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Ursula Burns Quotes

Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns quotes: the billionaire businesswoman’s top quotes.

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

“Impatience is a virtue.”

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

“Success takes a helping hand. You won’t get there on your own. Look for help. Take help. Give help. You can be a part of someone else’s climb. You can be the difference that allows someone else to rise.”

“Find something that you love to do, and find a place that you really like to do it in. This old notion that work is drudgery is nonsense. I found something I loved to do. I’m a mechanical engineer by training, and I loved it. I still do. Your work has to be compelling. You spend a lot of time doing it.”

“I say to my team all the time that this is how I grew up: always thinking that, at any minute, I could be unemployed. You have to scramble. You have to work hard and get ahead of things.”

“There was no easy path or silver bullet. There wasn’t even a seven-step program. I had to stay motivated for many thousands of mornings. Despite having a family. Despite having a life outside of work. Despite everyone else around me not being fair. It was up to me to own my future. To make things happen. To do what needed to be done.”

“That’s your mission: to stay inspired and focused and driven until you get to where you want to be. To own the day. Each day. Each hour. Each second. Consumed by a goal and destiny. Regardless of where you start. Regardless of where you are right now. Resolve that this choice is the first of many more—focused on you achieving your brand of awesome.”

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

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

“Never waste a good crisis. I don’t recommend seeking a dire situation, but if you’re thrown into it, don’t run away because it’s probably one of the best experiences you can have.”

“I’m an advocate for change and eager to break a little glass when needed.”

“The best way to change it is to do it. Right? And then after a while you become it, and it’s easy.”

“I want to stop transforming and just start being. If you don’t transform, you’re stuck.”

“Success is not about money. It’s not about power. It’s about leaving. This is a lesson learned from my mother: ‘You have to leave the place (any place you are) a little bit better than you came in.'”

“Admiration takes on a whole new level when you appreciate just how complex it is to run a modern business.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“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?'”

“I say this to women all the time: I guarantee you will be the minority in the room. And instead of that being a burden, it should be an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself.”

“Crankiness is a human attribute that when people walk in the door, they remain human. 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. You can’t be ridiculously disrespectful.”

“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. In the beginning of your career, you’re focused on you: ‘I like this place because I’m doing rewarding work; they take good care of me; the people are nice; there’s runway for me,’ etc.”

“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.”

“I’ve had many mentors, but the one that has the most impact was my mother. My mother was pragmatic, focused, and extremely, exceedingly practical, and she was the ultimate self-determining person.”

“My mother was amazing. I guess, in our community, if you wanted to get by you had to work hard. So she cleaned offices. She did everything that you could imagine. We were really poor. But she would say, ‘Where you are is not who you are.'”

“I didn’t think, when I walked into the company, that I would be the CEO. But my ambitions were high. I did expect to be successful, though. 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 okay for us.”

“I was the first African-American woman CEO in history to lead a Fortune 500 Company. My $29,000 salary was replaced with a $14 million payday.”

“I don’t want to overemphasize this, but not a day goes by when I don’t think about my mother and what she would think about what I just did. I often adjust my approach.”

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

“I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. The three things that they focused on were reading, writing and arithmetic. My goodness, this is a novel idea in this modern society.”

“From a young African-American girl from an impoverished neighborhood to becoming a role model and a success story, my inspirational life story is also a dramatic one. I was told as a child that I had three strikes against me: my gender, my family’s economic standing, and my race. And yet, I rose above it all, thanks to grit, fortitude and dedication.”

“I’m a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York. Not a lot intimidates me.”

“I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. I’ve always favored speaking up, being authentic and voicing my opinions.”

“I learned from my mother that if you have a chance to speak, you should speak. If you have an opinion, you should make it be known.”

“On average, it’s better to open your mouth than to keep your mouth shut. That I’m totally convinced of. Second thing, on an average people are waiting for somebody to open their mouth and if all it does is catalyze for other people to open their mouth then that’s good.”

“My perspective comes in part from being a New York black lady, in part from being an engineer. I know I’m smart and have opinions worth being heard.”

“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.”

“The reason they knew who I was is because I told them.”

“As a woman leader and role model, I’ve always believed in paying it forward.”

“All of us now are pioneers. Every one of us.”

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