Background of CEO According to Xerox. com (2013) Ursula Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a Mechanical Engineering summer intern. In the company pivotal point, Burns led several business teams to include the color and office network printing business. In 2000, Burns was named senior vice president corporate strategic Services heading up manufacturing and supply chain operations. And in 2009, Burns was named the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in July 2009 and made the largest acquisition in Xerox history with the 6. 4 billion dollar purchase of Affiliated Computer Services.
Ursula Burns was the first African-American women CEO to head a fortune 500 company. Burns also was the first to succeed another woman CEO. Analyze the CEO Leadership Style Burns climbed the corporate ladder to the mountain top of Xerox. Burns employee’s claims that Burns is open, grounded, and down to earth. Edmondson-Bell (2010) stated regardless of her race and gender, Burns is an example of the new breed of authentic, self-aware corporate leadership (Edmondson-Bell, 2010). In most organizations the CEO is considered to be stiff and unapproachable.
According to Schermerhorn (2012) leadership appears in two forms formal and informal leadership. Formal leadership exerted by persons appointed or elected to a position. Informal leadership exerted persons who become influential because of special skills that meet the needs of others (Schermerhorn, 2012). Burns is a true leader who earned the support of her stall and employees of Xerox. Burn’s remaining grounded and being transparent in the business matters of Xerox keeps her leadership style sort after in the marketplace. In business, part of your success in your career is having a mentor.
Burns utilize her very own mother as her mentor. According to Tseng (2011) Burns admired her mother for raising her and two siblings as a single parent and in a not so good area in Lower Manhattan, New York. One of the most important lessons Burns learned is do what you love (Tseng, 2011). This type of mindset is what carried Burns up to the top of her organization. Burns took over a company that was struggling to complete with Ricoh and Cannon. The worker of Xerox found that their future was uncertain. Burns change the uncertainty to certainty in the work environment.
According to Colvin (2010) Burns speaks boldly and bluntly in a famously and overly genteel culture (Colvin, 2010). Burns made needed and dramatic action to turn Xerox around to become a profitable and striving company. Personal and Organizational Values Burns personal and organization value is reputation. According to Sellers (2012) Burns knows that personal experience how reputation can make or break a corporation (Sellers, 2012). Having a good reputation is essential to business success. When success in a corporate setting is sometime measured by the amount of money made a bad reputation could affect the organizations financially.
A reputation can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Burns focus on what she is facing. According to Schermerhorn (2012) power-oriented behavior is action directed primarily at developing or using relationships in which other people are willing to defer to one’s wishes (Schermerhorn, 2012). Burns uses here unique relationship to give the organization an upfront approach. Schermerhorn (2012) stated that empowerment is the process by which management help others to acquire and use the power needed to make decisions affecting themselves and their work (Schermerhorn, 2012).
Burns empowers her employees, which will cause a since of belonging. Burns focuses on personal fulfillment rather than on things. Ethical Behavior Burns values are likely to influence ethical behavior within the organization. According to Xerox. com (2013) Burns started that this is a time to be at our most vigilant and even more aware of the importance of ethical behavior and uphold the organization’s core values (Xerox. com, 2013). Burns values were instilled in her by her mother. Burns direct approach will influence others to hold ethical behavior to high regards.
Burns has been the organization leader when comes to ethical practices. Seidman (2010) stated that there is a high demand for ethical leadership, yet there is short supply (Seidman, 2010). Burns will be considered the one that is in that short supply category. Seidman (2010) also stated that ethical leadership extend trust to their workers, creating the conditions necessary to empower employees, suppliers and even customers to take risks necessary to create game changing innovations (Seidman, 2010).
Burns believes in empowerment of her employees. Burns lead with impatience while still maintaining focus. Burns is a woman from a low income family in New York to one of the most powerful women, according to several publications. Gaete (2012) mentioned that Burns keys to lead with impatience are education, impatience to push change, focus, move towards the future, transform, be direct to achieve, empower your people, and don’t take short-cut (Gaete, 2012). Burns value will definitely influence others to be ethical.
