at the heart of your
power and as a leader, you gotta call a thing a thing. When it’s not right,
you gotta call it and you gotta call it
for exactly what it is and if you demonstrate
exercising your voice then you will empower those
who are working with you to do that and as a leader, you wanna hear what your folks are thinking because again, you won’t be able to be the
best leader you could be if you don’t
understand the audience or as I like to
say your customers. And those who are working with
you, they’re your customers. They are the customer
to your leadership. – I mean in some ways as I
think about a lot of the things you were going through. You started with the statement
or the story from your past thinking about the person, so if they don’t
wanna be a manager. In a lot of ways, a lot
of what you’re describing is not being a manager
in the classic way we think about managing
where you’re overseeing or working with someone. A lot of this does feel
like you’re trying to think about how do I empower
people and create the space for things to happen. You’re not managing
in a tradition sense. Do you view being a
manager and being a leader as being different things
and how do we tell them apart when you need to be
one verses the other? – Well thank you
for that question because in my mind,
they are synonymous. – Okay. – I know that
technically they are not and if you look
in the dictionary, you’re gonna get two
different definitions but in my mind, if you
have the responsibility of managing people, you
should be leading them but that should be your default. – So then the manager is
either synonymous with this or you wanna go with
them being different. The manager means you’re
doing a poorly effectively, and that being the leader
then is being the– – It is possible to be
an effective manager and a poor leader if that’s
what you’re asking me. Yes sir. – I guess effectively that
was the question would be and certainly there had
been lots of stories about people out there. Some of them very successful,
who maybe you would qualify as being poor leaders by at
least some of the definitions you’re thinking about
there in some ways. When I’m thinking about, I’ll just pick out a
couple of those pieces that you’re were
pulling on there. You talk about failures
being one of these key pieces being willing to
fail and encouraging and celebrating failure. The cynic in me would say
well, but what if the reason that the idea failed
or the project failed was because they were
bad people working on it. We need to figure out who the
good people we need to keep, and who are the bad
ones we need to replace at the same time. So ’cause if you just
celebrate failure, it’s easy to fail
over and over again if you’re really
gonna celebrate that. So you need to have failure
that gets the success. How do you figure
out whether a failure should be celebrated
versus when a failure is a signal that we need to
do something differently. – Yes, well I think
if you get everybody’s imprimatur on the blue
print very early on then it’s easier to
figure out whether or not people are pulling their weight because if I’ve gotten
everybody to participate, and now we’ve come
up with this is what we’re gonna try to do. And then there are
pieces of it that fail then I can quickly
figure out whether or not that was a bad strategy
or whether or not that person didn’t execute
especially if we decided that this is the thing
that needed to be done. I think your job as a leader
is to be able to engage enough with your people and
stay close enough to it so that you can actually tell. And the mistake that people
make is being too hands off. They don’t know where
it goes awry or with who or it takes it too long, and I think a human
failing around leadership and I certainly
have had this one is not replacing
people fast enough. I remember hearing
Meg Whitman speak and she said one of
her key jobs as a CEO. This is when she was at
eBay was to make sure that the right people
were in the right seat at the right time. So while Harold might
have been the right person at that point, they may no
longer be the right person now that this thing has evolved. And most of the time as
leaders if this is our team, we’ve gotten wedded
to that team. And it’s a hard
choice to now say but he’s not the one, and
I think being too slow on that piece can be a problem. So I think what you
need to do as a leader is to constantly stay
close enough to your people so that you can evaluate them. And when you start to
see or you start to smell that maybe not in
this next evolution, you start to actively think
about how can you repot that person or how can
you help guide them to their best and highest use if you know now it’s not
gonna build your team. – And how do you, I don’t
wanna get too detailed here but how do you think
about how to do that when you still have the
backs of your people? How do you tell them that they
need to move out of this role but still make them
feel like they are a valued part of the team
that you respect in that way, and that’s a challenge. – Well, I’ll tell you that’s
