Orpah Gail Winfrey• Born: January 29, 1954 (age 58) Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States• Residence: Montecito, California, United States• Nationality: American• Occupation:o Former Host of The Oprah Winfrey Showo Chairwoman and CEO of Harpo Productionso Chairwoman, CEO, and CCO of the Oprah Winfrey Network• Years active1983 present• Salary: $290 million (2011)• Net worth: US$ 2.7 billion (2011)• Political Party: Democratic Party• Partner: Stedman Graham (1986-present)• Website: http://www.oprah.com
INTRODUCTION• Oprah Gail Winfrey born on January 29, 1954: an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist .• Richest African-American of the 20th century & was the most influential woman in the world.• Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication.• She is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show.• In 1990’s she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality.• From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama got him over 1 Million votes.
Background• born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood.• She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood,• claiming to be raped at age nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.,• Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19.• after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place; she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.
TEAM• Oprah’s People• She knows how to motivate people.” Oprah’s people strategy is simple. She invests in top talent, seeks out smart mentors, values her customer and consistently nourishes each relationship.• , Oprah has become the best by surrounding herself with the best. carefully selects her top team to assure competence and compatibly, and then stands by them. She also seeks out mentors that she admires who will offer her guidance.• She Is similarly smart not to take her audience for granted. often incorporates the audience into her content, signaling to them that she is listening.
• She notoriously shows her appreciation with gifts. “Oprah’s Big Give” is a dedicated show in which she gives her favorite things to the entire studio audience she speaks to them as equals who she cares about greatly.• Not only does the nurturing of each of these relationships inform her success in the present, it sets up her future success. Investing in loyal mentors, peers, employees and consumers means she has a massive team that will follow her anywhere.
VISION• Oprah’s principal strengths as a leader has been creating a vision of her success, communicating that vision to those around her and being resolute in its execution.• She’s been brave enough to dream big and smart enough to climb step by step.• Oprah crafted a focused brand and then slowly built it out by diversifying its distribution. Her underpinning was the television show.• Next came her company, the production of movies and subsidiary TV shows, multiple charitable foundations, a magazine, a radio channel and a website. OWN will fill 24 hours a day with programming inspired and approved by Oprah.
VALUES• Oprah’s personal values and those that she’s injected into each arm of her business represent the foundation of her success.• Her message of positivity—to “live your best life”—endears her to everyone around her. Leaders who are viewed as selfish or unethical are quickly dethroned.• Oprah continuously is held in the highest esteem because her humor, relatability, optimism and generosity associate her with a greater good.• she established philanthropic efforts that bettered the world. The press at times questioned her motivations, but giving back allowed her the credibility to continue growing her wealth.• She launched the Oprah winfrey Foundation, a school in South Africa and an audience-mobilizing effort, Oprah’s Angel Network.• a personal dedication to continued reinvention and resilience has kept her brand strong over the decades
LEADERSHIP• Oprah’s leadership qualities are exemplified in the way that she communicates and relates to people from all walks of life, empathizes with those in need, and the ability to look at issues from various perspectives.• Oprah’s gift to communicate has fans viewing her show in 140 countries which includes 46 million viewers in the U.S. (Conlon, 2008). She is self-reflective and has openly admitted her shortcomings to millions. . Oprah surrounds herself with others that have the competencies she lacks and trusts in them to do what she cannot.• she became an honors student and was awarded a full scholarship to college. Oprah has never forgotten where she came from and the strife that she lived through as a child. This appears to be the heart of her communication and leadership skills.• She is aware of how influential she is in the world and views it as a responsibility and an opportunity to help others grow intellectually and spiritually. It is Oprah’s ability to make people believe in themselves that truly makes her a leader.
Oprah’s 10 best leadership practices• Carefully Selects her Team• Gathers Trusted Mentors• Values her Customer• Strategically Extends her Brand• Keeps Her Brand Focused• Remains Resilient• Demonstrates a Social Conscience• Communicates her Vision• Dreams Big• Rewards Employees
As a leadership brand• All leaders have a brand. Whether that term is used or not, leaders have an identifiable persona that is a reflection of what they do and how others perceive them. This is leadership brand.• In a perceptive analysis, New York Times media columnist David Carr suggests that Winfreys brand and the key to her longevity is a combination of things she didnt do as well as things that she did do.• On the "dont do side," she did not over-merchandize nor take her company public.• On the "do side," she always stayed true to herself.• The lessons of Oprahs brand are relevant to any leader. Brand is what you develop as well as what others perceive. The balance between reality and perception can be shaky if you are not careful, but as we have seen from Oprah, not impossible.
LESSONS FOLLOWED TO CULTIVATE LEADERSHIP • Those who lead by example are willing to make tough PRACTICE WHAT decisions • be accountable for the same YOU PREACH • Willing to lend a hand to colleagues and direct reports • This applies to work, where principles determine the ACT ON quality and attention you deliver PRINCIPLE • As well as to values, where principles determine behavior. • It is the lever one uses to get things done the right way. INSIST ON • Treating people with respect INTEGRITY • Act for the benefit of the organization first and yourself second.
