Leadership Oprah’s Way

Mary Rosenbaum | October 29th, 2010

I just read this article How to Lead Like Oprah by Jenna Goudreau. The article highlights how Oprah’s leadership skills, her uncanny ability to inspire her team and build a loyal following have enabled her to create an empire with a net worth of $2.7 Billion. Oprah’s success is undeniable but there are many reasons why she has succeeded and Ms. Goudreau sums them up by elaborating on these three areas: her team, her vision and her values.

There are many lessons we can learn from Oprah. Here are a few that can help you manage your career or build your business.

1. Dream big. It’s easy to set your goals within reach. The key is to make sure your goals and vision are a stretch. You can’t win big unless you dream big.

2. Challenge the status quo. A willingness to take risks and make mistakes are necessary – if you don’t try you will never succeed. Oprah was successful in introducing so many new ways to connect her with her audience. The book club, the give aways, the personal story are just a few. She didn’t imitate but instead kept trying new things.

3. Build your support team, build your tribe. Oprah surrounded herself early on with mentors and supporters who helped her achieve her goals. But she didn’t stop there. She was committed to building a team of the best and the brightest, unafraid to take guidance and always willing to provide support. What holds many people back from building a strong team is fear of losing ground or power to them. The smartest leaders know that this type of fear can only hold them back.

4. Communicate your vision to all those around you. When you share your vision you know that everyone who works with and for you are on the same page.

5. Nourish and support your relationships. She is always asking her audience what they want and need from her and lets them know how valuable they are to her and to her success.

6. Identify and focus on your goals. Goals are your road map and a keen focus keeps you from getting side tracked and losing your way.

7. Live your values and make them visible. Oprah lives her values of generosity, humor, easy to relate to, and optimism. Their visibility make up the glue that bind her to her followers and admirers.

Of course it goes without saying that hard work and a positive outlook are necessary underpinnings to great leadership. What other lessons or ideas do you have that you can add to this list?

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

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