Ursula Burns Quotes

CEOs resign when the internal dynamics of the company and the external dynamics of the company actually come together to say it is appropriate. When the internal dynamics ask you whether you have a replacement. I think the transition from CEOships have also become cartoonish.

Ursula Burns

Long time ago, people would make the Bible, right? The guy said it, somebody wrote it down. And then if you wanted another copy of it, another human being wrote another one. It took a long, long time. Somebody created this thing called mimeograph paper and so you said, ‘OK, we’ll do it that way.’ And so you could get three of them.

Ursula Burns

My mother raised us to think that if we worked hard, and if we put our end of the bargain in, it would work out OK for us.

Ursula Burns

Fresh out of college, you tend to join a company because it’s a job. But, you tend to stay because it becomes a career; you start to feel at home. In the beginning of your career, you’re focused on you: ‘I like this place because I’m doing rewarding work; they take good care of me; the people are nice; there’s runway for me,’ etc.

Ursula Burns

The world is full of opportunities – every day there’s something new that you can do. For example, you could make dirty water potable. Why does anyone not have potable water? Because it’s a problem that hasn’t been solved yet, but it can be.

Ursula Burns

As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve come to appreciate – and really value – the other attributes that define a company’s success beyond the P&L: great leadership, long-term financial strength, ethical business practices, evolving business strategies, sound governance, powerful brands, values-based decision-making.

Ursula Burns

I want to stop transforming and just start being.

Ursula Burns

I’m a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York. Not a lot intimidates me.

Ursula Burns

The best way to change it is to do it. Right? And then after a while you become it, and it’s easy.

Ursula Burns

Unlike people, companies outlive their founders and their leaders.

Ursula Burns

Admiration takes on a whole new level when you appreciate just how complex it is to run a modern business.

Ursula Burns

Race and gender definitely came up, occasionally, in my life at work. But the bigger challenge that I had was age. I took roles earlier in my career than people expected, and so a lot of what I got was, ‘Do you actually know enough to do this?’

Ursula Burns

I realized I was more convincing to myself and to the people who were listening when I actually said what I thought, versus what I thought people wanted to hear me say.

Ursula Burns

My perspective comes in part from being a New York black lady, in part from being an engineer. I know I’m smart and have opinions worth being heard.

Ursula Burns

Xerox manages the infrastructure of E-ZPass for a large number of states. So when you say E-ZPass, and get some bill from E-ZPass, or call and ask a question about E-ZPass, you’re talking to a Xerox person.

Ursula Burns

I’m less concerned about whether being a good corporate citizen burnishes a company’s reputation. That’s just an added benefit. I believe it’s a responsibility, and there is no negotiating on responsibilities.

Ursula Burns

Xerox is really good at managing documents, and we’re definitely good at managing through a process.

Ursula Burns

I’ve had many mentors, but the one that has the most impact was my mother.

Ursula Burns

This old notion that work is drudgery is nonsense. Most days, even back when Xerox was under siege, I could not wait to get to the office.

Ursula Burns

I don’t think paper will go away. I do believe that the value of paper will change, and Xerox is working on changing that value. Consider a color page. Actual life is in color, but you keep reproducing it in black and white. You remove value. It’s a bad thing to do.

Ursula Burns

Crankiness is a human attribute that, when people walk in the door of Xerox, they remain human. The best way to get the best out of people is to not force them to be something other than they naturally are. Now what do they have to be? They have to be respectful. You can’t be ridiculously disrespectful.

Ursula Burns

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