Oprah Winfrey on Belief: "The Number One Principle That Rules My Life is Intention" - Part I

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Part I of the interview between Oprah Winfrey and LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, in which they talk about her career, her vision and her new show, Belief.

For part II, click here: http://www.slideshare.net/LinkedInPulse/oprah-winfrey-jeff-weiner-belief-leadership-career-intention/1

Part III: http://www.slideshare.net/LinkedInPulse/oprah-winfrey-jeff-weiner-belief-leadership-career-interview-part-3

"I didn't have a vision beyond being successful on network television. It wasn't until I was literally on television, had my own show, made the decision that I was going to own the show, meaning I would take the risk if it worked or it didn't work that I thought about, "What does this really mean?"

"And I remember speaking to a school. And a kid said to me, "You're that lady, the one that plays on TV." And I say, "No, I don't play on TV. It's actually my work. I use TV as my work." And when I, you know, journal every night and was thinking about that. Yeah, a lot of people think and for a long time I thought it was just a job, where you're gonna play on TV, you're gonna act on TV, you're gonna have this job. But it was around probably two or two and a half years into it, around '88-'89, that I started to see, "Oh, this is bigger. It's a platform.

"And speaking to the KKK and Skinheads one day, when they were, you know, obviously, I thought, "I'm going to change the way they feel about black people. And at least get to what stems from how that vitriol came about." And I realized they were using me, that they understood it was a platform more than I understood.

"While I was taping the show. I saw them signaling each other. And something inside myself said, "Oh, they're using this and they're using me. Oh, they get what this is." And, you know, for the 25th year, 25th season, I had two of those guys back. And they said to me, "Yes, we were. We used that show as our recruitment tape. We used going on your show as a recruitment tape." But I said after that conversation with the skinheads, I went to my producers and said, "I will never do this again. And if I have to do this kind of show, then I will get out of television."

"Which doesn't even now on the network, it doesn't mean I will not do negative things. It just means I will have to have a framework so that you can see what is the why, that there's a meaning behind it, that negativity for the sake of negativity, I don't want to be responsible for. You know, I remember once I had taped a show on Columbine with the guy who had spent ten years researching and done this beautiful book about it. And I had gone home that weekend and something inside myself said, "You cannot air that show." I taped the show on the Friday, supposed to air on that Monday. I knew that if I did that show, that I was somehow going to glorify the shooters. And even though we did everything in our power to say, "this isn't glorifying the shooters." The fact that you're doing it means you're glorifying it.

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  • Oprah is a great communicator. Having a vision, developing an appropriate framework, understanding the intention of what is delivered and maintaining your authenticity throughout the process is a great recipe for being heard.
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