Leadership Qualities, Skills and Styles of Anne M. Mulcahy

Leadership Qualities, Skills and Styles of Anne M. Mulcahy

Anne M. Mulcahy was born October 21, 1952, in Rockville Centre, New York. She is former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation. She joined Xerox as a field sales representative in 1976 and was vice president for human resources from 1992 to 1995. She became chief staff officer in 1997 and corporate senior vice president in 1998. And later on August 1, 2001, she became the CEO and chairwoman on January 1, 2002, of the Xerox Corporation. Mulcahy has also been a member of the boards of directors of Catalyst, Citigroup Inc., Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. and Target Corporation. She named ‘CEO of the Year 2008’ by Chief Executive magazine and through this award Anne proved she could offer something special as a leader in the business world. Anne took on her leadership role at Xerox in a very turbulent period of the company, but she was so determined to get the best out of it. Her momentous & significant leadership qualities, skills & styles enable her to lead the company.

We will be discussing some of her leadership attributes which made her possible to become a successful leader.

Leadership Qualities, Skills and Styles of Anne M. Mulcahy


1. Loyalty: One of the most powerful leadership qualities that Anne M. Mulcahy possesses. Generally, it is hard to find loyal employees & dedicated leaders during the turbulent period of a company. When Xerox was near bankruptcy, Anne took over the duty of the company and made some changes and decisions to get the company back on track. Loyalty can be the most valuable quality of a leader.

2. Valuing People: Xerox was in a state when Anne had to cut jobs and sell divisions to get the company back on track. But she did not do that and instead she valued her employees. She stated that “Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

3. Giving Employees a Roadmap: Anne M. Mulcahy’s another leadership quality and skill is providing employees a roadmap to give a sense of hope in the reality of the company’s direction.

4. Being Honest: Honesty is another leadership quality of Anne. She is being transparent when she used to work with customers and employees.

5. Reinvention: This is her another leadership skill made her a successful leader too. Shifting from expensive consumer printers, Anne focused on the new technology of high-end color digital printers. She realized that the world was changing and Xerox needed to get ahead of the shift. “Companies disappear because they can’t reinvent themselves,” she said.

6. Recognizing the Shortcomings: Anne’s top leadership quality was she knew how to recognize manager’s shortcomings and how to overcome those. She stated, “Good managers recognize their own shortcomings and find others who are strong in those areas.” Today Xerox encourages it’s managers to assess their own performance and to receive their Feed backs from the associates.

7. Vision: Providing vision will help the employees and customers to know where the company is heading to. Anne M. Mulcahy is a visionary leader. “Today’s leaders, she said, must offer employees a compelling vision of the company’s direction; simple command and control are not enough”, she said.

Her other leadership qualities & skills which she possesses are given below:

  • Spend time in listening
  • Communicate face to face
  • Focus on things that matter
  • Dealing with the crisis
  • Developing first-class leadership in a company

Her leadership styles played the important role to become a great leader.

She followed Democratic Leadership style as she became the leader of her company and worked with all her employees in the turbulent period. She also followed Strategic Leadership style as she tried to get back the company on the track. She took many strategic decisions at that time. She also possesses Team Leadership style. When everyone was in an emergency state she took the leadership position of the team and followed according to this style. She also possesses Visionary Leadership style as she always gives advice to her staffs for a compelling vision.

Despite the company’s deep problems, Anne M. Mulcahy believed the future is bright. All she needed to follow the leadership qualities, skills & styles. Mulcahy had handled the situation well and different from what other leaders would do. Many companies would choose the easy way out and declare bankruptcy but she didn’t do so. She took the initiative and set the visions so high that no one believed that Xerox corporation was able to achieve them. Not everybody is created for possessing leadership qualities, and it’s important for companies to identify those high potentials and treat them differently.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_M._Mulcahy
  • http://brandongaille.com/leadership-style-anne-mulcahy/
  • https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/anne_m_mulcahy.html
  • https://www.usnews.com/news/best-leaders/articles/2008/11/19/americas-best-leaders-anne-mulcahy-xerox-ceo
  • https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/anne-mulcahy-keys-turnaround-xerox

Related Post:

Sadnan Bin Sattar

Sadnan is one of the top contributors of Gotabout Business Strategy and Analysis. He is an undergrad student of North South University; major is Finance and Accounting. He has a strong interest in strategy development.