one thing I am proud of that I actually
have done recently and it wasn’t that
difficult to do. I could see that the train
wreck was about to happen, so I gave more time to thinking
about what is this person really good at and where
do they really light up. And then I was able
to talk to them about you’re doing okay with this but this is not where you live. Let’s have this
honest conversation. In the first conversation,
the person oh no, no, no, I love it, I love it, I love it but in the next conversation
they’re like yeah. (audience laughing) Right but I had to talk to
them to say I’m watching you and I see it, and when we
talk about X, you light up. And when we talk so I had to
get that person comfortable in understanding that it’s
not that you can’t do this. You can do this but
you don’t live here. This is not where you light up and when we talk about
this, you light up. So my gut is telling me
here’s where you need to go. And so it took about three
or four conversations but then the person decided that this is what
they wanted to do and then I used my resources and my currency to
help them get there while giving them a
great recommendation saying this person is
great but I gotta tell you. I know they love this
’cause this is what happens every time I give them something that’s even remotely like
this, here’s what happens. And now the person is
thriving in that space but it took some conscious
effort on my part as a leader and again, if I have their back
and I’m thinking about that and spend some time doing it. – It’s really important
to figure out how to build that relationship, how to build
the lines of communications with people in that way
in order to convince them, and show them, not
just convince them but show them that you have
their back in that way. That’s a challenge as I’m
thinking about these pieces we’re talking about before, that’s an increasing
challenge in a world where workforce is
more and more diverse in many different ways. Age, gender, ethnicity,
international background, sexual orientation, any number
of ways in which diversity is continuing to expand
and such a huge part of the workforce. Building a close trusting
relationship with someone who’s a lot like
you is a lot easier research would tend to show
then building that relationship with someone who is
different than you are. How do you think about
how to develop the muscles to manage a diverse
team in that way? – Yes, it is contact sport J.P. I think leadership in the
21st century is contact sport. There is no substitution
for actually engaging and if you know that
you don’t know a lot about a certain culture then you need to spend
time with people. And I do strongly believe
in reverse mentoring to tell someone especially
of a different generation, listen I don’t
know how this goes. I can’t tell you how many time I asked a analyst to
show me how to tweet. When it first became. I’m like what’s this thing,
Twitter, tweeter what? But I dedicated myself to
learning about what it was and even today, I have
younger associates who are working with
me and they’ll come and again, the millennial
way is to do it. And I’ll have to say
no, no, don’t do it, let me do it. You have to tell me how to do it otherwise I won’t know but
I have to touch it myself but I’m quick to
ask for their help but I won’t know what
they’re thinking. I won’t know what they
value if I don’t spend time getting to know them, if I
don’t go out to lunch with them, if I don’t have coffee
with them in my office. So again if you’re gonna choose
to be in a leadership seat and you want to be really
powerful, impactful leader, you have to spend
some with your people. That’s why I started this by saying you have
to be intentional, and it is contact sport. You cannot be a my way or the
highway type leader today, and be impactful. It used to be that fear
was a great motivator, and you could lead by fear. That dog does not hunt today because the
professionals of the day, the really good talent,
they just leave. They’re not going to stand
for a lack of engagement. People value being seen
and they value being heard, and you have to make
sure you are engaging so that they feel valued. And the only way to do
it is to get out there and spend time with them. – And so a lot of
that seems to suggest that being able to
learn as you said. The key piece of
your ability to move and adapt as a leader. This seems almost a
tautology in some ways but how does one
learn how to learn? Where do you think you develop the ability to try and do that? – Well I think you really
learn how to learn in school. So whether is college
or your graduate school, that’s where you
learn how to think and you also learn
more about learning and how you learn. And as you get more
seasoned, not old but as you get more
seasoned, I would argue that your learning is different. How you’ve taken things
and for all of us, we are learning
in a different way because it’s coming
at us so fast. If you think about what
you do now on your phone relative to what you did on
