Conversations with ATX Leaders Part III: Britt Harris

For the first time in world history the words were uttered, “Shut everything down.”  The US economy had no precedence, no model to apply for the economic impact of our response to COVID-19. “The numbers were outside anybody’s reason,” Britt Harris, President, CEO, and CIO of The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Company (UTIMCO), remarks as we continue our conversation on the market, faith and leadership.


In most cases, through government aid/CARES act, people are making significantly more per hour.  Britt explores how that reality will impact leadership as employees consider returning to work. “Some people are going to handle this through grace and others will respond through fear,” Britt shares. “We should be the ones to handle things with grace – calmly and wisely.”


“We got through the first month on mostly adrenaline,” remarks Mr. Harris. As media portrays a spike or second wave how will the community respond? “People can deal with the truth, but we can’t deal with three versions of the truth.” As Christian leaders, we will need to value transparency and recognize the emotional impact of the ever evolving stream of information.


Britt shares five priorities he uses to map his team’s journey through the remainder of 2020.


  1. Take care of your people.
  2. Stay ahead of the curve.
  3. Decide what’s really important.
  4. Communicate like crazy.
  5. Focus on solutions.


“If any people on the planet should be resilient it should be us,” Britt comments of Christian leaders. The way we respond will make all the difference in our churches, communities, and companies.  Britt challenges us to counterbalance, take time to recharge and be close to the Lord. “This is a time to draw near.” The resiliency and wisdom we seek stems from a never-ending source.  Listen in as we continue our conversation with another amazing Austin leader.


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