THE OPRAH EFFECT• The power of Winfreys opinions and endorsement to influence public opinion, especially consumer purchasing choices, has been dubbed "The Oprah Effect".• Late in 1996, Winfrey introduced the Oprahs Book Club segment to her television show. brought obscure novels to popular attention.• The book club became such a powerful force that whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, it instantly became a best seller; for example, John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden.• Being recognized by Winfrey often means a million additional book sales for an author. In Reading with Oprah: The Book Club that Changed America (2005), Kathleen Rooney describes Winfrey as "a serious American intellectual who pioneered the use of electronic media, specifically television and the Internet.
Management Style• Throughout the years, Winfrey has inspired her employees and even rival talk show hosts with her distinct approach. She is usually the first to show up to work and often last to leave.• Winfrey has taken her celebrity status and used it as a platform to become a role model for women in every walk of life.• She often connects her talk show guests with assistance for those in crisis, she rewards people who have shown unselfish behavior• She touches on issues that even she has experienced. She speaks of her cocaine use in her 20s, and of her own abuse as a child. She uses these opportunities to lead by example, to show that regardless of your circumstance, perseverance and effort can overcome the obstacles often viewed as insurmountable.• Winfrey says "My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." and also , "Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobodys going to know whether you did it or not."
MOTIVATION• Winfreys company started with eight employees, and she learned early on she didnt know anything about operations and didnt care for the business aspect of being oprah.• In her early years she ran her employees into the ground, often expecting them to work sixteen to seventeen hour days. If they didnt have her stamina, she said good-bye to them. She had a rude wake up call.• when one of her employees after a grueling 18-hour day pulled her car into the garage and fell asleep with it running. Fortunately, she was ok, but it changed the way winfrey treated her employees.
• Since then, Winfreys company has maintained a 10-15% turnover rate, while her top executive team has an average tenure of eleven years. Currently her company employees over 220 employees, with 68% of them being female (helms & koehn,2005• Her employees report that Winfreys enthusiasm is rampant among the office and her charisma contagious. The employees share her same passion and they are an extremely committed team• At the companies five-year anniversary she gave every employee a gift of $5,000.00 to acknowledge his or her achievements within the company.
COMMUNICATION• Oprah Winfrey is an effective communicator. She understands her employees and her employees understand her and the level of management.• Another reason why she communicates so well is that she sees people as she sees herself. Sometimes employees may be overloaded with information on the job and she understands that.• She has a way of positive motivation through communication.
TEAMWORK• Winfrey by demanding performance helps to sustain her team. The teams reward is the continued success of Harpo, Inc..• By surrounding herself with the best and brightest, Winfrey is providing an opportunity for success of the team and her company as the quality of team members directly relates to the success of the group.
PARTICIPATIVE LEADERSHIP• Oprah Winfrey utilizes a participative leadership style; "Its all about attracting good people. Ive always tried to surround myself not only with people who are smart but with people who are smarter in ways I am not."• Consensus leaders encourage group discussion about an issue. Winfrey encourages input from her colleagues and staff. When Oprahs Book Club was launched in September 1996, she relied on the opinions of others to aid in the selection of the featured novel.• Producers and other staff members are key elements in presenting and choosing new show topics as well as magazine content. Each idea must have intention behind it.
SPIRTUAL LEADERSHIP• Oprahs most significant role has become that of spiritual leader. To her audience of more than 22 million mostly female viewers, she has become a post-modern priestess—an icon of church-free spirituality.• In 2002, Christianity Today published an article called "The Church of O" in which they concluded that Winfrey had emerged as an influential spiritual leader.• Winfreys show has emphasized uplifting and inspirational topics and themes and some viewers claim the show has motivated them to perform acts of altruism such as helping Congolese women and building an orphanage• On the season premier of Winfreys 13th season Roseanne Barr told Winfrey "youre the African Mother Goddess of us all" inspiring much enthusiasm from the studio audience. The animated series Futurama alluded to her spiritual influence by suggesting that "Oprahism" is a mainstream religion in 3000 AD. So she is considered to be a spiritual leader.
OPRAH’S HELP TO SOCIETY• In 1998, Winfrey created the Oprahs Angel Network, a charity that supported charitable projects and provided grants to NPO around the world. Oprahs Angel Network raised more than $80,000,000.• In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah created the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry, which raised more than $11 million for relief efforts. Winfrey personally gave $10 million to the cause• . Winfrey has also helped 250 African-American men continue or complete their education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.• Winfrey was the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for services to television and film..
• In 2004, Winfrey and her team filmed an episode of her show, Oprahs Christmas Kindness , in which Winfrey travelled to South Africa to bring attention to the plight of young children affected by poverty and AIDS.• During the 21-day trip, Winfrey and her crew visited schools and orphanages in poverty-stricken areas, and distributed Christmas presents to 50,000 children, with dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys, and school supplies.• Throughout the show, Winfrey appealed to viewers to donate money to Oprahs Angel Network for poor and AIDS-affected children in Africa. From that show alone, viewers around the world donated over $7,000,000.• Winfrey invested $40 million and some of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Henley on Klip• Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for overcoming her own disadvantaged youth to become a benefactor for others. A minority of critics considered the school elitist and unnecessarily luxurious.
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