Life And Success Of Oprah Cultural Studies Essay

Oprah Gail Winfrey born in rural Mississippi to a teenage individual female parent is an African American telecasting host, for the multi-award winning, self-titled talk show. She is besides the greatest black altruist known to day of the month who is one of the most influential adult females today ( Wikipedia ) .

Raised in a hard childhood in a ghetto and an opprobrious 1, she was non merely raped by relations but besides got pregnant at the age of 14. Oprah Winfrey ‘s life turned when she lived with her male parent in Nashville and attended high school at that place. She was academically successful and became an unbelievable talker which earned her a scholarship to Tennessee State University ( Fry E ) . With her promotion at being a good talker in University she landed her foremost occupation as a telecasting co-anchor. Graduating with a grade in communications she became a intelligence ground tackle at WLAC-TV in Nashville, subsequently in Baltimore for the 6 O clock intelligence. In 1984 she hosted AM Chicago which became the highest rated talk show within a twelvemonth. The show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986. In 1988, she founded Harpo Studios ( Harpo Inc. ) to take over the show. In 1990, films undertakings, she ventured into moving undertakings and bit by bit come oning to the launch of O, The Oprah Magazine. The induction of Oprah ‘s Book Club started her multimedia discovery. In 1987, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation and in 1997, Oprah ‘s Angel Network was founded severally for charity ( Allen S ) .

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Oprahs ‘ talk show is all about promoting the people ‘s possible, doing them experience safe and confirming their personhood ( Davis P ) .

Oprah Winfrey one time said “ As a immature kid I had a vision, non of what I wanted to carry through but I knew that my current fortunes would alter. ” That dream propelled her to success ( Entertainment Executive 1991 ) .


Leadership theories have evolved through the old ages get downing from antediluvian thoughts such as The Great Man Theory being self explanatory to more civilized, refined constructs.

The trait attack identified a group of traits were positively associated with leading such as intelligence, self assurance, inaugural and continuity. However this is in no relation to effectiveness ( Stogdill 1948, 1974 ) .

The behavioral attack took focal point on two dimensions making leading manners ; task-oriented behavior and relation-oriented behavior ( Stogdill 1948 ) on organisational results ( Blake & A ; Mouton 1964 ) .

These attacks pay excessively much attending to the leaders ‘ position non sing the followings.

The situational leading theoretical account ( Hersey and Blanchard,1982 ) emphasises leading flexibleness and version, the eventuality theoretical account ( Fiedler,1967 ) is much more consistent with less flexibleness and the path-goal theory ( House and Mitchell, 1974 ) assumes that leading styles non merely vary with different subsidiaries but in different state of affairss. This theory is based on the premise that state of affairs moderator variables are easy identified but it is subjective to single illation which change the actions and results.

Servant leading stems from the impression that leading arises out of a desire to function instead than a desire to take ( Katzenberg and Smith, 1994 ) . Asking inquiries, supplying chances and seeking a common understanding alternatively of consensus to do any peculiar determinations were thought to be qualities that make a leader.

Transactional leading has remained the organizational theoretical account which is built around a individual who needs to acquire a occupation done, has power and fringe benefits, endeavoring to work in the current system with short term ends. The displacement to utilize transformational leading has more significance with ethical motives and moralss, concentrating on missions and schemes, doing it more meaningful and disputing with long term ends ( Liu J and Liu X, 2006 )

Leadership is a complex procedure in which leaders, followings and the state of affairs interact with each other normally one or the other theories overlap in world.


Using Kouzes J and Posner B study as a footing where common features of leaders were formulated after questioning 75,000 people, below are the features nowadays in both of our personalities discussed.


PASSIONATE – He is a Harvard dropout ( Richard D ) . While it is every Americans dream to be selected into Harvard University, he stopped his instruction halfway with the strong passion to prosecute his dream for package architecture.

VISIONARY – A computing machine on every desk and Microsoft package on every computing machine ( Paluri RK ) . This is a dream that propelled Gates to his overpowering success and gaining that dream proves him to be a far airy.