your phone two years ago, let alone five years ago. It’s very different. – And so as I think about
a lot of these things and if I make the contrast
between the producer culture or the producer
mindset to some extent versus this leadership mindset. I would feel like if you’re
thinking in a producer world, the argument is that
you play your strengths. You should figure out
what you should be good at and you should capitalize
on those to be successful. It almost feels like and to
me this is what you’re saying. What you’re saying
is to be a leader, it feels like you need to play to your weaknesses
to some extent. You need to find ways to
challenge those weaknesses. Try not to do it in the
high stake situations but it’s really
trying to be aware of and go after those weakness
or the lack of knowledge or lack of understanding
that you have. Is that a way to characterize
or a way to think about this? – Not necessarily
your weaknesses but be cognizant of the things
that you need to be strong around that you may not be. So again, I wouldn’t
say that empathy or learning from other people
or creating collaborative environments or being more open
to learning to other people or being inclusive
whatsoever weaknesses. There are things that
I think that I did because this is who I am but I realize now how important
it is to be intentional around doing it, don’t just
leave it as one of the things that’s just a part
of my personality. That these things
do actually matter and they are valued now by
those that I am leading. So I wouldn’t necessarily
call them weaknesses, I’m saying be cognizant
of who you need to be if you wanna be an
impactful leader and what I just
gave you the gospel according to Carla around
these eight things. And so I say them to people
who are already season leaders. People who are in the
leadership seat today who are scratching their
heads around how to retain the best talent and I’m
saying it to people who are ascending now to
positions of leadership, so that you can be more
thoughtful about it but there may not be weaknesses. They may be things that
you’re already strong at that I’m saying
underscore, amplify. – And so for people who are
trying to figure out which, you talk about the idea
that there maybe still an opportunity for people
to be the point producer who puts the points
on the board. You still need those
people in the organization as well as the leaders. How would you
recommend for people who are trying to
figure out well which one of these
do I wanna be? Obviously, you can get promoted, take that leadership role
and then crash and burn and realize it’s really
not the right thing but are there ways to
figure this out in your mind beyond trying it and being
like, oh I’m not so sure I like it so much. – Now here’s where I
think organizations are going to have to change. I think organizations
need to be more honest about what they need
from their people, and what kind of training
they’re willing to provide because if you think about it. Most organizations have
pulled back a little bit on training in one
way or another. So I think they
need to say okay, J.P. is a really great trader and we want him as a trader. Let’s have a conversation
with him to figure out whether or not he wants to
continue to stay in this line and drive it, and we’ll figure
out what the conversation and reward scheme looks like or whether or not he wants
to evolve into somebody who is creating other traders. And now that will require
him to do some other things, and if that’s the
way he wants to go, let’s think about how we
invest in him in that way. And I don’t think those
conversations happen because people have
been conditioned in
certain environments that in order to move up,
you have to aspire to this. So the gold ring is really
to run the department. Well really? Maybe we could think
about that differently. Maybe the gold ring for
you is more and more money or it is more vacation
or it is something else or it is giving you
the crown as the guide but you don’t
necessarily have to be the head of the department. So I think organizations
need to think about what do we really need in order
to retain the best people? Who is going to be
someone that can motivate and inspire people
to just go beyond what they think they can do. Isn’t that what we need? And if that’s what we
need, what is the profile of that person looks like? – And so I guess there’s
a supply and demand piece of that in some ways. The way you’re talking
about it in that case, it feels like it’s one of
the things that we need and who can we get
into those roles. Could you flip it
around the other way and I can imagine
flipping and saying, look you wanna look across
your entire team at all times and think about maybe what is
the next job for that person. What is the next step for them and figure we’ll make
all the pieces work with every person
should have that. What are they working towards? Is that a way to think about it? – I like it, I like it
and most organizations don’t think about it that way. Most organizations are not
