This paper will entirely focus on Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey has shone and demonstrated more strength, character, and changed the way America looks at and views racial issues in America. This paper will analyze her start in the film industry, her leadership, personal wealth, Business Leadership Oprah Winfrey is a reputable, prominent world leader, businesswoman, actress, philanthropist, and talk show-host. It is said by some that she has revolutionized television talk show. One has to admire her perseverance to overcome the hardships she faced as a child.
Oprah’s mother had Oprah when she was only a teenager in a town in rural Mississippi. She was born into poverty and raped at a young age of nine years old. History repeats itself and a young teenage Oprah gives birth to a child that dies. Oprah started her career in radio. Today women turn to Oprah for self-help, self-improvement, compassion, religious questions, and even how to regulate your bowel movements. Against all odds in a male dominated field, Oprah rises to have the most-popular, longest running, and highest-ranking talk show.
CNN, Time Magazine, and Life all list Oprah Winfrey as the most influential woman in the world. (Finz, 2011). Oprah Winfrey would be an example of a Transformational leader. Transformational leaders influence, inspire, move, and literally transform followers to achieve organizational goals beyond their self-interests (Burns, 1978), thus initiating and bringing about positive change. (Weiss, 2011). She was very much involved in Civil Rights, and changed the way African – Amrericans are treated.
Her endorsement of President Obama brought about a post-racial era long before we would have seen. (Zak, 2011) Oprah demonstrates characteristics of a transformational leader by demonstrating the four I’s of a Transformational leader. The first I is Idealized Influence which is probably the most obvious trait. Oprah routinely fosters trust and you admire her strength and feel a sense of pride for some of the subjects she touches on. For example, I remember once seeing a show on gay/lesbians. It literally changed the entire way I view them.
I used to think they wanted attention and they choose to go against what we as a society think is acceptable or not. After her show I realize they don’t want to be different they just want to be accepted. The second I is for Inspirational Motivation. Oprah rallies people everyday across America inspiring and motivating people. The third I is for Intellectual stimulation. In my opinion this is obvious through her belief and promoting President Obama during his presidency. Who really thought an African American would be president in our lifetime?
Finally the last I is for Individualized consideration. She constantly is taking on sensitive subjects. I remember one show where she interviewed a boy who had been locked in a wire cage for several hours a day. She was able to tell his story and let him maintain his dignity even though horrific things were done to him. Oprah’s ratings prove she has the following and believers a Transformational leader has. Through the last twenty- five years we have seen an African American take over the media and change daytime talk shows.