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Ellen J. Kullman Quotes

Ellen Kullman

Ellen J. Kullman quotes: excellent advice by the business executive.

“The core of who you are will get you where you need to go. To try and make it something else is just going to make you miserable. It’s just too hard not to have your gut working for you, and you need both your head and gut to get it right.”

“Focus on what you can control. Figure those out—things we can do something about, and get about doing them.”

“Self-awareness is one of the traits that has helped me the most through my career: understanding the impact I have on people—good, bad, or indifferent.”

“The only thing you have is your reputation. People forget the specifics.”

“If you say you’re going to do something, do it. And if you do it, do it well. I had a reputation for saying what I was going to do and getting it done.”

“The other thing is, can people trust you? And it’s not, are you trustworthy or not? It’s, do they believe you are?”

“You’ll find there’ll be mentors, or sponsors, or people who will give you that kind of feedback. And you need to seek that out. And I think that comes down to self-awareness.”

“The best mentors to have are the ones that pick you, right? And that doesn’t happen that often. Look for people who know the culture, who know how work gets done. Because that’s kind of the inside baseball you need in order to take your skills and deploy them as best you can.”

“In my experience—and I think the research has borne this out—women and people of color tend to not put themselves forward for opportunities if they don’t have 90 to 120 percent of the skills necessary. And I believe the best opportunities are the ones where you have 60, 70 percent of the skills necessary. And then you’re going to grow the other 30 percent because you’re going to be a learner.”

“There’s nothing like a new product, a new innovation that allows you to go out and talk to that customer.”

“We invent, we build, we make, we sell.”

“Although it is difficult to get people who are very successful to embrace change, I have found that they are willing to try new models when markets are in disarray and when there’s uncertainty about what will work in the future.”

“If you try to change everybody at once, you’re changing nobody, so you really have to start in one area, or a couple of areas, and show success.”

“When you have an aligned team that understands very clearly what the goals and the tradeoffs are, that’s when things can absolutely happen.”

“Maintain pride around the company’s mission. There’s nothing like a bad economy to get people confused about what their mission is. They start thinking their mission is to reduce cost. Making sure that people understand the mission—and linking their daily activities to the company’s broader purpose—is essential to reducing fear, maintaining morale and keeping employees motivated.”

“It’s really critical to maintain the focus on the mission and keep reminding people of it. People have a lot of pride in the mission and they want to understand that the mission is not going to change, even though the world around it has changed tremendously. You’ve got to capture that heart and soul. That’s how we’re going to be successful.”

“With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.”

“You need to manage more through influence. You need to understand people and where they’re coming from and look for common ground. And it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about coming together to get the company or the business into a better place.”

“Engagement. Employees must understand what’s important, have support and be aligned around a common goal.”

“Set the right tone. The leader must set the tone, keeping in mind the company’s core values, especially in hard times, because when people are scared, people will follow.”

“You really just have to make sure you have the right people holding the mirror up and telling you the truth.”

“Be an enabler. Energize and work with people and figure out how to get things done.”

“Accountability. Be accountable for and committed to getting things done.”

“I have a saying, ‘Hope is not a strategy; faith is.'”

“I do think there are times in any company’s history where you have to reset to really go forward.”

“Sometimes you have to get smaller to get stronger and grow from there.”

“Remove the guardrails. Sometimes in our normal business mode we put guardrails on ourselves around what we do, what is our business. I think it’s important to take the guardrails off and be creative.”

“Welcome challenges.”

“The notion is that people never stop learning. When you are convinced you know it all, that is when you are going to make a big mistake. Every job that I take I want to know what I’m going to learn from it, and if it is going to make me a better person.”

“Your company’s leadership doesn’t know, unless you tell them, what career path you want to go on. I was really clear that I wanted to run businesses. I didn’t want to get into a staff position. I stuck to my guns, and I earned my way there. I was a little patient at times, maybe a little impatient at times. And if I didn’t get a job, I would say, ‘Okay, so help me understand what I need to do to be a better candidate for that kind of job in the future.'”

“My dad started and ran a landscaping business. He put me to work watering plants for my grandmother and for our house. His mantra was, ‘If you don’t water it, it’s going to die.’ That was the job I hated most: pouring water on those darn flowers. But my mother and my grandmother had the most beautiful gardens in town.”

“When I got out in the world, my father’s advice translated into investing yourself in what you’re building in order for it to grow. In 1998, I was asked to start a safety business at DuPont. I wasn’t given a lot of direction. I used to bring the team together and ‘water plants.’ We’d talk about what was wrong, what was right, what was working and what wasn’t.”

“It’s not about having a specific set time; both personal and professional lives are 24/7. It’s simply, more about making the right allocation to each one and recognizing that it’s going to be different every single day.”

“I empower people because I understand that I can’t do everything myself and that a well-functioning team drives great results. Reinforce how everyone is connected and working toward the same broader purpose.”

“It’s times like these you find that people want to help and be part of the solution.”

“Together, we will get through this pandemic and emerge stronger on the other side.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.