Ursula Burns’ Memoir Chronicles Her Journey From New York Tenements To Xerox CEO

Nichole S. Gehr

When Ursula Burns was named the CEO of Xerox in 2009, it was hailed as a groundbreaking accomplishment: She was the 1st Black woman to head a Fortune 500 company. She took in excess of at a essential time when the state was just coming out of the 2008 economic downturn.

Ursula Burns' New Memoir Chronicles Her Journey From New York Tenements To Xerox CEO

Previous Xerox CEO Ursula Burns. (Photo by Claudio Marinesco)

And as she writes in her new memoir, “Where You Are Is Not Who You Are,” Burns was perfectly prepared for the career. She began at Xerox as an intern though researching mechanical engineering in higher education and worked her way up as a result of the ranks for nearly a few many years right before remaining named CEO.

Together the way, she was fortified by lessons taught to her by her mom and various mentors.

Host Tonya Mosley speaks with the former Xerox CEO about her new ebook.

E book Excerpt: ‘Where You Are Is Not Who You Are’

By Ursula Burns

I commenced producing this e book well in advance of the entire world as we understood it altered. Pre-pandemic and pre–social justice reawakening and pre–the conclusion of the darkest four a long time in my life. I lastly responded to the encouragements—“You have to publish a book”—I acquired soon after speaking engagements and discussions. I ought to say that crafting this book has been substantially, substantially more difficult than I believed it would be. Not only simply because of the right before-and-after circumstance that we are nonetheless in the midst of, but also due to the fact it is challenging for me to discover a good deal that is really extraordinary or book-deserving about my story. I am not being humble in that statement—the truth of the issue is that existence transpires a person working day at a time, and only in the retelling does it appear with each other into extraordinary, exciting, or insightful stories. In other phrases, you live your lifetime not recognizing the end of the tale, and retell it only as if you realized what the end result would be.

In this e-book I hope you see that very good factors can and do take place. I hope you see how a great deal of a positive effects one particular human being who is neither abundant nor renowned can have on the environment. I hope you see that tricky operate, belief in you, and aid by excellent men and women are the magic sauce.

As of this composing, the pandemic is even now listed here, social justice is awakening, and put up-Trump The us is in inning range one particular, but I am optimistic about The us and the environment. As I adore to say, the Usa is not a zero-sum country. I’ve viewed above and more than that it is not important for another person else to shed in order for me to gain. A person doesn’t have to starve for me to consume someone does not have to go without overall health care or an education for me to have them. The usa, the entire world is not actively playing a zero-sum recreation. I am optimistic.

Excerpt from Exactly where You Are Is Not Who You Are: A Memoir by Ursula Burns. Revealed by Amistad. Copyright © 2021 HarperCollins.

This posting was originally posted on WBUR.org.

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