Schermerhorn (2012) wrote that ethical leadership is characterized by caring, honest, principled, fair, and balanced choices by individuals who act ethically, set clear ethical standards, communicate about ethics with followers and reward as well as punish others based on ethical or unethical conduct (Schermerhorn, 2012). Greatest Strength and Weaknesses Burns is a very successful CEO and a powerful corporate leader. Burns has took advantage of a changing industry and made to correct adjustments to be successful.
Schermerhorn (2012) stated that leaders deal with mastering challenges of change while creating a satisfying healthy and effective workplace for its employees (Schermerhorn, 2012). Every human or individual has strength and weaknesses. Burns greatest strengths are impatience, hard work and value based leadership. According to Basu (2013) leader strengths are when leaders communicate direction to the organization, clearly, organize groups for particular tasks and define roles and have a structured work environment (Basu, 2013). Burns strengths are connected to professional behavior and ethical practices.
Burns impatience’s is translated into boldness action for the higher purpose of Xerox to be led and to take risks. Xerox acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services transformed Xerox to be one of the leaders in business services and technology. Burns works hard, focus and deliver results. Burns came from being a summer intern to being a CEO of the same Company. Burns articulate her values to the organization often and loudly. Burns lives by her beliefs and make daily business decisions on personal and professional values. Every leader has weaknesses and Burns is no exception.
Basu (2013) stated that weaknesses of a tasks oriented style of leader fear of breaking the rules among employees which may cause a lack of creativity. Low morale, and high turnover (Basu, 2013), Burns has a deep industry knowledge, but Burns also has frankness, sharp humor and willingness to take risks. These traits can be a display as weakness. These traits can be misconstrued as a brash individual who only thinks of oneself. Contributes to Leader’s Success The quality that contributed to Burns success is her drive to affect change and do it ethically.
According to Mehta (2012) all executives walk a fine line between being collaborative and being the boss (Mehta, 2012). Burns has many great qualities that made her successful in the industry. Burns was the first black female CEO of a major corporation. Burns story of her rise from low income family to CEO of Xerox is contributed to her drive to be successful. According to Peck (2011) Burns recommended six keys to leadership; be authentic, listen, recognize the you can’t do everything yourself, take a stand, measure, and have fun (Peck, 2011). Burns is very successful, but has a contagious drive in which her exuded.
Burns worked hard at every level and the opportunity presented itself for CEO. Burns believes in education and working hard no matter where you are in your career. Assess Dynamics Burns has made it a priority to use communication, collaboration, empowerment and politics to influence the dynamics of Xerox. According to Bryant (2010) Burns grew up in the organization and is well known by many of the employees of the company (Bryant, 2010). Burns has changed the culture to a family oriented environment. Burns operates by having an executive team to assist in making business decisions for the organizations.
Burns also have panels of employees to get their prospective on a particular business issue. Schermerhorn (2012) stated that collaborative environments are characterized by boundary less information flows more open and transparent communication, and more supportive communication dynamics (Schermerhorn, 2012). Burns describes her approach to the culture as terminal niceness. Bryant (2010) stated that Burns wants all 130,000 employees to get over the past, take initiative, be fearless, frank and impatient with one another (Bryant, 2010). The politics of being the first African American female CEO is something that comes with the position.
According to Bryant (2010) Burns misread the public reaction when she was named CEO. Burns started receiving phone calls from people of the caliber of Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton and Magic Johnson (Bryant, 2010). The appointment to CEO put Burns in the public eye due to the historical meaning of her appointment. Burns was also named by President Obama to help lead the White House national program on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Burns was appointed vice chair of the President’s Export Council as well. Conclusion
Burns was the right person for the CEO position at Xerox. Burns’ style of leadership is what the company needed during a difficult time. Burns straight forward and blunt approach proved to be the style that bring conformation of stability. Burns achieved in many way and made history in the process. A person who stayed focus and work hard to achieve her goal. This is why Xerox is one of the computer services giant in the computer software industry. Schermerhorn (2012) stated that it is important to remember that people still drive organizational systems and performance (Schermerhorn, 2012).
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