good at repotting their talent. So they get somebody who’s been
doing something for 20 years that person now says, hey,
I wanna do something else. And what I counsel people
when they’re telling me they want to do something
else is I say think through your organization and think
through what’s the role that’s really gonna
get you excited because most organizations are
not good at repotting people so when you raise
your had and you say, I’m ready to do something else. You’ve now put yourself in play, which means you
gotta in most cases. So when you go to someone in HR or when you go to your
manager, you should say look, I love doing
what I’m doing but I’ve been doing
it for a long time. And here are five things that
I know I’m really good at as a result of having done
this for the last two decades, and here’s how I think
you can use that. Now I don’t know what the
job is but here’s the content of the next job that I want. And that way, you at
least help them help you by now they say, we
don’t wanna lose J.P. and he’s interested
in A, B, C and D. You now give them a
little bit of a road map so they can say we
don’t have a job that looks like that
but we have a job that has three out of the four. So J.P. are you
interested in this? And that’s usually how you
can get yourself repotted in an organization. – And that’s a challenge
from a leadership perspective because that repotting often
means losing that person off of your team in
many of those cases. And so I would think
then willing to, you’ve just gotten this
great person on team, the incentive of course
is to keep that person doing what they’re
doing over and over. – Right. – You’ve gotta be
willing to let them go. – That’s exactly right. Remember what I
said at the outset. Your job is to
create other leaders. so if you’re doing
this correctly, they should be now graduating
onto the next thing. And you should be
pretty proud of that this person is now doing this
thing for the organization because of the training
that they’ve had with you. – So a few minutes ago, we
were talking about Twitter. You were talking about
Twitter a little bit and with that we can
come to the last thread I wanna push on a little bit, which is thinking about how
we talk about leadership has changed based upon diversity and it changes in the
nature of business but technology is
changing business a lot in a lot of these ways. Is being a leader different
now than it used to be in terms of how technology
is changing things and if so how is
technology relevant from a leadership perspective? – I think it’s
really relevant now because we’re getting
so much data that gives. Now the data is going
to allow us to predict behavior which is
something I would argue that we didn’t have
access to 25 years ago. So again going to this
concept around investing in your own capabilities
that I think as a leader. You have to think about
what can the data tell you, and more importantly
how fast can you move around what you
learn from this data, and then get your organization
faster towards gathering and being able to understand
and read that data as well and be able to come up with
solutions, processes, changes and I think getting the
organization use to looking at that data is part of what
your job is as a leader. And that’s gonna be tough for
those of us who are Boomers who have I would
say largely governed or led by our experience
and our war stories as oppose to the
actual hard data. So I think that’s gonna be a
skill that we have to acquire and that we also have to teach and distribute if you will. The other thing is the
way that we communicate. We now have really put
ourselves into a 24/7 mode and as much as we
say it’s important for people to have down time. You have people sending
texts and doing things at three o’clock in the morning. And I think we have
to be thoughtful about what message
we are sending as leaders when we do that. I would never forget
this was 2006, the MD that I was
working for at the time, he had gone on vacation a
couple of weeks before I had, and he was sending emails. And I remember thinking, he’s
sending emails from vacation. Is he gonna expect that
I’m gonna be connected? And at that time, I had a rule
that once I went on vacation, that was it. I didn’t look at emails
but that was the first time that I did because I
realized that this guy was sending me emails,
he was gonna expect that I was gonna be
connected the whole time. And again, I think
we gotta be careful because you don’t
wanna burn people out. We are all integrating
work life and personal life in a much bigger way
than we were 10 years ago but I think you wanna be careful
to give people their space so that they can really
restore and rejuvenate. And I think there’s still no
substitute from getting away from something in
order to really do that and do it fully, so I think we gotta
be a little careful about how we manage
that as well. – So lots more data on one
end but at the same time, the ability to disconnect
and have that– – That’s exactly right, and
