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‘Best Advice I Ever Got’ Series 12 - Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox

--> 2 02 2007

Anne Mulcahy

“One piece of advice I got has become a mantra at Xerox. It came from a very funny source. It was four years ago, and I was doing a customer breakfast in Dallas. We had invited a set of business leaders there. One

“Remember the parable of the cow in the ditch.” - Anne Mulcahy, 52, CEO of Xerox

was a plainspoken, self-made, streetwise guy [Albert C. Black Jr., president and CEO of On-Target Supplies & Logistics, a logistics management firm]. He came up to me and gave me this advice, and I have wound up using it constantly. ‘When everything gets really complicated and you feel overwhelmed,’ he told me, ‘think about it this way: You gotta do three things. First, get the cow out of the ditch. Second, find out how the cow got into the ditch. Third, make sure you do whatever it takes so the cow doesn’t go into the ditch again.’

“Now, every time I talk about the turnaround at Xerox, I start with the cow in the ditch. The first thing is survival. The second thing is, figure out what happened. Learn from those lessons and make sure you’ve put a plan in place to recognize the signs, and never get there again. This has become sort of a catchphrase for the leadership team. It’s just one of those incredibly simple commonsense stories to keep people grounded. I bet that businessman had no idea what kind of legs his story would have.”

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One response to “‘Best Advice I Ever Got’ Series 12 - Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox”

3 02 2007
travis (06:07:43) :

blahb blah

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