INTELLIGENT – Get downing at a really immature age he began dabbling at computing machine scheduling ( Walter I ) . He believes in intelligence and with that you can accomplish about anything in the universe. His parents observed their boies rational capacity and enrolled him in private school ( Wikipedia ) .

INNOVATIVE – Making new versions of FORTRAN, BASIC and created MS – Department of state for personal computing machines ( Des DearLove ) . He besides realised that cyberspace was taking the universe over by storm and non to be left out in the rat race he incorporated Web in his promotion. He spoke in April 2002 that in the approaching “ digital decennary ” the tools created in the following 10 old ages will be “ the best tools for authorization and productiveness the universe has of all time seen. “ ( Krames J A )

STAFF ORIENTED – He coined the phrase digital nervous system to talk of a civilization that encourages the work force non merely to believe but to portion their ideas ( Gates 2002 ) . His company engages in a ritual known as ” THINK WEEK ” twice a twelvemonth where he reads about 100 mails and thoughts from his employees ( Dvorak D ) .

COMPETITIVE – Constantly run intoing competition such as Apple, Google. With the coming of Windows system, Microsoft won over the competition of format with Apple ( Richard D ) . His competitory nature suggests that to keep high criterions in the planetary economic system is innovation and engaging a work force that consists of the universes ‘ brightest heads ( Gates 2007 ) .

DIVERSE – Employment of staff from around the universe tackling intelligence ( Krames J A, 2003 ) . He gained even popularity in China during his visit there with his personal appeal. ( Microsoft Presspass, 2003 )

HUMBLE – The thought is non merely to do money but to give something in return, the cognition and the package. Evident in his character is the fact that he employs his ain childhood friends or persons he knew from his yesteryear to take part in the rise of Microsoft. He values the people he comes to run into and cognize such as Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen.

CREDIBILITY – Though the authorities opened antimonopoly test against Microsoft disputing Bill Gates credibleness where it accuses Microsoft of roll uping its cyberspace adventurer browser with its Windows OS to extinguish Netscape ‘s Navigator browser ( Brinkley J, 1998 )

ENTHUSIASTIC -He has shown his ardor in many of his projects such as concern, golf, and contributions ( Lesinski, 2007 ) .

CONFIDENCE – At an early phase he was confident he could sell his thought to a immense company like IBM and made it happen ( Des DearLove )

TRUSTWORTHY – His squad constituted of people he worked and studied with and brought merely his sure friends to get down a little squad ( Wikipedia )

PHILANTHROPIST- Funnelling big sums of his wealth through The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to raise criterions in wellness and instruction. Caring for the lesser fortuned population despite holding abundant wealth ( Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ) .

ASSERTIVENESS – Due to multilevel and cross-sectional communicating between his employees he is able to cognize their demands and esteem their sentiments while keeping his end ( Gates 2002 ) .


ENTREPRENEURSHIP – She transformed from media talk show host to media industry mogul millionaire. As a simple miss who ventured into intelligence anchoring, she surpassed many obstructions to go one of the most celebrated persons in the film or telecasting industry. Harpo Inc is an active provider of gesture images, produces non merely Oprah ‘s talk show but besides produces Rachel Ray ‘s, Dr Phil ‘s and Dr Oz ‘s shows ( Wikipedia. )

CONFIDENCE – As told to concern spouse Gayle King “ I do n’t cognize what the hereafter holds but I know who holds it ” ( Baldoni J, 2008 ) . To be a successful black in the film industry which is dominated by the Americans ‘ is a formidable undertaking. Oprah one time said, “ It is assurance in our organic structures, heads and liquors that allows us to maintain looking for new escapades, new waies to turn in, and new lessons to larn – which is what life is all about ” ( Fry E ) .

INNOVATIVE – Though the pillar of her calling is the confessional signifier of talk show, she went on to make Harpo Productions Inc, Harpo Films Inc, Harpo Studios Inc, and Harpo picture. She expanded her imperium by organizing Oxygen Media LLC which includes a adult females overseas telegram Television web and cyberspace site. In 2000, O magazine was launched ( Jet 2003 ) .