again the mode of communication is what I was speaking to. Again, it used to be
that you would only talk to somebody on the work device, and now I find that I have
the folks who work with me, I have their personal cell
numbers, and then we’re texting. Now again, I’m a Boomer,
so when we text I’m like ’cause that feels like
you have my personal phone but that’s just how
the next generation is, that’s how they’re operating so I have to be
willing to do too. I have to also be willing
to accept that somebody is sitting right
outside of my office and they’re sending me an email. Again as a Boomer, I’m
like get up, come in here. But again, I have to
be flexible as well. – So I could probably keep
asking questions all night but I wanna make sure that
we get a chance for everyone in the room to ask
questions of Carla. So let me open it up
to Q&A at this point, and we can go from there. You can tap the microphone. Is there a button in front
of you to turn your mic on? Make sure we can hear
you so there you go. – [David] Hi Carla, thank
you so much for coming. My name is David Knapp
and my question is you listed eight qualities
of a great leader, and my assumption is that
most leaders probably don’t or most managers probably don’t
exhibit all those qualities. So what is your advice
for people who are working for a leader that doesn’t
have all of your strengths? – Yes, I would say that
learn everything that you can from that leader because I
feel strongly that you can learn something from everybody even if it’s how
you don’t wanna be. But figure out what you
can learn form that person but then the other
thing is don’t forget that you could
lead from any seat. So you can exhibit
some of those qualities and you will be surprised to
how people that are above you may actually start
adopting things that you do because they admire
the way you are leading those who are around you or those who may be below you, and that you are
an admired leader, so I would not be deterred
because my manager, or my leader is not
exhibiting that. I would actually start
to exhibit that and see whether or not I
can infect them. – Other questions, go ahead. – [Henry] Hi Carla, I’m Henry. Thank you very much for
coming to speak with us today. I happen to have
caught you on Fox News. I think it was a
business interview. – Yeah Fox Business
News to be clear. (audience laughing) – [Henry] Have to be
careful these days. During the program,
you talked somewhat about the multicultural
innovation center. – Yes. – [Henry] Which sounds
very interesting. I think you talked about
a little bit tonight. Had interesting start
ups such as the Hatch Ads another one for doing
blood testing at home. – myLAB Box. – [Henry] Yeah, I wondered if
you can talk a little bit more about that with
the group tonight, and also how Morgan Stanley
source these companies. Do they come to you or did
you go out and recruit them? And if I may also a second part. I just bought your book and
looking forward to reading it. Skimming the book, it seems
like the last part of the book you talk about the role
of faith and religion. – Yes. – [Henry] So I’m wondering
if you could maybe share a little bit about that. – Absolutely, okay so I’ll
save that one for last. So myLAB Box, I’ll tell you
about the Morgan Stanley innovation lab. A couple years ago,
the chairman asked me to chair the multicultural
clients strategy, and I say thank you for your
confidence but what is that? So he said, “Listen, no firm
on this street has actually led “in this space around engaging “with multicultural constituency “so there’s an opportunity
and I wanna lead, “and your job, you figure
out what that looks like.” So there are three main
products that we came up with. One was a senior multicultural
leaders conference. Nowhere in the country was
there a business conference, not a diversity conference
but a business conference targeting the most
senior African Americans, the most senior Hispanics,
the most senior Asians, the most senior American
Indians that are working in corporate America
to come together for a business conference
where we talked about the imperative in the
corporate board room today. We talked about
the war for talent. We talked about the
global capital market. We talk about cyber security
and counter terrorism whatever the key business
conflict for that year. And we’ve done it
now for three years, and it’s been a sold
crowd each time. The second one was the
capital access initiative where we partnered with
the national development council and the urban
league to actually bring regular way loans to
businesses of color, and communities where the
urban league had a presence that we started in Cleveland. We did one in Broward
and now we have morphed that actually into a
conversation on the podcast. So it’s called access
and opportunity, and what we’re trying
to do is to elevate a conversation around
the lack of capital that goes to women and
multicultural entrepreneurs, because clearly the market
place must not realize the magnitude of the opportunity when only 4% of D.C.
