Herman Bulls: Diversity & Inclusion Champion & Business Leader

by cdawkins

For over 30 years, Herman Bulls has been a visionary leader at JLL, a professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. He has witnessed first-hand the firm’s powerful growth over the decades, now a Fortune 500 company, ranking in at #189, in over 80 countries around the globe.

When he first joined JLL, the company had 300 professionals. Today, JLL has 93,000 people around the world. Over the last ten years, he has seen nearly 90 strategic acquisitions as part of the JLL’s global growth strategy, and the firm’s annual total revenue reach a record high of $16.3 billion last year.

Herman is known for creating powerful teams, building strong relationships with clients and partners, his expansive real estate and finance knowledge, and his extensive marketing and strategic development background. He was the founder of JLL’s Public Institutions division, which provides real estate services to federal, state and local governments, colleges and universities and not for profit organizations.

Herman’s reputation goes above beyond his work at JLL—he has long been a sound advisor for multiple companies as a seasoned Corporate Board Director. He currently sits on the board of USAA, Comfort Systems as well as the Governors of the American Red Cross organization. Herman also serves on the Real Estate Advisory Committee for New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the largest pension funds in America. His former NYSE board service includes Tyco, Exelis (ITT’s spin-off) and Computer Sciences Corporation. All serve as examples showcasing Herman’s commitment to steering with strong leadership.

“Good leaders are concerned about the mission and the people,” says Herman. “This is the foundational piece of the puzzle that enables the establishment of trust between management and employees. Trust, in turn, enables people to be their authentic self, which then unleashes creativity and encourages innovation.”

Herman’s formative leadership years began during his military service.Years before transitioning into the corporate world, he spent 11 years on active duty. He retired as a Colonel from the Army Reserve and served 30 years military service. Herman is also a graduate of two prestigious educational organizations—the United States Military Academy at West Point and Harvard Business School.

All of these diverse life experiences have led Herman to take on a thoughtful and directed perspective of the corporate world, and he passionately counsels companies to think hard about diversity.

“Diversity creates a better, more inclusive culture. A diverse team is more creative, more effective, and brings more points of view than a non-diverse one. To serve markets, it will be important to have a team which understands the markets. This will require diversity as a business imperative not as a social goal.”

JLL’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflective of Her- man and other leaders’ strategic investment in steering direction towards these efforts. Recently, Herman and other leaders across the firm participated in the Executive Leadership Council’s symposium, the preeminent organization for African American executives.

“JLL’s involvement provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion and an opportunity to interact with peers and clients who share similar objectives.”

Herman continues by saying “Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is quoted as saying “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” This means leaders must place a premium on focusing on the future to be competitive in the next decade. To remain competitive, it is important that organizations start to build a bench of diverse talent now, which takes time. Smart organizations will over shoot the recruitment funnel now so they will have the right management team in place by 2035. This strategy will be critically important and will produce better corporations and more effective businesses to compete in international markets.”

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