INTELLIGENCE – Though she had an unstable childhood that did non discourage her from obtaining a grade in mass communications from Tennessee State University and carving her way in the amusement industry

INFLUENTIAL – Changing the lives of many Africans and African Americans particularly the down trodden. The 66th U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice describes her as a adult female of moral character and beginning of strength for 1000000s of her supporters ( Rice C, 2006 ) .

INTEGRITY – She is true T her work and keeps control of her merchandises and her image non over marketing it. She believed in maintaining control of her stigmatization and being in control of Harpo Inc. ( Baldoni J, 2008 ) .

CHANGE – She is people goaded conveying alteration to the lives of the immature African misss. She used her yesteryear as a lesson and channelled it to a positive growing and lesson for others. Her metabolism is surely commendable.

PHILANTROPHIST – Get downing the Oprah Winfrey foundation to back up the instruction and authorization of adult females, kids and households in the United States and around the universe. Her caring nature allows her to sympathize with the unfortunate. Post hurricane Katrina, she donated her ain money to construct new place for 65 households. She is besides actively runing victims of maltreatment to happen justness so that they can travel on. She is defending her cause with the exclusive message that “ I did it, so can you ” ( Rice C, 2006 ) .

CREATIVITY – She created a world show hosted by Nate Berkus called the Big Give promoting others to give and help the less fortunate. She besides formed Oprah ‘s Angel Network to animate people to do a difference.

STRENGTH – Despite coming from a dysfunctional place and being molested by household she managed to do the muss of her life into a message for other adult females. Most persons tend to cocoon themselves to get by with the station traumatic emphasis upsets or Rebel at life due to dysfunctional household background but she is cogent evidence of covering with bad luck in a positive mode.

HARDWORKING – She worked her manner to the top with her accomplishments and chances strewn in her manner.

VISIONARY – The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls divine by her low beginnings to supply educational and leading chances to academically talented misss from impoverished background. She became a visionary for others after obtaining such success in her life.

TALENTED – She is non merely an honours pupil, winning oratory competitions and skilled in public speech production, she has indulged in moving in films, became a celebrated talk show host and telecasting coder.


6.1 EARLY Old ages

Gates was a immature visionary who had a dream which he ambitioned to full fill. He was born into a household of standing who valued his intelligence and supported him in his projects. Winfrey was a lady who was presented with an chance and she used that opportunity to make a dream and so envisioned a hereafter. Coming from a yesteryear of hard times without supportive parents, it was a bold and brave move to accomplish what she has today.

Two different upbringings and cognition foundation but both proved to be great leaders of our clip. Gates was an intelligent person but a university dropout by pick, but Winfrey used her instruction and oratory accomplishments to impel her forward. Both are leaders utilizing different foundations to turn. This shows the usage of situational leading in their determination devising.


6.2.1 Transformational

Gates and Winfrey both exerted transformational leading qualities. In the early yearss of Microsoft ‘s birth, Gates was more transactional, he was driven to acquire his vision across, and utilizing the place he held, he focused on tactical issues on a day-to-day footing. He relied on the bing construction to maximize his end product. Using MS DOS as a foundation to licence it and sell it to other personal computing machines ( Richards D ) . Software scheduling was the pillar of his indulgence and happening the nucleus programmes was a challenge. When IBM approached him to make his programming it was his discovery in the networking universe. He wanted more and with that dream Microsoft was born. Gradually when he left IBM he transformed Microsoft to be an organisation which identified human potency and endowments with larger mission and schemes, had long term ends which had more significance ( Wikipedia ) . He kept redesigning occupations to maintain them disputing.

Winfrey was non a leader in her early old ages, being a fighting African American herself ; she paved her calling with short term ends and chance. When she had her breakthrough she practised more situational leading qualities to guarantee she made betterments and advancement based on demands and ideals of the populations. She took what was offered to her and climbed bit by bit to the top.

