CX Top Tips

247: Omar L Harris: Leadership giants have gaps

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Omar L Harris Show Notes Page

Omar L Harris coasted on his own individual talent early in his career. The first time he led a team, he began to carry the performance of the team on his shoulders. This caused him to be hospitalized and suffer from panic attacks. Finally, he realized he needed to trust his people and put them in the right place to win.

Born to a chemical engineer father and social worker mother in the working-class town of Pittsburgh, PA, Omar L. Harris learned the values of connecting process to outcomes and the importance of being of service to others at an early age. Being the youngest of four boys in a family of 5 children he endured a lot of hope and pressure to succeed where others had failed in order to uplift and support his family. Moving from Pittsburgh to Charleston, WV, to Lake Charles, LA over the course of his childhood and adolescence engendered in Omar the ability to adapt to constant change which has been his status quo as an adult living all over the US and spending considerable time living and working in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

As a young professional in the pharmaceutical industry, he was exposed to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder tool back in 2002 which informed his philosophy of focusing on what was right with people versus what was not. According to the StrengthsFinder assessment, Omar learned that he was naturally gifted with the ability to forge connections between seemingly unrelated items, influence transformation from good to great, quickly generate options, inspire confidence in others, and confront and overcome obstacles. Honing his natural talents into reliable strengths he successfully matriculated through Pfizer and ultimately found a corporate home at Schering-Plough as a fast-track management associate where he worked for one of the most successful marketing teams in the pharmaceutical industry. He became the youngest marketing director and senior marketing director in the company’s history before Schering-Plough was acquired by Merck.

His 8 years of experience working on this high performing team became the seed that would germinate and ultimately grow into his book Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams.

Omar began leading teams in 2006 and began implementing principles he’d learned reading books by John C. Maxwell, Tom Rath, Patrick Lencioni, Stephen Covey, and Jim Collins to name a few. Over time he found significant gaps between the brilliant theories of these leadership giants and the exact application in the day-to-day minutiae of leading a team in the real world. So, he set out to synthesize and adapt these concepts into a suite of Team Performance Acceleration Principles that he’s used with teams of different sizes and scopes all over the world to drive results.

Omar currently lives alone in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he works as Country Manager – Brazil for Allergan.

Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Omar L Harris (@strengthsleader) to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“If you provide positivity to others, you in turn fill your own well of positivity.” – Click to Tweet

“You can avoid the negativity trap simply by trying to do something nice for other people.” – Click to Tweet

“Be aware of your impact of positive and negative on your team and organization.” @strengthsleader – Click to Tweet

“The more positive energy you put out, the more you’re going to get back.” – Click to Tweet

“By putting positive actions in place, you have the ability to drain the well of negativity.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s a halo effect when the leader is intentionally being positive.” – Click to Tweet

“The information about you as a leader can get transmitted faster than ever before.” – Click to Tweet

“If you are a negative leader or toxic leader in today’s environment, everyone’s going to know and no one’s going to want to work for you.” – Click to Tweet

“In today’s world you can no longer get away with being a toxic leader.” – Click to Tweet

“HR cannot create a personal relationship with your people with you.” – Click to Tweet

“One of the reasons we’re seeing this global disengagement crisis is because managers are increasingly less engaged and involved in their people’s lives.” – Click to Tweet

“Where you went to school, how smart you are on an IQ test and your past success, does not predict your future.” – Click to Tweet

“As a leader, don’t assume that the behavioral attributes you need to be successful are there.” – Click to Tweet

“Every project has elements of execution, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking to it.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re a poor leader, changing companies is not going to make you a better leader.” – Click to Tweet

“You need to make sure your character is at the utmost level at all times.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s different coaching aspects depending on which stage your team is in.” – Click to Tweet

“The numbers are depressing if you look at the employee engagement numbers.” – Click to Tweet

“Focus on the person, not the role.” – Click to Tweet

“Everything happens in due time, don’t get ahead of yourself.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Omar L Harris coasted on his own individual talent early in his career. The first time he led a team, he began to carry the performance of the team on his shoulders. This caused him to be hospitalized and suffer from panic attacks. Finally, he realized he needed to trust his people and put them in the right place to win.

Advice for others

Everything happens in due time, don’t get ahead of yourself.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Not working out enough.

Best Leadership Advice

Focus on the person, not the role.

Secret to Success

Daily habits that lead to future outcomes.

Best tools in business or life

My energy, positivity, and my enthusiasm.

Recommended Reading

Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams (Leader Board Series)

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

How Full Is Your Bucket?

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Contacting Omar L Harris

LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/omarlharris/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/strengthsleader

Websitehttps://www.omarlharris.com/

Resources and Show Mentions

231: Jim Harter: Chief Scientist Workplace, Gallup

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


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