dollars go to women, less than 2% goes
to people of color. What I said was wow, that is
a clear market inefficiency so there is clearly a
commercial opportunity. That’s economics 101. There’s a market inefficiency,
it’s a commercial opportunity so that’s why we started
prosecuting the space, and in this podcast we’re
actually talking to people who are making lots
of money investing with entrepreneurs
of color and women and the entrepreneurs themselves to present a playbook
to the marketplace. If you’re an asset allocator, here’s how you want
to think about it. If you’re an entrepreneur,
here’s some examples of how other entrepreneurs
have access this capital. And then there is the lab,
and there we’re looking at tech enabled companies
across all industries, and actually giving
them three things. We’re giving them capital. Most accelerators
give them anywhere between $200,000 and
$300,000 in capital. We’ve done the same thing
for a single digit percentage in the company. We’re giving them content. Five months of curriculum
and then a demo day, which we just did last week. That was their coming out to a
roomful of diverse investors, and when I say diverse investors I mean institutional
investors, family offices, high net worth individuals, corporate VCs as well
as regular way VCs. And the last thing that we’re
given them is connections because being the leading
global investment bank, there’s no relationship
that we can’t access. And there’s a lot
of relationships that would either help
them scale their business or they could end up
being an M and A target for one of our good
customers, who knows. So that’s what we’re
providing to them, and in terms of
how we source them and we were talking
about this before hand. A very valuable lesson
that I have learned that I have actually learnt
from a friend of mine is that the messenger matter. And because we have been
playing around this space for the last two or three
years, the market place now knows that we’re
serious about it. So the fact that we,
my partner and I, Alice Vilma and I go out to
actually talk to these companies and we are very much
apart of the ecosystem. When we put out our
invitation to apply, people start applying. And this is only
our second year. We put our invitation
to apply out last Tuesday at the demo day. We’ve already
gotten 50 companies, and yesterday made a week. Yesterday was Tuesday? I don’t know what day. (audience laughing) Okay, yeah, 50
companies already, and the first year we did
it, we didn’t advertise. We just went out on
the whisper network which means Alice, Morgan
Stanley is doing this. Carla went, Morgan
Stanley is doing this. And we got a hundred
submissions for five spots. Last year, we put
out the invitation to apply over Christmas break, so it was December
2019 to January 15th, we got 300 companies
for 10 spots. And this year, we’re probably
gonna expand it again because there’s so
much of a demand. – The last piece was
on talking about faith. – Oh the faith,
thank you so much. That’s why I made
it the last chapter because if you remembered
nothing else about the book. I wanted you to be very
clear that I feel strongly that my success has
not been about who I am but about whose I am
at the end of the day. So what I wanted to present
to the reader was here is how I have done it. Here are all my
favorite scriptures that no matter what’s
going on, I go to this so that I get my power. This is where I get
my power and my fuel and my confidence and
my ability to execute. And that’s why I
wrote about that and I gotta tell you,
I probably have gotten as much feedback about that as
I have about the entire book. Because again and notice
how I started the book with authenticity and
I ended it with that. because I felt like I
could not be authentic if I didn’t have
that in the book. So that’s why I booked in the
rest of the advice that way but you’d be surprised how
many people have said thank you for even acknowledging it, or saying it and how much
trepidation people have around being able to
express themselves as a spiritual person in
their work environment. It’s been really interesting
to see the feedback, yes. – We got time maybe for
a couple more questions before we run out of time here. – [Sharon] Hi Carla, my
name is Sharon Samuel. So you mentioned, sorry I’m
trying to make eye contact. (laughing) – It’s all right, I’ll just go
back and forth, that’s okay. – [Sharon] So you
mentioned creating leaders and you also
mentioned diversity, so what are some of the ways
that you found to be successful to really give people
of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to
really become leaders. People of different stages
in life and circumstances have you found that
to be successful? – Sure, it’s really around
giving people the opportunity for example to
speak in a meeting especially if you know
that they’re gonna be other leaders there that probably
don’t know them that well, and giving them a little
prep ahead of time so that they show well. And at the end of the day
encouraging people to take on responsibility that they may
