“A woman named Oprah Winfrey is going to be speaking,” he said. “I’ve heard from friends in Chicago that she’s going to be a big star.”
I went and got my first dose of Oprah.
The conference wasn’t one of the big ballrooms; it was a smaller function room, but boy did Oprah fill it up with energy and a message that we women had the power to change the world — and still be women. ( I remember her partner Stedman joined her, and Oprah called him the love of her life.) Her style was unpolished but charismatic, genuine and positive. She was a woman who wasn’t trying to act like a man, which was so common during the 80s.
So of course today (and yesterday) I watched Oprah wind up her 25 year show. Looking back on these many years she shared what she’s learned.
- We all have a calling, what we’re meant to be doing in the world. When we live what we’re suppose to be doing — however small or big — we’re using our life to serve the world.
- We are all responsible for our own lives. No one can fix us, save us, give us the answers. We create our our own energy.
- The root of all struggles is not feeling worthy enough to be happy or successful
- Everyone wants to be validated and be heard. We can change the world one person at a time by letting a person know that I see you. I hear you. What you say matters to me. Validate their value.
- The secret to her success has been her staff and God. “My success has been waiting and listening for guidance greater than my meager mind provides,” she said. “What are the whipsers in your life right now. Your life is speaking to you. Are you hearing it?”
Many tweets and Facebook posts have been moaning about Oprah’s long send off. My sisters laughed at me when I told them I had re-arranged my business schedule to watch these last shows.
What people miss is that Oprah is not just a celebrity. She is a leader.
There are not enough inspirational people in the world focused on serving others. There are too few role models who give and give and give — of themselves and of their wealth.
Oprah has inspired thousands and thousands to be more than they thought possible – and to pass on that gift and by helping others.
Speakers at leadership conferences seem to all share the same examples of exemplary leaders – Steve Jobs, Ronald Reagan, Sam Walton, Herb Kelleher, FDR, Churchill. (Notice many are dead, and all are men….)
They’re great examples, but Oprah sets new standards in what it means to be a leader for our times, and is worthy of the label of leader.
Love you Oprah. Even when we shared all that big hair and shoulder pads in 1986.