URSULA BURNS, XEROX: The Art of Talking Straight

URSULA BURNS XEROX

In 1990, when Ursula Burns was executive assistant to Xerox's then CEO, Paul Allaire, she sat in on a high-level meeting about changing an employee-benefits policy and after a while raised her hand. "I don't get it," she remembers saying, "but from what I could get, I don't like it." The reaction to her unsolicited feedback--the executives realized they needed to stop using corporatespeak if they wanted employees to embrace the new policy--had a profound effect on Burns, who recalls thinking, Hey, I didn't get slapped down. Speaking up has helped Burns, who grew up in the projects in New York...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!