Exploring the Leadership Style of Ursula Burns Ceo of Xerox Corporation

1718 Words Aug 18th, 2013 7 Pages
Exploring The Leadership Style of Ursula Burns CEO of Xerox Corporation
Myra A. Duke
Dr. Eddie Montgomery
Leadership and Organizational Behavior
June 9, 2013

It is rare nowadays for a person to become the top ranking executive at the same company they intern with. Ursula Burns did just that by doing a summer internship with Xerox Corporation, and going on to become the CEO twenty-nine years later. Ursula Burns was the first African-American women to be name CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and first woman to succeed another woman as the leader of a Fortune 500 company. Ms. Burns had very meager beginnings, she was raised by a single mother in a New York City housing project with two siblings. She earned her bachelor’s degree in
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Commitment to customer satisfaction is another strength Ms. Burns strongly demonstrates. Xerox favors a customer-based approach, in which it is highly important to know what the customer’s problems and pain points are. Burns goes on to say innovation is key in solving customer issues, it is important to determine how can technology or innovative process can solve customer problems. Perseverance is arguably Ursula Burns’ strongest and most relevant strength. Ursula persevered her entire life beginning in the housing project she was raised in to becoming the leader of a Fortune 500 company. She has been committed to Xerox for over 30 years, and was key in the turnaround of the company when it was on the brink of bankruptcy. Perseverance is what got her through all of this to where she is today, as the first African-American woman CEO of a successful and innovative company. In one particular situation Ms. Burns demonstrate pure perseverance before she became the CEO, as the senior vice president of, Corporate Strategic Services, she was responsible for negotiating a contract with the unionized employees. This was highly important to the continued success of the company, as she was considering the outsourcing of 2,000 jobs. In a normal situation this would have been business as normal for Ms. Burns, however she was home recovering from an emergency hysterectomy. Instead of delaying the

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