An study of Oprah Winfrey’s childhood in relation to her autobiography is explored in this article. I will also discuss the many obstacles she faced and how she ultimately navigated and emerged triumphant in her career and life as a whole. You will gain an understanding of the various responses to issues as expressed by Oprah Winfrey’s struggles. Oprah Winfrey is best known for her roles as an actress-producer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Her ancestors come from a farming family in Mississippi, where she was born. Despite the multiple challenges that she went through both at her young ages and at the adolescent level, she has managed to go against all the odds and attain her life ambitions. Based on the autobiography I have learned that staying positive, taking charge of my life, developing a proper leadership style such as transformational and charismatic styles are integral in achieving success in life.
I view Oprah Winfrey as an icon for having attained great heights of success respective of the dark past and myriad of challenges that she faced. For example, having battled poverty and sexual abuse at a tender age, she still managed to overcome these influenced and remained true to her dreams. From her struggles, she managed to join Tennessee state university which marked the begging of her journey as a Tv host. She started by serving as a Tv broadcaster based in Nashville. There are numerous lessons that I get to learn from the autobiography of Oprah Winfrey. Among them, I settled on three life teaching which I consider to have motivated me into discussing Oprah Winfrey. The teachings include being optimistic, having life control and understanding failure as a process in success.
Oprah was a person who at no point got drawn back by the challenges that she underwent. Ranging from sexual abuse that she got exposed to at her adolescent age to career drawbacks such a losing her first job as a Tv broadcaster. These challenges would have made other individuals lose hope in life. Oprah instead focused on the opportunities that life had in store for her at the expense of the pain brought about by the challenges (Garson 5). She gets seen as having struggled in a career dominated by the Caucasian male to emerge among the celebrated Tv host of the 21st century. From this, it is evident that she was hopeful for the future and remained positive despite getting going through gruesome challenges.
Take Control of Your Life
Life often presents itself in various forms, and to others, it may come along with extremely gruesome situations. The key approach is taking full responsibility for the entire situation and then acting on it. Sitting in the hope that things will get to change without taking the necessary steps to participate in shaping one’s life makes a person stagnate. Oprah is seen to have taken responsibility in her hands regarding her life. She never blamed her parents for the absolute poverty they were languishing. Instead, Oprah kept focusing on her future in a move to build a better life. Oprah was often heard saying that she never considered herself as a ghetto girl who happened to make good out of life. Instead, she sees herself as an individual who from her begin was responsible for herself, therefore, was obliged to making good of her life.
Failure as A Component of Success
In the early stages of Oprah Winfrey career, she faced difficulties in building a name for herself in the journalism sector. It was due to the over dominance of the Caucasian male in this line of work. She equally lost her job. These experiences only made her strive for excellence. Her success is seen in the event that she became the first American woman to own a network that had millions of followers. It is evident that the failures that Oprah faced came with priceless lessons such as tenacity of purpose that ended up making her successful in her career.
Apart from analyzing the traits exhibited by Oprah Winfrey in her autobiography, this paper further delves into some of the leadership styles adopted by Oprah Winfrey and that which were responsible for her long term success. It equally reflects on some of the ways than Oprah Winfrey engaged in humanitarian contribution
Transformational Leadership Style
It gets noted that Oprah Winfrey has significantly gotten characterized by a transformational style of leadership in her career. Given that this form of leadership comprises of positively transforming individuals who act as a person’s follower, Oprah Winfrey through her network and talk shows have often inspired her followers (Northouse 12). Guided by a clear mission and vision, Oprah remained focused on her career
Charismatic Leadership Style
Charismatic leaders are often considered an individual who possesses a unique way of influencing their followers through the visions, value, and beliefs that they advocate (Daft 12). They often get chartered by the domination of strong persuasion powers over individuals who follow them. The trait of dominance gets explicitly portrayed by Oprah Winfrey through her network show dubbed OWN. She has gotten a position to address her viewers feeling through the challenges she faced in her life. her prowess is communication appealed to her viewers feeling hence creating a tight bond
Regarding humanitarian causes, Oprah through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation has made financial donations to learning institutions that have helped the less privileged. For example, the financial aid that she granted Tennessee state university. In recognition of her efforts, the has received numerous awards among them being the presidential medal of freedom which President Barack Obama gave her. The awards being the highest civilian honor shows the extent of Oprah contribution towards the uplifting of Americans lives. The signing of law the bill that provided for nationwide database of convicted children abuser shows her activist role in protecting the welfare of children
Oprah Winfrey’s autobiography takes a deep delve into some of the struggles individuals often go through at one stage of their life. They range from financial challenges to career challenges as seen when Oprah Winfrey lost her first job. The manner in which she has successfully gone about these gruesome moments by staying positive to herself, getting in charge of her life and believing that it takes failure to become successful has significantly shaped her to become the 21st-century icon. Through her transformational and charismatic leadership styles, she has dramatically influenced her followers lives positively. She has equally engaged in the fighting for children rights that saw the signing a bill regarding children offenders. It is for these reasons that I view Oprah Winfrey as my role model and mentor hence my decision to analyses her life works.
Daft, R. L. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.
Garson, Helen S. Oprah Winfrey: A Biography: A Biography. ABC-CLIO, 2011.
Northouse, Peter G. Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. Sage Publications, 2014.