Corporate Profile with Kym Harris
GF: Who is Kym Harris?
KYM: I am a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, auntie, friend, and significant other. I am a woman whose self-confidence comes from doing what I love. The passion I have for my work drives me to be among the best at what I do. I am resilient and have gained more education from my failures than any academic degree could ever provide. I am humorous and witty, sometimes annoyingly so. I am a woman who is building a legacy through philanthropy. I am intense, but don’t take myself too seriously. I am a women that has become quite comfortable in her own skin and who is intentional about “showing up” unapologetically. I am a leader with a passion for helping others maximize their potential. I am an entrepreneur with a vision of wealth. I am a work in progress.
GF: What does Work, Life, Balance mean to you?
KYM: I recently started focusing on “highlights” in my life. This is helping me find more balance. Highlights are the things that create wonderful memories. Last summer I attended a Natalie Cole concert. I reminisce about that concert regularly; it was such an enjoyable evening. When I heard of Natalie’s passing, I was especially grateful that I actually “acted” on my desire to go to the concert. I’m doing more of that these days – acting on my desires. I once heard a leader say that there is no such thing as work-life balance, it’s just a matter of being truly “present” wherever you are. I subscribe to that philosophy. For me that means when I’m with my family or hanging out with “my guy,” they get my undivided attention – without distraction. Sometimes balance is simply an hour long break with a hot cup of coffee or glass of wine, a magazine, and some great jazz in the background.
Other times it’s planning a trip and having something to look forward to. Sometimes it is simply taking a 20-minute nap to reenergize. I also exercise regularly. Exercise fuels my energy and provides the mental clarity necessary for a successful career and a healthy life.
GF: You mention “Texture”…What is texture? —How should women use it?
KYM: We are all multidimensional. Texture gives our dimensions character. An individual’s texture is characterized by the things that give them energy, their activities, interests and passions. Texture is also characterized by perspective, which is the result of experience; and emotion, how we respond to our experiences. When others experience our texture, they are getting a real sense of who we are. The extent to which we allow others to “feel” our texture influences how they experience us.
After meeting the mother of my niece’s first boyfriend, my sister-in-law shared that it was interesting to hear about the mother’s travels and her view of how she fits in the world. That’s texture. When someone enters my office, they immediately “feel” who I am. Everything in that space is an expression of my personality that a professional interaction does not reveal. It communicates my warmth, which helps to offset my intensity. It makes people more comfortable and opens the door for stimulating conversation and sharing.
In my life, I create texture by acting on my desires, exploring my natural talents, and following my curiosity. That simply means that I take advantage of opportunities to do the things that bring me joy and have the potential to become highlights in my life. In business, my curiosity leads me to new and exciting opportunities. I don’t allow “not knowing” to stop me from trying something new. I’m willing learn as I go.
Women should use the concept of texture to enrich their lives, to be more, to do more, and share more of themselves. Women of color are often seen through the lens of long held stereotypes. Exposure to the texture of their lives has the potential to influence those perceptions. In general, texture provides more information about what we bring to the table personally and professionally. I encourage women to think about how they “show up” in their professional relationships and the personal relationships that are important to them; to be more vulnerable, and take more risks – these are the things that create and demonstrate texture. Read more…