feel they’re not ready for but again giving them the
tools to be successful. I believe that if you’re
gonna give people a shot to really show their stuff. If I’m a good leader, I
wanna try to make sure that you do that well
without taking away your ability to fail. But try to prep you
but I think again, it’s again it’s around
being intentional. And you just can’t ignore the
folks that are on your team and think that people are
gonna get the opportunities to develop and lead
without your guidance because most, especially
young professionals are lost in environments,
and I think the days are gone where we
say you sink or swim. Only the strong will survive. I have never ascribe
to that at all and I think it’s our job. We wanna make sure
that we make the most of this high price talent that
comes to our organizations. It’s our jobs to make
sure that they flourish even if they leave
and go someplace else ’cause I always say
that’s the beauty of being in a service business. The folks that leave your
organization may be your clients so you wanna be thoughtful
about the experience that they have when
they are with you. – Maybe we got, go ahead, yeah. – [Jane] It’s on, Carla hi. Jane Newton. – Hi Jane. – [Jane] Continue to
inspire me thank you. She’s an amazing
person on all levels. I love your eight needs
to be a great leader. Would your advice be
different in general if you are speaking to
a woman verses a man? – No ma’am, exactly the same. – [Jane] Let me ask
a follow up then. – I knew you had
one girl, go ahead. (audience laughing) – [Jane] I’m not completely
surprised to hear that answer. What do you see in general
are some of the things especially in the male
dominated industry that you’ve thrived in? What are some of the
differences that you think hold back women compare
to men as leaders? – I will ask you a question
directly ’cause I believe in answering people’s question but I also wanna add something, so the answer to
your question is what are the things that
I think hold us back. I think part of it is the voice. If I’m gonna do it
around my eight things, part of it is the voice. I think a lot of the times
women don’t express themselves or don’t ask for the order
i.e the promotion money, the other things that they
might want as fast as men do in some of these environments especially if it’s a male
oriented environment. So that would be one
point of distinction that I would make there. But I had to tell you the
other thing is that I think as women, we are apt to be
inclusive early I would say. We are generally collaborative and we like to include people. So interestingly enough, I
think this is an environment where that is tailor
made for women leaders because of what
this next generation of professionals are demanding. The inclusivity,
the collaboration, the transparency, the feedback. We’re quick to give
feedback to people as well. So I do think that we
ought to take advantage of the environment that we
are finding ourselves in. I also think women
get their shot to be, women and people of
color disproportionately get their shot to be
leaders when it’s chaotic. Look at the evidence. I want you to go back and
look at all the women CEOs and look at the CEOs of color, and look at when they
took over those seats if you wanna test my theory. – Maybe time for one more. If we’ve got, no one in room. Let’s go over here
actually, sorry. – [Alan] No thank you Carla. Just inspirational comment. – Thank you. – [Alan] I’m Alan,
building on a colleagues question over there, would
your advice be any different to a person of color. One thing that I’ve noticed
that a lot of companies these days talk about what they
perceive to be the benefits of diversity and inclusivity. That they do a lot of
time admiring the problem and not doing anything
meaningful to address it. – Yes, so would my advice be
different to a person of color? No, I would tell you,
here’s the similarity. It would be the voice piece because again being a
woman and a person of color if there’s anything that I
slapped my own wrists for is for not playing big enough especially with my
voice early enough. And so often, I don’t
think that we perceive when we have power
and if you don’t know when you have power or
when you have leverage, you certainly don’t use it ’cause you don’t
think you have it. And there were times
when I look back now and I go oh, I had
leverage, I had power. I had an opportunity
to exercise my voice and I didn’t and as you
can see, I am not quiet. I’m not a quiet person
but yet I didn’t so if there’s anything
that I would push people on is around exercising their voice because when you do that then
you can use silence as power. Right but you can’t
use it that way if you’ve never
exercised your voice. – We’ve got time for one real
quick one over here maybe. – Hi Carla, thanks
so much for coming. I also work in financial
services and I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on
relationship building, and the role that
that potentially plays in finding your next role or whether you should
drive the process. But often, I think in the
sector we hear, I’m tapped. I’m always tapped
