Michael Burwell is a certified public accountant and attended Michigan State, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC (PwC) for thirty-one years serving in various departments, then as U.S. Transaction Services Leader. He then became the Chief Operating Officer in U.S. business, and finally the Vice Chairman Global for PwC. Michael Burwell’s leadership and organizational skills helped prepare him for his current role as Chief Financial Officer of Willis Towers Watson, a top global advisory brokerage solutions company.
Willis Towers Watson employs forty-thousand people in one hundred forty countries. The company helps clients who engage in risky ventures turn them into patterns of growth. Combining assets, ideas and talent for solutions helps make businesses grow and thrive, along with technology to support the business.
Willis Towers Watson looks at other companies to get a clear picture of what they’re all about, such as how their goals and challenges work to achieve positive results. They also take steps socially by helping in community activities and protecting the environment in the following ways:
- Giving charitable gifts
- Improving energy efficiency
- Purchasing environmentally friendly products
- Encouraging associates to volunteer in worthwhile programs
In an interview Michael Burwell took part in, he was asked what his typical day consisted of. He said he gets up at 5:00 a.m. and makes his bed every day, even when traveling. It makes him feel he’s doing something worthwhile starting his day. He then gets on his stationary bike and thinks about what he can achieve that day.
Michael teaches the importance of doing more with less, making sure his staff takes the time to be good listeners, learning from other’s ideas, building their network and using technology as a way to be more productive. Communicating with one another is vital, as well as being positive and sticking with what you know will work. He knows they’re not always winners in their decisions, so when they lose, he wants his staff to ask the question, “What one thing could we have done better?”
Willis Towers Watson has been on the list of one of the top most admired companies in the world four years in a row. His favorite quote, “There is only one place to look for leadership and that is in the mirror,” came from his daughter. He lives by it and knows others can too.
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