Oprah Winfrey is an example of women who have risen against all odds to succeed in business. Her success is mainly attributed to her desire to help others.
She has particularly taken it upon herself to make a difference in the lives of other people by bringing fulfillment into their lives through her television show. She is the best example of one of the most influential women in the business world. She is the second black lady to become a billionaire. Although Oprah came from a humble background, nonetheless, over the years, she has become an icon of success for women from different racial backgrounds. It has in fact been established that Oprah gives about 10% of her earnings to charitable organizations (Microsoft student, 2007). Oprah is believed to make her business decisions out of her feelings and inspiration.
She has made a good brand of herself. She is known for her openness and honesty and this makes her employees to love working with and around her. It has never been easy for those in business to practice what they preach. One needs to make tough decisions during tough times and lead by example. Towards this end Oprah has been a success. She inspires and uplifts her audience by helping them to understand the fact that they are responsible for their own lives.
The fact that she is socially conscious makes her an exceptional business person. She has advocated for an end to child abuse given that she was a victim of the same in her childhood. She has built a school in South Africa and has always contributed to charitable organizations. She also plays a big role in helping to create HIV/AIDS awareness to the people and advocating for the help of HIV/AIDS orphans. Branding one’s self is all about what one develops as well as the perception of others about him/her. Balancing people’s perception and reality can be very challenging but it can still be achieved, as evident from the success story of Oprah. She is well known for her positive leadership brand.
It is always good to act on principles as this determines the quality of one’s production. She always stands for the right course of action and this has made her employees believe in her and always emulate her. She is well known for her integrity and always treating others with respect no matter their position. She always works for the benefit of her organizations first, putting her interests second. Her actions are always aimed at honoring her work and those that she intends to deliver her services to. She always insists on standing for the course that matters most and this has made her employees to trust her. She is a charismatic leader who manages to convince people to emulate her views and way of thinking and this is mostly influenced by her leadership qualities (Marc, 2006).
Bill Gates Leadership
Most business leaders look at Bill Gates as their role model in business. He is the most respected business leader. Just like Oprah, he is an inspirational leader. He is an innovative leader who always looks forward to new and more effective ways of working and making his products and services more effective. He has managed to brand himself in the most effective way.
Bill Gates is also known for his social contribution as he always contributes billions of shillings to charitable organizations. He for instance started an organization that is aimed at addressing global issues like diseases; HIV/AIDS and malaria. He has significantly contributed towards educating the poor, fighting disease and hunger in society. He is well known for his integrity as he has always remained dedicated to his job even hence always striving to improve.
He leads by example. He is a focused leader who has for a long time made his intentions clear and aims at executing. He has always worked within his domain without having to shift from his area of interest. His is characterized by perseverance no matter the obstacles that he comes across (Cusumano, 2007). He is also known for thinking big. He had big dreams right from the beginning of his career pursuit and this enabled him to focus on his career without having to waiver or shift his focus. This has enabled him to go to greater heights than other business entrepreneurs.
He has been doing his activities with great passion, going by the saying that if anything is worth doing then it has to be done with greater passion. Gates has been known to take learning as a process that never ends. Even though Gates dropped out of college to venture into the entrepreneurial world, he has managed to steer his company into uncharted waters that even those who have a formal education may not achieve. He has proved that formal education can be limiting and that the acquisition of knowledge is supposed to lead to humility and not arrogance. Similarities in their Leadership Styles Both Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates appears to have a lot in common. There are certain leadership techniques that they have employed so as to succeed in their endeavors. The two leaders for instance are determined and hard working as well.
They have both gone against all odds to succeed in businesses. Oprah for instance was a victim of abuse right from her childhood and despite this she refused to give up and ended up in the position she is holding now. Bill Gates on the other hand dropped out of school and in spite of this he has emerged as the most renowned entrepreneur in the world today. They are both passionate about their careers and this has gone a long way into bring them out as excellent business leaders. They believe in what they do and this has made them to become inspirational icons for those in their field. They both use social responsibility as a tactic for giving back to the community. They particularly channel billions of shillings to charitable organization.
They have given themselves to fighting poverty and other diseases like HIV/AIDS across the globe. This has gone a long way in branding them among the people (Burlingame, 2007).
The two leaders have significant differences in their leadership styles as well. Oprah for instance has been known to be a charismatic leader who seeks to convince people to her point of view rather than coerce them. Bill Gates on the other hand has been known to use coercion in his leadership. He has on several incidences been accused of using bullying tactics in an effort to grow his gigantic business empire.
It is said that he has had computers installed with his software and application before being transported to the markets hence making them opt not to buy other applications and software. Bill Gates has been known for using innovation as a tactic in his success as a business leader given that the world’s affinity for sophistication has grown significantly. Oprah on the other hand has not employed so much of the innovative tactics given that her show is basically aimed uplifting people and helping them to self actualize.
Whom to Work for
Between the two leaders, Oprah would be the best one to work for given that she does not use coercion in her leadership. She motivates the employees through inspiration and providing the best example for them to follow. She makes her decisions on the basis of her feelings as well as inspirations and this helps in the sense that she is motivated rather than forced to do something. This would also imply that incase the decisions are not workable then they can easily be adjusted to suit the employees. Given that she always stands for the right course, then cases of malpractice would be rare and this is vital for the success of any business. Oprah is a good leader given that she employs servant leadership tactics as she respects all the employees without considering their position and she gives them inspiration.
She practices whatever she preaches hence forming the best example. She cannot be characterized as a good manager given that managers are mainly operational who ensures success in operation, he/she ensures that financial, talent or managing operations are going on as expected. She has the innate leadership skills rather than the managerial skills that are basically learned. She has an open mindset unlike the managers who have a structured mindset. She inspires others as opposed to using coercion.
Use of Power
Oprah does not misuse her position as most leaders would do. This is due to the fact that she does not use coercion to force people to follow her ideas.
Instead she leads by example and by inspiring others. Bill Gates on the other hand has been reported to bully others to buy into his ideas. This is a show of the misuse of power (Elias, 2007).
F. (2007). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Microsoft student. (2007). CBS Corporation. Mashington: Microsoft Corporation.