for my next role, and I’m just curious
what role that plays? – Yes, oh thank you so
much for that question and that is a
perfect last question ’cause it gives me
an opportunity to
tell you something that’s in the new book, okay. (audience laughing) So he mentioned that. The new book didn’t just come
out actually Strategize to Win was written and
released in 2015. The book you just bought
was released in 2009, and in that book, the most
important thing that I write about is performance, currency
and relationship currency, and this plays a
very important part and I actually wrote about this. As J knows, I don’t often
give gender specific advice but here is one where it
specifically applies to women and to people of color. Performance currency is the
currency that’s generated by you’re delivering that
which was asked of you, and it is important because it
will do three things for you. It creates the reputation. Early in your career, it
gets you paid and promoted, and it also may
attract a sponsor ’cause everybody loves a star. But at the end of the
day performance currency which I would argue is
worth about a buck 50 very early on but it
starts to experience diminishing margins of returns, and works its way from a
buck 50 back down to a dollar ’cause now you’ve established
a new standard of excellence everybody knows you’re good, and everybody knows
you will always deliver so no premium there. The premium now is the
relationship currency while the performance
currency creates the opportunity to move. It is the relationship
currency that actually creates the mobility and relationship
currency is the currency that is generated by the
investments that you make in the people in
your environment. So people will say oh,
I was tapped for that but you were tapped
’cause somebody knew you. You were tapped because you had
a relationship with someone. You were tapped because
somebody behind closed doors said, yep, J.P. is the guy. So then if the decision
was made to come and tap you on the
shoulders and said, now we want you to do X. But that was all
about a relationship because all of the critical
decisions about your career are made behind closed doors. So somebody has to
argue on your behalf and while your performance
currency gets your name on the short list
that’s being discussed behind closed doors. When your name is called
if nobody in that room can speak on your behalf, they just go to the
next name on the list. And it has absolutely
nothing to do with your ability to do the job but everything to do
with whether or not somebody in that room knows
you well enough to say, oh yeah, she’ll be great. Oh, she’ll walk through walls. Oh you know what,
teams love her. She’ll be able to get
the whole team motivated to do this thing. So you must invest
in the relationships, and so if you’re interested
in doing something that you have not
been tapped for then if you have relationships,
you can go to a sponsor and say you know, I know you
guys are gonna be talking about this behind closed doors, and I really want that shot. And here’s why I think
I’ll be good a doing that, and I hope you’ll support
me in the conversation, and I think you can
get it done for me. That you need to have a
relationship to be able to have that conversation
and to make the ask. If you don’t have
any relationship, who are you gonna ask? And now you’re hoping
that somebody picks you and as the great
philosopher Mike Tyson said, “Hope is not a strategy.” (audience laughing) All right, can’t do that. You gotta have
those relationships especially in
financial services. I’m gonna be honored
and privilege enough to be doing a TED Talk
on sponsorship tomorrow, and I’m so excited about it because I’ve been talking
about it since 1990. Nobody was talking
about sponsorship. I started talking
about it in 1990, and now people who
were in the audience when I was talking about it, they’ve written books about it. They’ve built institutes on it and frankly I could
be not more pleased because it is the relationship
that people need to focus on. Everyone still
talks about a mentor but the honest truth is you
could survive a long time without a mentor but
you are not gonna ascend in any organization
without a sponsor. And a sponsor is a
person that’s carrying your paper into the room. That’s the person that
behind closed doors, that’s the person who spends
their currency on your behalf so no matter what you’re doing, invest in those
relationships, it’s key. – I’m gonna hand it back over
to Mor to wrap things up here. – [Mor] Wow, that
was so fascinating. (audience applauding) Thank you Carla and J.P. for
this very thought provoking conversation and of course, thank you all for
coming tonight. Carla, if may add principle
number nine to good leadership, provide food. (audience laughing) So we’re doing that, so please join us for
the post event reception just outside the room, and we
do hope to see you in future events of Stern
alumni, good night. – Thank you. (audience applauding) (uptempo instrumental music)

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