Ursula Burns – Coaching Quotes and Tips

Ursula Burns - Coaching Advice

Ursula Burns – Coaching Quotes and Tips – Contents

  • Career Advice Quotes by Ursula Burns
  • Business Advice Quotes by Ursula Burns
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Ursula Burns
  • Ursula Burns Biography
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Ursula Burns
  • Xerox
    • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
  • Ursula Burns Inspirational Quotes
  • Common Questions about Ursula Burns
  • Videos about Ursula Burns
  • Ursula Burns Quotes

Career Advice Quotes by Ursula Burns

“Find something that you love to do, and find a place that you really like to do it in.”

“Dreams do come true, but not without the help of others, a good education, a strong work ethic, and the courage to lean in.”

“Believe that there are no limitations, no barriers to your success – you will be empowered and you will achieve.”

“Where you are is not who you are.”

“Kids are pretty resilient. You don’t have to be at every volleyball game. We can’t guilt ourselves.”

“The world is full of opportunities – every day there’s something new that you can do.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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?”


“Your work has to be compelling. You spend a lot of time doing it.”

– Ursula Burns

Business Advice Quotes by Ursula Burns

“I certainly spend a lot of time and dedicate a fair share of resources to understanding the greater good our company is doing for our society.”

“I do business with my heart as much as I do with my head, both personally and professionally.”

“I don’t believe in having people face off against each other for the CEO job in a classic horse race.”

“Frankly, those companies that dismiss citizenship as a necessary evil don’t get my time, attention, or business — unless they’re looking to benchmark us as an example of decades-long, values-based leadership. “

“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.”


“If you don’t transform, you’re stuck.”

– Ursula Burns

Leadership Advice Quotes by 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.”

“Unlike people, companies outlive their founders and their leaders.”

“Impatience is a virtue.”

“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.”

“CEOs resign when the internal dynamics of the company and the external dynamics of the company actually come together to say it is appropriate.”

“Bad leadership can cause serious damage almost overnight. Business author Jim Collins looked at companies that had great success, and found that the thing all of them had in common was great leadership, no matter what they were selling.”


“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.”

– Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns Biography

Ursula Burns (born 1958), is an American businesswoman. In 2009, Burns became CEO of Xerox, she was the first among black women to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She has been listed on Forbes Most Powerful Woman in the World list.

Ursula Burns has also been appointed as the chairman and CEO of VEON, senior advisor to Teneo and a non-executive director and a member of the board of directors of many global organizations. Among her many civic positions, she was a leader of the STEM program of the White House from 2009 to 2016, and head of the President’s Export Council from 2015 until 2016.


Interesting Facts and Insights about Ursula Burns

  • Born: Ursula M. Burns, September 20, 1958
  • Parents: Both of her parents were Panamanian immigrants.
  • Single-parent household: Ursula Burns grew up in Manhattan to a single-parent household.
  • Schooling: Her mother ironed clothes and ran a daycare to pay the bills and for her children to attend a private Catholic school.
  • High School: Burns attended Cathedral High School, a Catholic all-girls school on East 56th Street in New York.
  • Maths: Ursula Burns was excelled in mathematics.
  • Engineering: She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, now New York University Tandon School of Engineering, in 1980
  • Columbia: She earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
  • Student Intern: She began her career at Xerox as a student intern and ended up as CEO.
  • Family: Her husband died in 2019, she has a daughter and a stepson.
  • Xerox: Burns first worked for Xerox as a summer intern in 1980. In 2007, Burns assumed the role of president of Xerox.
  • Board Roles: Burns has served on numerous boards, including those of Boston Scientific, FIRST, National Association of Manufacturers, University of Rochester, the MIT Corporation, Rochester Business Alliance, RUMP Group, American Express Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Datto Inc., Nestlé, Diageo and Uber.
  • Teneo: She joined Teneo as a senior advisor in 2017. Teneo is an international C-suite advisory firm, founded in June 2011.
  • Veon: In 2018, Ursula Burns was appointed Chairman and CEO of Veon. VEON is a multinational telecommunication services company that predominantly operates services in the regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is one of the largest mobile network operators in the world.
  • Most Powerful Women: Ursula Burns has been listed multiple times by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. She was also featured among “America’s Top 50 Women In Tech”.
  • Honorary Degrees: Ursula Burns has received honorary degrees from New York University, Williams College, the University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The City College of New York, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the University of Rochester, Xavier University, and Georgetown University.

“Unlike people, companies outlive their founders and their leaders.”

– Ursula Burns

Xerox

Xerox is an American global corporation that sells print and digital document products and services. Today its headquartered is in Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1970, Xerox opened the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, known as Xerox PARC.

Researchers at Xerox and its Palo Alto Research Center first invented several important elements of personal computing, such as the desktop Graphical User Interface, the computer mouse, and desktop computing. Unfortunately, these ideas were ignored by the then board of directors.

These events predate Ursula Burns’s leadership of Xerox, but they form a fascinating coaching example of missed leadership opportunities. The technology was ignored by Xerox, instead, they were developed by Apple and later Microsoft. With the help of these innovations, Apple and Microsoft came to dominate the personal computing revolution of the 1980s.

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center

The Xerox PARC facility developed many modern computing technologies such as the graphical user interface, laser printing, WYSIWYG text editors and Ethernet. From these inventions, Xerox PARC created the Xerox Alto in 1973, a small minicomputer. This machine can be considered the first true Personal Computer.

Unfortunately, the Alto was never commercially sold, as Xerox did not see the sales potential in the product. In 1979, Steve Jobs saw the commercial potential of the Window, Icon, Menu, and Pointing device system and redirected the development of the Apple Lisa to incorporate these technologies. Jobs is quoted as saying, “They just had no idea what they had.”


“I do business with my heart as much as I do with my head, both personally and professionally.”

– Ursula Burns

Did these insights about Ursula Burns inspire you?

Ursula Burns was the first among black women to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and is highly admired for her achievements. Her insights and advice are essential reading for anyone interested in career, business, or leadership coaching information.

Explore the Coaching Information from some of the world’s top experts. Click the links below:


“Find something that you love to do, and find a place that you really like to do it in.”

– Ursula Burns

Common Questions about Ursula Burns?

  • Why is Ursula Burns important?
    • Ursula Burns was the first African American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company when she took over the position of CEO for Xerox.
  • What does Ursula Burns do today?
    • Ursula Burns is the chairman and CEO of VEON and a non-executive director of several companies.
  • What did Ursula Burns study?
    • Ursula Burns obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from New York University Tandon School of Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University a year later.
  • What changed in Xerox with Ursula Burns’ leadership?
    • In 2009, Xerox acquired Affiliated Computer Services, services, and outsourcing company, for $6.4 Billion.
    • In May 2011, Xerox acquired NewField IT for its managed print services (MPS).

Mini MBA of Big Ideas

“Strategies for Influence” explores and shares a Mini-MBA of Big Ideas from the Leaders of Influence that can help you with your Career, Business, and Leadership. Click on any of the links below to explore the Big Ideas that have influenced our work and culture.

Mini-MBA of the big ideas that have shaped Careers, Leadership, and Business.


Videos about Ursula Burns

Leaders Under Pressure – Ursula Burns


Ursula Burns: Are Leaders Born or Made?


“Find something that you love to do, and find a place that you really like to do it in.”

– Ursula Burns

Image Credit:Photograph by Krista Kennell/Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, http://www.flickr.com/photos/fortunelivemedia/8047984477