The multi-talented Zachary Harding

The multi-talented Zachary Harding

Sunday, August 09, 2020

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This week's Q10 features Zachary Harding—while we know him as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), what many may not know is that outside of the corporate space he is a DJ who also has a deep rooted passion for the creative arts and sports. He describes himself as a captain of industry who leads from the front, and strongly believes in the need to have a diversified skillset. A family man who endears his wife and children, he defines success as simply being able to have health and happiness. Indulge and enjoy the read as this Campion old boy gives greater insight into what makes him the swag boss he's known as today.

Q10: What is that one outstanding characteristic that you believe you possess?

HARDING: I would say that I have an inordinate amount of patience. If you are trying to master life, patience is key —because there is always a bigger picture. If you are impatient you can become distracted and lose focus on your end goal. I pick my battles because I believe in winning the war.

Q10: What's your greatest weakness?

HARDING: Trying to take on everything at once. Over several decades in business I have learnt that in order to maximise my own output, I have to know my limitations. Victory isn't always about being the star; it is about the whole team winning. It's like a relay. I shine brightest when I can focus on what's in my lane and hand the baton to a team member. Every race is different so it's important to pick the best anchor to bring it home. For me, one key to success is surrounding myself with a high-performance team of positive people.

Q10: What's the best career decision you've ever made?

HARDING: My best career decision was switching from marketing to finance. In finance I can change lives in a more tangible way. That shift was pivotal because I moved from pushing other people's products to actively choosing to support businesses that I believe in, especially local ones, and helping them to grow. The decision to move into finance has placed me in a better position to actively make a difference.

Q10: What do you love about your job?

HARDING: I enjoy finding solutions and connecting the dots in areas that can have a palpable and positive impact on the people around me. There is a deep satisfaction in watching how the growth and development of my clients, my partners, and my team translate into powerful positive impact and the expansion of the nation. I like to know that what I do changes my country and its economy for the better. I love that my work builds opportunities for more people to actualise their dreams.

Q10: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

HARDING: I see myself leading a regionally impactful financial institution that curates unique, relevant, and proprietary opportunities for sustainable wealth. In five years I also see myself coordinating moves that will have a lasting positive impact across the Caribbean.

Q10: Describe your growing up experience?

HARDING: I honestly had a very happy childhood. Myself and my brother grew up with two very loving parents in a strong family structure. We were blessed to have parents who were supportive of us as children, who talked to us openly at the dinner table and who encouraged us to go after our dreams. I had parents that I could look up to and admire. One thing I now look at with gratitude is that they were also very hard-working and I was able to observe the effort and commitment that went into their many accomplishments. I emulate those lessons today. It is truly a gift to have parents that I'm proud of, and I don't take that for granted.

Q10: How do you spend your free time?

HARDING: In my free time I am either on the football field, a cricket pitch, or behind the turntables as a DJ. In sport, the draw for me is not just about the game but about the strategy. I am very tuned in to understanding my teammates and finding the best ways to operate as a unit. DJ-ing is a creative outlet for me. I have found that my background in the creative industry has greatly enriched my scope as a businessman. “Spinning” keeps me sharp on cultural trends and believe it or not often leads to unique market insights. It keeps me on my toes, and also helps me to keep my ear to the ground. Nothing liberates my soul better than a good bass line on a good sound system.

Q10: If you were a superhero, what powers would you want?

HARDING: I have always liked the idea of telekinesis, which is the ability to move objects with your mind. It speaks to the ability to operate and act at the speed of thought. The concept of having thought and action move together as one is exciting to me.

Q10: Where is your favourite place in this world?

HARDING: At the moment, it would be Good Hope in Falmouth, Trelawny—the rivers, mountains, trees, animals, community… it's just magical.

Q10. Outside of work what other activities are you involved in?

HARDING: I sit on several boards including Caribbean Airlines, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro), the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and others. Also, I try to use my business knowledge to support my passion for Jamaica's creative industry and culture. So, I recently invested in and was executive producer for a Jamaican film named Sprinter and I also produced a documentary with Justine Henzell about Jamaica called One People. I am also first vice-president of Melbourne Cricket Club.

—Compiled by Kellaray Miles

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