Ursula Burns

5 Sep

” Where you are is not who you are.”

– Ursula Burns

I saw a news report of Ursula Burns  visiting India. Ursula Burn’s is an amazing story. The Chairman and CEO of Xerox is the first black woman to head a fortune 500 company. Ursula Burns story has been on my mind, as have been reading a book by psychology professor Ian Robertson ( “The Winner Effect , the science of success and how to use it”, Bloomsbury). The book gives contrasting back grounds of Ursula Burns who grew up in challenging neighborhood and the privileged Sir Fred Goodwin who lead RBS ( Royal Bank of Scotland) to huge losses and Paulo Picasso, son the great Pablo Picasso who pretty much lead a non descript slavish life at the mercy of his illustrious father. The book tries to address question ” whether people  are born into winning or whether its a result of chance and circumstance” among other things. I am still reading it. I keep promising myself that this is the last such genre am going to read.

To share a extract from Ian Robertson’s book ” Ursula is one of the three children from two different fathers, and was the case of for many children in the housing complex,neither father was around much for their upbringing. On 12 February 2011, the crumpled body of a stabbed forty- two -year old woman was found in the elevator car of the Baruch Houses Low-income project where Ursula lived.” From that challenging environment to being named twentieth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2010 is a remarkable story.

It is in the above context, Ursula states in this video that ” Where you are is not who you are.” Her remarkable mother distilled the belief in her that the impoverished challenging circumstances is not “what you are”. And if you become successful, as enormously successful as she is, the trappings of success is also not “who you are”. So in impoverishment and in success, this idea holds true , ” Where you are is not who you are.” This is true wisdom.

I also liked the remarkable conviction of her mother that all her children will be highly successful. I carry a feeling that parents who have this kind of belief in children , will end up having successful children. In my childhood one of my neighborhood boy’s father would  say ” Don’t ask me ” where he is.” that rascal’s address is that playground.” 🙂 That’s extreme.

Ursula Burns gives some nice perspective in this video :
– Where you are is not who you are.
– Always keep an eye on right things,right way and right approach.
– Keep clarity on ” Who you are” and ” What your goal is.” This is true for business as well as self.
– Nothing trumps Hard work.

I have come to a conclusion that belief systems play a important role in life. These are good belief sets to have.

Some times people who meet me after a long time ask ” Where do you stay” If am in a good mood , tell them. In a foul mood or indifferent mood depending on the aura of person, generally say a Richard Gere line from American Gigolo ” I was born in Torino, but i studied at Nantes.” I kind of twist it ” I was born in Torino, but happen to live in..” 🙂 Hence forth think should just drill literally and figuratively ” Where You Are Is Not Who You Are”.

Hope you like this little talk by Ursula Burns dear friends. Have a nice day! Thank you!


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