Her transmutations were based on alteration. She brought alteration to the African society in general and largely the adult females. She transformed the ideas of people to lift from the ghettos and range for the stars. She liberally gave hope ( Allen S, neodymium ) . She besides managed to perforate the white dominated amusement industry though credence of a black adult female was an issue.


Both persons are influential to mankind, making a category of believe and a sense of idolism in the universe they have introduced a metabolism in the amusement and technological revolution. Microsoft and Bill Gates are about synonyms in the computer science universe ( Gates 2008 ) . The inkinesss chiefly from the African continent are faithful and god-fearing believers of Winfrey ( Black Enterprise ) .


Winfrey has been described as a individual with heat and deep love, an staying committedness to the rules of goodness and generousness that transcend any person ( Rice C, 2006 ) . Melinda Gates seeing that malaria was a catching disease in the African continent doing the decease of 1000000s decided that it was a vacuity that does necessitate to be stepped into. Melinda and Gates Foundation provide more than a 3rd of universes full malaria-research support. They besides funded the creative activity of a man-made signifier of artemisinic acid, a drug to battle malaria ( Bower A, 2006 ) . Their greathearted natures of caring for the population and imparting fiscal assistance to the needy have made them both philanthropic graven images ( Alleyne S, neodymium & A ; The New York Times June 2010 ) .


Gates does non merely thrive on net income, if he did he would non hold stepped down as CEO and let Steve Ballman to go on, alternatively he moved to concentrate on his primary passion that is package programming and actively fostering his charity foundation. Winfrey excessively does non do concern determinations strictly based on net income. She develops partnerships and ventures in inherent aptitude and public-service corporation ( Alleyne S 2008 ) .

Employee relationship

Gates normally involves his employees in the think armored combat vehicle of Microsoft, holding twice annually meetings to reap new thoughts or decide old issues. His relationship is strictly concern like in nature ( Dvorak D ) . He is about beaureaucratic in taking with his employees though financially rewarded are tired of being overworked and have temporarily opted out. His monopolistic character in the early yearss of Microsoft bit by bit transformed from an independent attack to be involved merely with the wide scheme ( Heller R, 2006 ) .

However Oprah being in touch with her emotional position of nature thinks taking attention of employees and honoring them on occasion is the way to be a good leader. Debbie McElroy, a caput huntsman for the Lucas group said, “ Employees get a six hebdomad holiday in their first hebdomad at Harpo. The wage and benefits are exceeding. ” ( SellersP, neodymium ) . Named as the World ‘s Greatest Boss by the Chicago-Sun Times newspaper, she went cruising with 1,700 employees all disbursal paid in 2009. In 2005, it was a company holiday to Hawaii ( Bieganski M, 2009 ) .

7.0 Decision

What makes a good leader? Leadership can change depending on state of affairs and background of the leader. The personalities chosen to specify leading in this assignment are from different backgrounds, Oprah being from a dysfunctional and uneducated household and Gates from an educated and household of standing in society. The two persons are besides yin and yang in race ; one is a white American and the other of African American beginning. They differ in the upbringing, values, ends and vision in life. The industries they are involved in are different, Oprah in the amusement industry and Gates in the package industry. Nevertheless, surprisingly both of them are leaders of the coevals today. Both are successful, gifted and influential billionaires. The similarities they portion besides include their common involvement in philanthropic gift and giving off their net incomes to the population to assist the needy and to link to the population.

Both these leaders are magnetic, but Gates is through his concern accomplishments and Oprah is through her general lovingness nature and love for people. Oprah does non believe in making the selling her concern, over merchandizing her merchandises and ever maintain in control the on departures of her company leting her spouse merely 10 % of the concern control. Whereas Bill Gates handed over the twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours personal businesss in 2000 to Steve Ballmer and eventually resigned in 2007 to wholly manus over the concern to his spouse. He practised authorization as portion of his leading quality but Oprah though leting others to transport out the designated occupations blessing was ever maintained by her.

Both our leaders in the assignment are with varied qualities ; nevertheless, they are still great leaders of our coevals.


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