Leadership Style1Assignment 4:Leadership Style: What Do People Do When They Are Leading?Ursula Burns, Xerox CEOStudent: Sara BroderickInstructor: Edwin Quinn, Jr., DBAClass: BUS 520September 1, 2013Leadership Style: What Do People Do When They Are Leading? Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO
2Leadership StyleBackground of Xerox CEO, Ursula BurnsUrsula Burns grew up very poor and was raised by a single mother. They lived in a Manhattan housing project and Burns’ mother struggled to feed her children and make sure that they got a good education. (Muneeza) Burns took an internship position with Xerox that turned into a full-time job in 1981. Xerox hired Burns after she completed her master's degree in mechanical engineering at Columbia University. Nine years later she was top assistant to senior executive, Wayland Hicks. Three decades after joining the Xerox team, she was named CEO.Leadership StyleXerox’s culture is one of transparency. Current CEO, Ursula Burns is known to be frank, honest and open. In the beginning of her a career a fellow employee remarked about the companies “diversity initiatives, and whether they lowered hiring standards Wayland Hicks, the president of marketing and customer operations, weighed in. As he politely explained why the company did not lower standards, Burns pricked up her ears. She thought, why give the question the dignity of a response? She raised her hand. ‘We had a little debate about it in front of the room,’ she says. ‘Why not attack the assertion directly?’ This interaction led later led to a relationship between Hicks and Burns that helped to push Burns career forward. Burns was able to get the support of over 4,000 union members by being honest with them about a company change that would mean less jobs. She was honest about the state of the company and knowing the alternative could be no jobs she won the support of the union.
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