Live the best life possible! As a former fortune 500 and global executive, Linal Harris engages audiences with his personal story of triumph and shares how he strategically networked his way to the top of the corporate ladder. Harris is a thought-provoking leader of the 21st century, who travels around the world, inspiring others to murder mediocrity™; shifting mindsets to think outside the box; and creating a world we can all be proud to live in.
Linal Harris’s life reflects a path of a man who is determined to succeed. After struggling with a speech impediment until the age of 22, speech therapy and the desire to create a successful career path would unlock the key to a voice that would later inspire thousands of people around the world throughout his journey as a fortune 500 executive, community leader, and popular media personality.
As a teen growing up in the western suburbs of Chicago, Harris was a successful all-around athlete. He excelled from the basketball courts to football fields and advanced in martial arts tournaments. Through sports he learned instrumental tools, such as problem solving, decision making, the fundamentals of team work, how to gain mental clarity and maintaining emotional calm during a challenge–which would later prove to be valuable as he designed the best life possible for himself.
When he was a young adult, a family crisis arose which altered his steps. In an effort to assist his mother, he provided financial support and served as a male mentor to his three younger sisters, while also working full-time and pursuing his Associate in Science degree at Triton College. Nonetheless, it was a pivotal conversation with his mom that would set his path to eventually becoming one of the youngest chief diversity officers in the country. Harris was working at an entry-level position at a local printer when his mom encouraged him to rethink his current job and pursue a career. This discussion inspired Harris to transition to the business world, where he spent 14 years in call center operations at several fortune 500 companies, before moving to human resources and diversity for the last few years of his corporate career.
Initially Harris began in domestic call center operations but received his first promotion and transitioned to global call center operations after an interesting opportunity to advance arose. One day a higher-up in the company expressed that he was experiencing a tough time with their call centers. This planted a seed with Harris, who was a junior-level employee at the time, to assist his company in this time of crisis. Unprompted, Harris took the initiative and spent several months investing his own money in books and researching solutions, eventually becoming an expert amongst his peers and managers.
Harris shared his knowledge via detailed reports and conversations with his managers, which led to him advancing to a supervisor position at his company. It also began a pattern where Harris strategically used difficult times to propel his corporate success. When challenges arose, he took the time to become an expert and master the solutions, which positioned him for leadership growth. This initial incident ultimately led him to develop a world-class strategy that revolutionized his company and allowed him to travel the world with his expertise, working in Jamaica, Nicaragua, India, and El Salvador.
Another memorable moment in his career was during his transition to management level. Harris was still struggling with a speech impediment as a young adult and was not allowed to present his ideas because his delivery was weak. Instead of feeling defeated, Harris dedicated a year to studying and practicing the art of professional speaking–even studying how television anchors presented the evening news. This dedication would not only reward him at his company, but later when he launched his media career and national speaking tour.
Harris’s optimistic attitude is currently displayed each week when he shares his positivity and helpful tools to win at life through his popular weekly blog (www.inspirationalperspective.com) and WVON 1690 AM talk radio program, “Inspirational Perspective™.” Readers and listeners are encouraged each week to “Get inspired; it’s a lifestyle choice!” In addition to sharing wisdom through his various media channels, as a certified ontological coach, Harris helps business executives, professional athletes and celebrities design the best life possible. He is affiliated with Accomplishment Coaching, which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. Harris is also a heavily sought-after keynote speaker for conferences and events across the country. He is gifted in custom designing presentations for specific audiences that motivate and inspire.
After reaching many heights, Harris, who believes in the importance of education, has aspirations to attend Harvard University. He is also an avid traveler. Over the last two decades he has visited over 40 countries and 260 cities all over the world, which inspired his unique perspective on globalization.